Understanding the depth of God’s power and love

DALLAS WILLARD

Christianity states that God is benevolent toward humankind and that he is infinitely powerful. Could we deny either of these two statements? Certainly we would not have the slightest desire to deny that God is benevolent toward humankind, for this is the very essence of the Christian gospel. It is important here to point out that God’s love is not a sentiment, but a well-reasoned devotion to the good or well-being of its objects. We have a terrible time understanding love, because we confuse it with desire. Desire and love are two utterly different kinds of things. Not only is desire not love; it is often opposed to love. Right action is the act of love, regardless of the desires of anyone involved.

In the second portion of this statement, that God is infinite in power, the situation is slightly different. We cannot confirm this with absolute certainty for the very simple reason that we cannot truly affirm something we cannot fully grasp. In my opinion, infinity is a concept that is best left to the mathematicians who have means for dealing with it. (Personally, I believe that God is infinite in power; I just don’t know the formulas to prove it.)

From The Allure of Gentleness: Defending the Faith in the Manner of Jesus. Copyright © 2015 by Dallas Willard. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

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