Thursday, October 12, 2017

Light Without Love

Read: 1 John 4:10

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever” (1 Chronicles 16:34).

Old John Keble writes of "the withering blasts of error" that swept through England like a chilling wind, but there was a greater deceit coming:

A fouler vision yet; an age of light,
Light without love, glares on the aching sight.

Keble was an early 19th century Oxford don and one of the founders of the Oxford Movement, an effort to turn the Church of England away from the rationalism that grew out of the Enlightenment and back to the biblical traditions of faith, hope and love. His phrase, "an age of light," is a direct reference to the Enlightenment and his indictment of it—“light without love”—and aptly defines the mood of the post-enlightenment world in which we live. 

The upside advances of the Enlightenment have greatly enhanced and brightened our lives, but they cannot touch that elusive sadness that forms the background music in our souls. Science and technology "glare on the aching sight" (cast harsh light on our unhappy condition) precisely because they can only enlighten us. They cannot love us. Light without love: the pathos of our age.

So then, what can satisfy our discontent and loneliness? The discovery of a new sub-atomic particle or a hitherto unknown galaxy? A gesture–based computer mouse; the next iteration of the IPhone? 

Nothing but the lavish, unconditional love of Jesus.


David Roper

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