Love is the essence of God

From Tim Keller in “The Reason For God: Belief in the Age of Skepticism“:

If there is no God, then everything in and about us is the product of blind impersonal forces. The experience of love may feel significant, but evolutionary naturalists tell us that it is merely a biochemical state in the brain.

But what if there is a God? Does love fare any better? It depends on who you think God is. If God is unipersonal, then until God created other beings there was no love, since love is something that one person has for another. This means that a unipersonal God was power, sovereignty, and greatness all from eternity, but not love. Love then is not the essence of God, nor is it at the heart of the universe. Power is primary.

However, if God is triune [Father, Son, Holy Spirit], then loving relationships in community are the “great fountain … at the center of reality.” When people say “God is love,” I think they mean that love is extremely important, or that God really wants us to love. But in the Christian conception, God really has love as his essence. If he was just one person he couldn’t have been loving for all eternity.

Graduation special from Desiring God

The fine folks at Desiring God are offering significant discounts on some great material.

The Essential Piper Trilogy: Desiring God, Future Grace

and The Pleasures of God


DESIRING GOD:The message of Desiring God is that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. In this book, Piper calls this worldview “Christian Hedonism” and explains why pursuing maximum joy is essential to glorifying God. He discusses the implications of this for conversion, worship, love, Scripture, prayer, money, marriage, missions, and suffering.

FUTURE GRACE: What is future grace? It is all that God promises to be for us from this second on. Saving faith means being confident and satisfied in this ever- arriving future grace. This is why saving faith is also sanctifying faith. The power of sin’s promise is broken by the power of a superior satisfaction; namely, faith in future grace. Gratitude for past grace was never meant to empower future obedience. Tomorrow’s crisis demands tomorrow’s grace. And faith that future grace will be there is the victory that overcomes the world. Future Grace contains 31 chapters – one for each day of the month – including practical chapters on how faith in future grace defeats anxiety, pride, shame, lust, despondency and more.

THE PLEASURES OF GOD: One way to see the glory of God is to meditate upon the object of his delight. In this reissued version with a new cover design, John Piper unfolds for us a vision of God through the lens of his happiness. What most delights the happiest Being in the universe? God’s gladness in being God. If God’s excellencies can be admired in his pleasures, and if we tend to become like what we admire and enjoy, then focusing on these pleasures can help us to be gradually conformed to his likeness. In other words, we will be most satisfied in God when we know why God is most satisfied in God.

Don’t Waste Your Life Book and DVD Set


DON’T WASTE YOUR LIFE STUDY EDITION: In this book John Piper describes his journey toward one great, single passion—endless joy in the crucified Christ—and challenges the reader to the same pursuit. The cost is great. But the joy is worth any cost.

DON’T WASTE YOUR LIFE 3-DVD SET: In this 3-DVD set, John Piper challenges viewers to wake up from the American dream to the soul-saving reality that “to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

* Disc 1: Book Study Edition DVD with ten 15-minute teaching sessions. These lessons are designed for smaller groups and work in tandem with the Don’t Waste Your Life group study materials (book, study guide).

* Discs 2-3: Conference Edition DVDs with four new, hour-long messages. These messages enable you to conduct your own Don’t Waste Your Life event or class.

The Complete Romans Series


After 18 years of preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church, John Piper felt the time had come to preach through Paul’s letter to the Romans. “The glory of Christ, who is the image of God (2 Corinthians 4:4), seems more glorious to me now than it ever has. And there is no greater exposition of the Gospel of God than the book of Romans… I have a deep confidence that the best way to be lastingly relevant is to stand on rock-solid, durable old truths, than jumping from one pragmatic bandwagon to another. Romans is as solid and durable and reliable and unshakable as truth can get.” Come and worship through the Book of Romans with us!

Note on the format: MP3 DVDs can be played in computers with DVD drives and some DVD players. For best results put this DVD in the computer’s DVD drive and copy the MP3 files to your computer’s media player. They will not play in standard CD players.

As it says at the Desiring God site, there is always more to learn, always more to be excited about and more to love God for. As young men and women go off to school next fall, these resources can help them grow even more. Go here to see more information.

In this book John Piper describes his journey toward one great, single passion—endless joy in the crucified Christ—and challenges the reader to the same pursuit. The cost is great. But the joy is worth any cost.