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The Spirituality of Love Dr. Becky Towne. Christian spirituality is dependent upon a biblical understanding of love Longsuffering – what love is Longsuffering.

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Presentation on theme: "The Spirituality of Love Dr. Becky Towne. Christian spirituality is dependent upon a biblical understanding of love Longsuffering – what love is Longsuffering."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Spirituality of Love Dr. Becky Towne

2 Christian spirituality is dependent upon a biblical understanding of love Longsuffering – what love is Longsuffering – what love is Greek meaning is patience or the act of bearing with someone. Greek meaning is patience or the act of bearing with someone. OT – Describes God OT – Describes God Ex 34:5-7 Ex 34:5-7 Ps 103:8-13 Ps 103:8-13 Jon 4:2 Jon 4:2 NT – Since God has been patient with us, we should be patient with one another. NT – Since God has been patient with us, we should be patient with one another. Longsuffering – what love is Longsuffering – what love is Greek meaning is patience or the act of bearing with someone. Greek meaning is patience or the act of bearing with someone. OT – Describes God OT – Describes God Ex 34:5-7 Ex 34:5-7 Ps 103:8-13 Ps 103:8-13 Jon 4:2 Jon 4:2 NT – Since God has been patient with us, we should be patient with one another. NT – Since God has been patient with us, we should be patient with one another.

3 Descriptions of longsuffering in the negative sense Descriptions of longsuffering in the negative sense Love is not easily provoked or not easily drawn into anger. Love is not easily provoked or not easily drawn into anger. Love thinks no evil. Love thinks no evil. Love is not envious. Love is not envious. Descriptions of longsuffering in the negative sense Descriptions of longsuffering in the negative sense Love is not easily provoked or not easily drawn into anger. Love is not easily provoked or not easily drawn into anger. Love thinks no evil. Love thinks no evil. Love is not envious. Love is not envious.

4 Kind – what love does Kind – what love does OT – Describes God and is usually partnered with longsuffering OT – Describes God and is usually partnered with longsuffering NT – Believers are to love as God loves. Therefore, believers are to be kind and bear the stamp of the Holy Spirit by displaying kindness as a fruit of the Spirits presence. NT – Believers are to love as God loves. Therefore, believers are to be kind and bear the stamp of the Holy Spirit by displaying kindness as a fruit of the Spirits presence. Gal 5:16-25 Gal 5:16-25 Eph 4:29-32 Eph 4:29-32 Kind – what love does Kind – what love does OT – Describes God and is usually partnered with longsuffering OT – Describes God and is usually partnered with longsuffering NT – Believers are to love as God loves. Therefore, believers are to be kind and bear the stamp of the Holy Spirit by displaying kindness as a fruit of the Spirits presence. NT – Believers are to love as God loves. Therefore, believers are to be kind and bear the stamp of the Holy Spirit by displaying kindness as a fruit of the Spirits presence. Gal 5:16-25 Gal 5:16-25 Eph 4:29-32 Eph 4:29-32

5 Descriptions of kindness in the negative sense Descriptions of kindness in the negative sense Love is not boastful, proud, or arrogant. Love is not boastful, proud, or arrogant. Boasting – intellectual pride emphasized through speech Boasting – intellectual pride emphasized through speech Arrogance – action or the way boasting comes across Arrogance – action or the way boasting comes across Pride – seeks to build itself up by tearing others down Pride – seeks to build itself up by tearing others down Love is not rude. Love is not rude. Love is not self-seeking. Love is not self-seeking. Descriptions of kindness in the negative sense Descriptions of kindness in the negative sense Love is not boastful, proud, or arrogant. Love is not boastful, proud, or arrogant. Boasting – intellectual pride emphasized through speech Boasting – intellectual pride emphasized through speech Arrogance – action or the way boasting comes across Arrogance – action or the way boasting comes across Pride – seeks to build itself up by tearing others down Pride – seeks to build itself up by tearing others down Love is not rude. Love is not rude. Love is not self-seeking. Love is not self-seeking.

