The Christian idea of love is radical. So what?

Gerald R. Baron
11 min readApr 13, 2024
Photo by Ismael Paramo on Unsplash

In the previous post I introduced a new topic or extended series called “So What?” Rather than criticizing physicalism, as most of my posts have, or defending theism or traditional Christian doctrine, I’m asking a more practical question: what does it matter what we believe?

What is real love?

In that introduction I suggested that love has ontological status, that it is real. We tend to think of things that have substance as real, yet we know a lot of what is real has no substance in the way that a stone or a cup of tea has substance. Mathematics, we might say, is ontological because, for one thing, we know it “works.”

Here I won’t argue further for granting love something we can consider “real.” We’ll assume it is and ask “so what?”

Love is a feature in many belief systems, religions and philosophies. Karen Armstrong, a former Catholic sister, has written many books comparing religions and religiously motivated actions, but focuses on compassion as a central theme of spirituality and religion. We learn that Buddha had specific teachings on love:

“Love that involves clinging, lust, confusion, neediness, fear, or grasping to self would, in Buddhist terms, be seen as expressions of bondage and limitation.

Lovingkindness…

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Gerald R. Baron

Dawdling at the intersection of faith, science, philosophy and theology.