Excerpt 3 from Love: The Foundation (Epiphany and Transformation)


In the aftermath of my conversation with Gregg, I wondered if wise-love was just a concept I had made up in the moment to try and express something to a friend or if it had actual, biblical validity beyond the Sermon on the Mount. The epiphany God had foreshadowed in our exchange remained veiled to me until, one day, I realized that the Bible linked wisdom and love in an unmistakably explicit way I had never noticed before. It did so in 1 Corinthians.

Verses from the first two chapters of 1 Corinthians are favorites among many churchgoers—particularly the verses that question, “Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom [earthly wisdom], but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:20, 21).

Yet even as a child, I remember wondering, what was this heavenly wisdom that God was touting? In his holy word, he said things like, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov. 9:10). Or, “The one who gets wisdom loves life; the one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper” (Prov. 13:10). Or, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12). It was clear that God thought wisdom was essential. But over the years, I was left to my own devices regarding what, exactly, the difference was between earthly wisdom and God’s wisdom. That is, until a few weeks ago when I realized that the Apostle Paul wrote 1 Corinthians backward . . .

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Love: A Manifesto

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