Monday, April 27, 2009

The Twofold Basis of Love

The relationship of love I have with my wife is based on two fundamental epistemological foundations.

First is the objective propositions I know about her. She is Nancy; not Karen or Lucy or Martha. And she is a very specific Nancy; not any of the other Nancys I have had acquaintance with through my life time. There are very specific objective propositions that define who she is and which set her apart from all other individuals. Or to put it another way, there are boundaries that uniquely define who she is in contrast to all others in the world. Those boundaries, of necessity, exclude all others from her uniqueness.

Second is the experiential (existential) relation that I have with her in the marital state that over our years together has resulted in the accumulation of a life time of shared intimate experiences which are not shared with anyone else; and which unite us together in way that was never imagined when we first spoke our vows to one another.

Take away either of these two fundamental foundations, and my marriage to her starts to become meaningless and empty. (In fact I will make so bold to say as an aside that in my observation many a divorce in our culture is a result of a break down at one or both of these foundations.)

It is no small thing that Paul compares the relationship of marriage between a man and a woman to the relationship Christ has with His people as constituted in the church.

I can only begin to know Jesus when I have both objective propositional truth about who He is, and a personal intimate (existential) relationship to Him.

Modernity wants me to rest on propositional truth alone. Post-modernity wants me to rest on existential experience alone. Biblical perspective requires me to resist both extremes, and be counter-cultural to both.

If either one of these foundations are taken away, then it becomes impossible to really know Jesus in any meaningful way. There is a specific Jesus to intimately know. That specificity in itself creates definition and that definition sets a boundary that excludes all others who would claim to be "Jesus".

The Bible talks about false Christs, so it is not just any “Jesus” I need to get to know or “move towards”. The assertion false Christs exist, demands a definition and boundary by which we know who the true Jesus is. That is the Jesus we are be in intimate relation with.

Do you "know" Him?


~ The Billy Goat ~

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