Why We Need A Theology of Love in this Blogosphere Day And Age

Derek Ouellette —  January 11, 2010

Theology Begins With God

I think any discussion of theology must begin with God.[1] And since the Bible defines God as “Love”[2], good theology must always begin with a Theology of Love.

This has always been important, but as some have argued, never has it been more important than in this blogosphere day-and-age.

Never before has global communication among Gods people been more frequent – and less personal – then in today’ social media saturated world!

Never will you find the face of Western Christianity more exposed and rawer than in the blogospheres, on Facebook, Twitter and other social internet avenues. And when I see that raw face of Christianity – no longer able to hind behind the cordial smiles of Sunday morning expectations – I blush in shame because it is not the face of Jesus.

Someone wrote recently:

Go to the blogsites, if you dare. It really is high time we developed a Christian ethic of blogging. Bad temper is bad temper even in the apparent privacy of your own hard drive, and harsh and unjust words, when released into the wild, rampage around and do real damage. And as for the practice of saying mean and untrue things while hiding behind a pseudonym – well, if I get a letter like that it goes straight to the bin.[3]

He’s right. I’ve seen it. I’ve experienced it. I’ve been a part of it. I’ve repented of it.

Why do you think I have “Blog Rules”? It is because we can no longer assume that just because a blog site is Christian, and just because Christians will be doing most of the commenting, that the attitude of Christ will be reflected.[4]

N.T. Wright continues with another relevant thought:

“But the cyberspace equivalents of road rage don’t happen by accident. People who type vicious, angry, slanderous and inaccurate accusations do so because they feel their worldview to be under attack.”[5]

Christians have always had much to disagree about. But never has it been easier to “face” a brother in the Lord of an opposing view, bash them over the head for having that opposing view, rake them over the coals for daring to reason with you, and chastise them for not seeing your “correct” view, without ever having to leave the comfort of your living room couch, without ever having to know their real names, without ever having to see them as a person made in the image of God, or worse – as a brother or sister in Christ.

Gone are the days of the old adage: In the essentials, Unity. In the non-essentials, Liberty. In all things, Love.

In today’s theological blogosphere we have raised the non-essentials to the status of essential. We have discarded with liberty altogether, thinking that if we allow it that the Gospel itself is somehow at risk. And while we still use the word “Love“, by failing to act upon it we have stripped it of any real meaning.[6]

I believe all theology should be subservient to A Theology of Love. It’s not what you know or how versed you are, but who you know and how that changes you.

John Stackhouse writes somewhere:

But “speaking the truth in love” is a rule never superseded by some other imperative, nor is the Golden Rule, nor is the Great Commandment to “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”[7]

If we must debate, let us debate in humility and with brotherly love. If we cannot do these two things we need to check ourselves. If we cannot do that, well, how can we claim to be followers of Christ?

[1] Theology = Theos (God), Logos (Word, Logic, Study): Theology means “Study of God”

[2] 1 John 4:8

[3] N.T. Wright, Justification, p.26

[4] Philippians 2:5

[5] Wright, p.27

[6] For “Love” is a verb!

[7] John Stackhouse’s Weblog

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Derek Ouellette

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a husband, new dad, speaker, writer, christian. see my profile here.
  • http://www.drewchapados.net Drew Chapados

    good blog Derek–
    far too often we are losing sight of the God we serve.
    We can make an idol out of our view of being ‘Christian’ that we end up missing the image of God in which we were created to be–it is difficult at time to read what people actually do write about people under blog names.