Today in the Church when one identifies love of God with love of neighbour, one commits the much worse error of reducing the love of God to the love of neighbour, rather than the other way round. In earlier times one sometimes reduced the love of neighbour to the love of God – though this identification occurred only on a very limited scale among certain devout nuns rather than among significant theologians. In this identification one turns love of neighbour into a mere act of obedience toward Christ – one thinks that, if one is motivated by the love of Christ, it is enough to treat one’s neighbour as if one loves him. But today’s danger of reducing the love of God to the love of neighbour is incomparably more dangerous.  (The Devastated Vineyard, ‘Distortion of Morality’)

Advertisements