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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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Find the Good Life through Great Books

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On_Reading_Well-194x300.jpgSometimes in reading a book you’re looking for lessons. Sometimes you’re looking for escape.

But according to Karen Swallow Prior, “Great books offer perspective.” The best literature, she says, “replicates the world of the concrete, where the experiential learning necessary for virtue occurs.” In her new book, On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books (Brazos), Prior asks us to read books that make demands of us. And she shows us in 12 chapters how books such as The Great Gatsby, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Pilgrim’s Progress move us toward temperance, courage, and diligence.

Prior is professor of English at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, and she’ll be speaking on this subject of “reading well” for a workshop at The Gospel Coalition’s 2019 National Conference, April 1 to 3 in Indianapolis. She joined me on The Gospel Coalition Podcast to discuss mortality and morality, on reading well and reading poorly.

You can listen to this episode of The Gospel Coalition podcast here.

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