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In every monotheistic religion, God is described as being loving. However Christianity is the only one to take this a step further in its claim that God is love. This is different to saying God is loving – instead the Bible tells us in the book of John that God is love as the essence of his very being. So what is the difference?
To express or feel love, there must be an object to which that love is directed. I might love my mum or love ice cream, but I can’t just love nothing. The same principle applies with God. In Islam, before Allah created the world, there was nothing for him to love. So Allah can be loving, but his love is actually dependent on the existence of his creation – love cannot be an inherent part of his being.
But why isn’t this the same in Christianity? Well the difference here is that we believe in a Trinitarian God. This means that God is one in being but three in person. It is only this Trinitirian nature which makes it possible for God to be love as his very being. Even before He created the world, God existed as an eternal community of love, with each person of the Godhead loving the other two. Because Christianity is the only religion with a trinitarian God, it is the only religion where love can be inherent to the being of God. He does not depend on his creation or anything else to be love.
I’m Becky Gillespie from Thinking Matters and this has been your Thought for Today. For more reasons to believe visit thinkingmatters.org.nz