“Love Wins,” and Charity Loses

A great article has been put online, first presented by Ralph Hancock (a professor of political science at BYU) at the 2016 FAIRMormon conference in which he discusses the modern ideology of “love” and the confusion some have had between such concepts and the ideal of charity, and the consequent belief that obedience towards God is less or unimportant. Read it here: “Love Wins,” and Charity Loses – FairMormon (link courtesy of Daniel Peterson’s blog here).

Personally I am reminded of Matthew 22:35-40:

Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,

Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

This is the first and great commandment.

And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Love is certainly central to Christ’s teachings, but it should never be forgotten that loving God comes first.


4 thoughts on ““Love Wins,” and Charity Loses

  1. Well Christ very much taught of Him as a person, hence the significance of all those times (the baptism of Christ, the Mount of Transfiguration) when the Father spoke directly.

    • David, it’s an epistemological comment. in other words, there is no difference between belief in god and belief in what we believe about god. the fact of the matter is clear in the apophatic tradition; god transcends even our ability to know what we mean by the word “god”.

      whether it’s you, me, jesus, muhammad (pbuh), maimonides, or moses, it is a matter of faith when saying “god is …” or “god wants …” or “god hates …” or “god loves …”

      these are things people believe are true and these are the ways we imagine god, but this is exactly why there’s no distinction between “i believe in god” and “i believe in my beliefs about god”.

  2. It’s only an epistemological problem if one has no *experiences* of God. That wasn’t Christ’s position, and it isn’t mine.

    The apophatic tradition in any case tends to have less purchase in Latter-day Saint teachings, since God is not wholly other and (at least to the partial degree possible in mortality) is knowable and willing to make himself known to them that seek him.

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