6 Loving and being loved It is fundamental to human nature to love and to seek love. It is fundamental to human nature to love and to seek love. Rightly loving God orders all the other loves common to human existence. Rightly loving God orders all the other loves common to human existence. Longing for God, 19 Rightly loving God leads toward the corporate practices of the one anothers. Rightly loving God leads toward the corporate practices of the one anothers. It is fundamental to human nature to love and to seek love. It is fundamental to human nature to love and to seek love. Rightly loving God orders all the other loves common to human existence. Rightly loving God orders all the other loves common to human existence. Longing for God, 19 Rightly loving God leads toward the corporate practices of the one anothers. Rightly loving God leads toward the corporate practices of the one anothers.

7 Origen of Alexandria Ultimate goal of human life – intimate and continual communion with God Ultimate goal of human life – intimate and continual communion with God 42 Stages toward intimacy with God from the 42 camps of the children of Israel in the wilderness. 42 Stages toward intimacy with God from the 42 camps of the children of Israel in the wilderness. The path to intimacy with God, then, is viewed by Origen as the souls journey from earth to heaven. The path to intimacy with God, then, is viewed by Origen as the souls journey from earth to heaven. Ultimate goal of human life – intimate and continual communion with God Ultimate goal of human life – intimate and continual communion with God 42 Stages toward intimacy with God from the 42 camps of the children of Israel in the wilderness. 42 Stages toward intimacy with God from the 42 camps of the children of Israel in the wilderness. The path to intimacy with God, then, is viewed by Origen as the souls journey from earth to heaven. The path to intimacy with God, then, is viewed by Origen as the souls journey from earth to heaven.

8 Origens Ordering – a three-level summary Body – finding God through the five senses (Proverbs is an example of moral knowledge producing ethical understanding) Body – finding God through the five senses (Proverbs is an example of moral knowledge producing ethical understanding) Soul – finding God through enlightened knowledge, i.e., Scripture (Ecclesiastes is the key book at this level, enlightenment based on a combination of active love and contemplative reflection) Soul – finding God through enlightened knowledge, i.e., Scripture (Ecclesiastes is the key book at this level, enlightenment based on a combination of active love and contemplative reflection) Body – finding God through the five senses (Proverbs is an example of moral knowledge producing ethical understanding) Body – finding God through the five senses (Proverbs is an example of moral knowledge producing ethical understanding) Soul – finding God through enlightened knowledge, i.e., Scripture (Ecclesiastes is the key book at this level, enlightenment based on a combination of active love and contemplative reflection) Soul – finding God through enlightened knowledge, i.e., Scripture (Ecclesiastes is the key book at this level, enlightenment based on a combination of active love and contemplative reflection)

9 Spirit – finding God through perpetual communion with God (Song of Solomon is an example of the state of being absorbed into God, no longer controlled by desire). Spirit – finding God through perpetual communion with God (Song of Solomon is an example of the state of being absorbed into God, no longer controlled by desire). The goal is to enter into union through contemplation. The goal is to enter into union through contemplation. The result is a life of pure love and active charity. The result is a life of pure love and active charity. Fosters prayer, 25. Fosters prayer, 25. Spirit – finding God through perpetual communion with God (Song of Solomon is an example of the state of being absorbed into God, no longer controlled by desire). Spirit – finding God through perpetual communion with God (Song of Solomon is an example of the state of being absorbed into God, no longer controlled by desire). The goal is to enter into union through contemplation. The goal is to enter into union through contemplation. The result is a life of pure love and active charity. The result is a life of pure love and active charity. Fosters prayer, 25. Fosters prayer, 25.

10 Augustine of Hippo Humans are estranged from God. Humans are estranged from God. It is difficult to return to God because of three temptations: It is difficult to return to God because of three temptations: Love of power; Love of power; Pervasiveness of lust; Pervasiveness of lust; Inability to find contentment. Inability to find contentment. Therefore, Augustine reasons, either we love self or we love God; either we align our wills with God or we are self-willed. Therefore, Augustine reasons, either we love self or we love God; either we align our wills with God or we are self-willed. Humans are estranged from God. Humans are estranged from God. It is difficult to return to God because of three temptations: It is difficult to return to God because of three temptations: Love of power; Love of power; Pervasiveness of lust; Pervasiveness of lust; Inability to find contentment. Inability to find contentment. Therefore, Augustine reasons, either we love self or we love God; either we align our wills with God or we are self-willed. Therefore, Augustine reasons, either we love self or we love God; either we align our wills with God or we are self-willed.

