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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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The Appeal of Idolatry

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davidwells3.jpgby David Wells

"Idolatry, ancient and modern alike, consists in trusting some substitute for God to serve some uniquely divine function…  Why do people choose the substitute over God himself?  Probably the most important reason is that it obviates accountability to God.  We can meet idols on our own terms because they are our own creations.  They are safe, predictable, and controllable; they are, in Jeremiah’s colorful language, the “scarecrows in a cucumber field” (10:5).  They are portable and completely under the user’s control.  They offer nothing like the threat of a God who thunders from Sinai and whose providence in this world so often appears to us to be incomprehensible and dangerous.  People who “remain in the center of their lives and loyalties, autonomous architects of their own futures,” Keyes argues, thereby avoid coming face to face with God and his truth.  They need face only themselves.  That is the appeal of idolatry."

- David Wells, God in the Wasteland  (Eerdmans 1994)

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