Thursday, January 2, 2014

Tillich, 1948. Chapter 13, "Knowledge through Love"

Chapter 13, “Knowledge Through Love” pp. 108-113

1 Corinthians 13:8-12

Paul speaks of that which is fragmentary and vanishing and that which is complete and eternal. Some of the great gifts of God are among the fragmentary - prophecy, etc.  It is only love, specifically love as the person of God, which will not pass away.

How is this eternity known? We only know fully as we are united with God in love. It is the love in which we see God as he is that causes us to know him.

How do we know God at present? We know him only partially. We see fragments but not the whole. Our love for God is still partial so we cannot know him fully. We desire to know fully, but we cannot do so. In the end we are afraid of what we might find or not find. Our knowledge is hindered by lack of love and trust. We are conscious of this, yet we cannot overcome it in this life. As we are surrounded by a fragmentary life, we look forward to the time when God will make it all sensible.

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