11 Bernard of Clairvaux Twelve Steps of Spiritual Demise, 36 Twelve Steps of Spiritual Demise, 36 Twelve Steps of Spiritual Progress, 37 Twelve Steps of Spiritual Progress, 37 Twelve Steps of Spiritual Demise, 36 Twelve Steps of Spiritual Demise, 36 Twelve Steps of Spiritual Progress, 37 Twelve Steps of Spiritual Progress, 37

12 Bernards Degrees of Love Love Self for Selfs Sake: self-love Love Self for Selfs Sake: self-love Love God for Selfs Sake: seeking eternal life through God; self- preservation Love God for Selfs Sake: seeking eternal life through God; self- preservation Love God for Gods Sake: thanksgiving for who God is and what God does; trumps self-preservation Love God for Gods Sake: thanksgiving for who God is and what God does; trumps self-preservation Love Self for Gods Sake: loving self the way God loves Love Self for Gods Sake: loving self the way God loves Love Self for Selfs Sake: self-love Love Self for Selfs Sake: self-love Love God for Selfs Sake: seeking eternal life through God; self- preservation Love God for Selfs Sake: seeking eternal life through God; self- preservation Love God for Gods Sake: thanksgiving for who God is and what God does; trumps self-preservation Love God for Gods Sake: thanksgiving for who God is and what God does; trumps self-preservation Love Self for Gods Sake: loving self the way God loves Love Self for Gods Sake: loving self the way God loves

13 Blaise Pascal Definitions of the human condition: Definitions of the human condition: Boredom; Boredom; Inconstancy (moody, uncertain, unsettled); Inconstancy (moody, uncertain, unsettled); Anxiety. Anxiety. These conditions are troubling diversions, cultivated to keep humanity from considering the reality of God, the nature of life, and the need for a remedy that God alone provides These conditions are troubling diversions, cultivated to keep humanity from considering the reality of God, the nature of life, and the need for a remedy that God alone provides Definitions of the human condition: Boredom; Inconstancy (moody, uncertain, unsettled); Anxiety. These conditions are troubling diversions, cultivated to keep humanity from considering the reality of God, the nature of life, and the need for a remedy that God alone provides

14 Pascal The truth of Christianity is relevant when the true conditions are addressed The truth of Christianity is relevant when the true conditions are addressed Pascals ordering of the life of love Pascals ordering of the life of love Body: governed by desire, any life lived on the order of the body alone will end in emptiness Body: governed by desire, any life lived on the order of the body alone will end in emptiness Mind: natural and unable to bring humanity into direct contact with God; living on the order of the mind yields arrogance Mind: natural and unable to bring humanity into direct contact with God; living on the order of the mind yields arrogance Heart: the will is ordered to the will of God, enabling humanity to order the intellectual concerns of the mind and satisfy the physical needs of the body through proper expressions Heart: the will is ordered to the will of God, enabling humanity to order the intellectual concerns of the mind and satisfy the physical needs of the body through proper expressions The truth of Christianity is relevant when the true conditions are addressed Pascals ordering of the life of love Body: governed by desire, any life lived on the order of the body alone will end in emptiness Mind: natural and unable to bring humanity into direct contact with God; living on the order of the mind yields arrogance Heart: the will is ordered to the will of God, enabling humanity to order the intellectual concerns of the mind and satisfy the physical needs of the body through proper expressions

15 Paschals defining contribution to religious thought is that humans are both great and wretched, without emphasizing the greatness or wretchedness to the exclusion of the other or ignoring ones need for a remedy. Paschals defining contribution to religious thought is that humans are both great and wretched, without emphasizing the greatness or wretchedness to the exclusion of the other or ignoring ones need for a remedy.

16 What is love? In small groups, discuss the impact of your thinking regarding the definition of love for life and ministry


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