The Fellowship of the Burning Heart
Possible answers off the top of my head:1. He loves the church because he loves the Son. So there is a priority. But it is the same love.2. The church is made up of the lost, but once the transition has happened: He loves the lost despite what they/we are. But he loves the Church because of what they/we are. So this time there are different kinds of love. So it is comparing apples with oranges.
how about this one from Barth:“He is favorably disposed to the pure only in order that they may be at His disposal for service to the lepers.”
I like it but not as the whole picture. I've read Newbigin and Chris Wright make much the same point in their books on mission.I seem to remember Don Carson's little book 'the difficult doctrine of the love of God' being quite good on this. God loves people differently, not more/less.At the end of the day, hell won't be an empty place. And the Bible seems to make clear that God uses the church to bring judgment as well as salvation, either directly (OT) or by declaration (NT).The quote is a good corrective to the attitude that "I'm saved, and the rest of the world can go to hell (literally)" which I think we can all think sometimes. But I don't think it is that fruitful an avenue into your knotty questions.
or how about this - the Father's love is a spreading love going from Son to church to lost and drawing them back in.. but it never loses it's patternthe love is still from the Father to the church to the lostthat is why there is still 'hierachy' in the new creation - leaders of cities being the great lovers of people
I think that is all true, but perhaps more needs to be said.What would you say in addition to avoid universalism?
universalism? rejecting the Father's love?
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