Thursday, November 25, 2010

Why this title?

Given that this will be my first blog post, I thought it would be a good idea to explain why I chose the title "Logos and Love."  This will tell you a good deal about me and also about what I hope this blog will become.

I chose the title to express the most important thing about me, the fact that I am a devout Christian.  My faith, and the relationship with God that it allows me to have, are the most important things in my life.  Thus, most of what I blog about will reflect this perspective, although I will sometimes discuss other topics.

Logos is a Greek word that means "reason," "logic," or "word," but its meaning is far richer and deeper than these translations.  It referred to the fundamental principle that governed the universe and held reality together.  Logos is the word translated "word" in John 1, my favorite passage in the Bible.  John 1 begins, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."  Without unpacking this completely (which may become a post in itself), I can say that each of these claims was commonly said by the first-century Greek philosophers, who saw the logos as the principle or idea in the mind of God that began the universe, and some even saw it as equal to God.

What I love even more about the passage, though comes in verse 14: "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us."  This was a radical claim that would have blown the minds of the philosophers who, up until then, could have agreed with John's text.  The philosophy of the day saw the physical world as evil and corrupt, so their main goal was to transcend it and reach the spiritual reality.  The idea that the logos, which controlled all spiritual reality and was completely pure and transcendent would become flesh, would descend to touch the physical world, was completely unthinkable.  This is what sets Christianity apart from every other world religion.  In other religions, we work, pray, meditate, or do other things to reach out to the divine, but in Christianity the divine first came to reach out to us.  Everything we do is a response to this radical act that gives us the ability to know God.  The statement that the Word became flesh also silences the voices of the anti-materialist philosophy; if God Himself was willing to become part of the physical world, this world cannot be fully evil.  Suddenly, everything from food to work, even washing each other's feet, becomes sacred.

This leads me to the second word in my title: Love.  Although God is rational, as indicated by the word logos, He is also personal and relational.  The greatest commandment, both in Judaism and in the New Testament, is "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." (I'm using the New Testament wording, but the same concept exists in the Torah).  This means that God is ultimately concerned with love, both for Him and for people who are made in His image.  The proper response to the Logos made flesh is to love Him completely, and that is the goal toward which we must strive.

Anyone who knows me personally will know that I have not met this goal.  I have times when I am impatient, shy, or lazy and do not love the people around me as I should.  I fail again and again at loving God with all of who I am.  But thanks to God, I know that I am forgiven and I keep trying, toward the aim of loving the Logos in all of my life.

The title of this blog is meant to remind you, my readers, but also to remind me of who God is and what I am striving for.  As I share more and more of myself, I hope you will see some reflection of these most important realities in my words.

1 comment:

  1. princeton theological university has about 100 fully paid scholarships donated by 100 folks... perhaps?
    One thing I notice, is that as I do my work, I am around few people, and with limited possible effect. There is something to be said for big impact careers.
    The campus is right next to princeton university, and quite a nice town !