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  #1  
Old Jun 12, '12, 12:09 pm
salusanimarum17 salusanimarum17 is offline
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Default God is love=love is God?

Is it true to say that because "God is love" (1 John), we can say "Love is God"?

From a strictly logical perspective, it is not always the case that if A is B, then B is A. However, is the nature of God such that it is true to say that love is God? In other words, does St. John mean to say that God=love? I don't know Greek. Maybe that is what he said.
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  #2  
Old Jun 12, '12, 12:33 pm
SonCatcher SonCatcher is offline
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Default Re: God is love=love is God?

The problem is that we love bananas.

The word "love" has so many varied meanings that it is impossible to make such a statement.
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  #3  
Old Jun 12, '12, 12:41 pm
seagal seagal is offline
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Default Re: God is love=love is God?

That's false logic, as you would see very quickly if you substituted "God" and "love" with other words. For example
Meat is protein not the same as Protein is meat
Chemistry is science not the same as Science is chemistry
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  #4  
Old Jun 12, '12, 12:51 pm
salusanimarum17 salusanimarum17 is offline
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Default Re: God is love=love is God?

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Originally Posted by seagal View Post
That's false logic, as you would see very quickly if you substituted "God" and "love" with other words. For example
Meat is protein not the same as Protein is meat
Chemistry is science not the same as Science is chemistry
Yes, as I said, from a logical perspective it doesn't necessarily work. I take it you see nothing in the nature of God/the Trinity that might make this an occasion where we can define "is" (thanks, Pres. Clinton) as "equals."
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  #5  
Old Jun 12, '12, 12:52 pm
salusanimarum17 salusanimarum17 is offline
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Default Re: God is love=love is God?

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Originally Posted by SonCatcher View Post
The problem is that we love bananas.

The word "love" has so many varied meanings that it is impossible to make such a statement.
Yes. Yet, we know that God is love.
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  #6  
Old Jun 12, '12, 1:25 pm
davidv davidv is online now
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Default Re: God is love=love is God?

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Originally Posted by salusanimarum17 View Post
Yes. Yet, we know that God is love.
Yet that is not all God is. God is Love cannot be represented as an equality. He is also One and Unchanging, etc.
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  #7  
Old Jun 12, '12, 1:57 pm
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JRKH JRKH is offline
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Default Re: God is love=love is God?

Quote:
Originally Posted by salusanimarum17 View Post
Is it true to say that because "God is love" (1 John), we can say "Love is God"?

From a strictly logical perspective, it is not always the case that if A is B, then B is A. However, is the nature of God such that it is true to say that love is God? In other words, does St. John mean to say that God=love? I don't know Greek. Maybe that is what he said.
No it is not true that one can reverse the order.
However just because we cannot reverse the order does not mean that the significance of the statement "God is love" is lessened any.

I can say Joe is human but I cannot say Human is Joe correct? (unless I'm Yoda..)
Yet - When I say that Joe is Human - I am defining something very elemental AND complete about Joe. He is fully and completely human. AND being human, in many respects, defines who James is.

"God is Love" in a way - is the same thing. Even though God is other things, Love is a very defining characteristic of who/what He is. He is fully Love.
But going beyond that God is the embodiment and the source of Love. Seeking after Love (Agape) is very much the same as seeking after God Himself. John makes that apparent in the letter you reference:
1John 4:7-8
7 Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God; for God is love.
That said, it is very important not to conflate the two things for as someone already mentioned, in our modern terminology there are many different meanings for the word Love. So when we go looking for the Love that God is, we must learn what comprises that love so we get it right and are truly pursuing god and not some other flesh or spirit...

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James
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  #8  
Old Jun 12, '12, 2:24 pm
salusanimarum17 salusanimarum17 is offline
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Default Re: God is love=love is God?

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Originally Posted by JRKH View Post
... When I say that Joe is Human - I am defining something very elemental AND complete about Joe. He is fully and completely human. AND being human, in many respects, defines who James is. ...
It seems that Joe is James. Thanks for the reply.

For the sake of "full disclosure", this question of mine goes back to when I heard Oprah Winfrey (no theologian) discussing with someone the existence of God. The person said "I don't believe in God." Oprah said "Do you believe in love?" "Yes." "Well, then you believe in God." Thus saith Oprah.

Right from the start, I thought "That's not right" but I haven't really bothered to think about why I had that reaction.
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  #9  
Old Jun 12, '12, 4:14 pm
seagal seagal is offline
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Default Re: God is love=love is God?

Quote:
Originally Posted by salusanimarum17 View Post
Yes, as I said, from a logical perspective it doesn't necessarily work. I take it you see nothing in the nature of God/the Trinity that might make this an occasion where we can define "is" (thanks, Pres. Clinton) as "equals."
Actually, your mention of the Trinity reminded me of something I learned (somewhere) about the nature of God. To say that God is love is to describe the relationship among the 3 persons of the trinity. The Father loves the Son, the Son loves the Father, and that love is personified in the Holy Spirit.
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  #10  
Old Jun 12, '12, 7:42 pm
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JRKH JRKH is offline
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Default Re: God is love=love is God?

Quote:
Originally Posted by salusanimarum17 View Post
It seems that Joe is James. Thanks for the reply.
oops...

Quote:
For the sake of "full disclosure", this question of mine goes back to when I heard Oprah Winfrey (no theologian) discussing with someone the existence of God. The person said "I don't believe in God." Oprah said "Do you believe in love?" "Yes." "Well, then you believe in God." Thus saith Oprah.

Right from the start, I thought "That's not right" but I haven't really bothered to think about why I had that reaction.
Well to an extent Oprah was right....The Catechism states that:
847 ....Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.
Those who, not knowing God, seek after him in their conscience do so by pursuing Agape Love. After all, Love is what, "all of the law and prophets are based on", - and was Jesus command to us...That we Love one another.

The reason your reaction was "that's not right..." is because of the inherent dangers in equating God with Love. Love leads on to God and makes god known to one, but Love not God. But it has to be the right kind of Love and I'm sure Oprah did not explain that...

Peace
James
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The Best book on Spirituality that I ever Read: "The Fulfillment of All Desire"

Oh my God , I will continue
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Amen.
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  #11  
Old Jun 13, '12, 5:19 am
DaveBj DaveBj is online now
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Default Re: God is love=love is God?

Quote:
Originally Posted by seagal View Post
That's false logic, as you would see very quickly if you substituted "God" and "love" with other words. For example
Meat is protein not the same as Protein is meat
Chemistry is science not the same as Science is chemistry
Well said. Put another way, in mathematics 1 + 1 = 2 can be restated as 2 = 1 + 1, but "God is love" is not a mathematical statement, so the reversal "Love is God" does not work there.

Another thing to consider is that "love" in "God is love" is the Greek word agape, which is a type of love that not everyone understands. It definitely does not refer to sexual love between two men "bigyikes"
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  #12  
Old Jun 13, '12, 6:26 am
salusanimarum17 salusanimarum17 is offline
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Default Re: God is love=love is God?

Quote:
Originally Posted by seagal View Post
Actually, your mention of the Trinity reminded me of something I learned (somewhere) about the nature of God. To say that God is love is to describe the relationship among the 3 persons of the trinity. The Father loves the Son, the Son loves the Father, and that love is personified in the Holy Spirit.
Right. The distinction between the Persons of the Trinity is their relationship to each other, not what each Person has done in salvation history or difference in being. So, there is the Lover, Beloved, and Love. The thing is, God is love, not "just" the Holy Spirit.
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