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Twice Conquering Love
Twice Conquering Love

Rev. Geoffrey Bingham

by Rev. Geoffrey Bingham

Subject: Love: Short Stories

Book Code: 258

Book Code: 265

Pages: 165 pp, Book

Pub. Date: 1993

ISBN: 0 86408 149 9

Download 339 kb

 

 

Twice Conquering LoveFOREWORD

The Love that Really Loves

Over the years I have written a number of books on love. This is not to be wondered at, since love is the primary thing in all of human life and experience. This is because 'love is of God', that is, all love comes from God and God only, as the Apostle John once wrote. Twice he said, 'God is love,' and this is perhaps the simplest statement of the matter, and also the most profound. Each time I have written a book on love, the ideas that come seem to be fresh, and sometimes different. One might ask, 'Why write more than one book on love?' The question is reasonable, yet the fact is that love is all-embracing since God is all of love. New insights, new discoveries, new experiences will always be flowing from the love of God, for that is His nature. This is a simple reason and justification for yet another book on love.

For some months I have been unashamedly writing a book on the theology of love. A theologian once said that love is the most theological thing of all. Only a certain type of reader likes to read books that are wholly theological. Every so often folk tell me, 'Your books are difficult to read and understand.' I accept this impression, although to my own mind they seem simple enough. Some writers have the ability to write easily read books on theological subjects. I trust that they write with the depth true theology requires. In my own case there are certain books I have written which go on selling because most readers seem to understand them, and feel that they have personal application to their lives.

Having completed my book on the theology of love, I still wished to communicate the living substance of that book for those who find theological reading difficult. Since most people find my stories-whether fact or fiction-easily readable, I thought I would write a book of short stories, some fact, some fiction, which would bring through in a simple way the living theology of love. Having lived for over seventy years means I have had numberless experiences of love myself, have been in innumerable situations of love, and so have a fund of stories which might be said to be inexhaustible. The difficulty in writing this present volume was to keep it to a reasonable size.

The thrust of the book is to show that there is human love, and there is Divine love. God is love: Man is made in the image of God, that is, the image of Love, so that he is essentially constituted as a creature of love. Had he not rebelled against God, had he not fallen, and had he not separated himself from his Creator, then he would have loved with a pure love. This he does not do, for all human love is tainted, even though sometimes it shows itself in rather wonderful acts and ways. Sometimes human love is also shown in terrible, cruel and utterly selfish ways. The love of God is shown in the fact that He never deserted Man, and planned the incarnation of His Son in order to bring life and love afresh to His creatures, thus bringing them back to the richness of true love.

Human beings are often deceived into thinking that love which springs from themselves can be pure. This present volume seeks to show that this is not the case. Even so, God has so moved that His love, which is known by Christians as agape (a Greek word for love), can become the experience of human beings. This agape transcends fallen human love, which is sometimes known by the Greek word eros. Eros in all its forms of noble actions-giving to others, being a friend, and so on-must be seen as a good thing. There is the love of man and woman, love that we call marital, familial and social, and all such forms are fine and proper, yet if they do not flow from the pure love of God, they are always defective. Eros has behind it the drive of getting something for what it gives, even if it often seems that this is not really the case. Agape is pure love, not giving to get, but just giving which is unmotivated by any form of selfishness.

I am sure many of us think eros is agape, and agape is eros. That is what this book is about-showing the fallacy of eros and the sheer wonder and glory of agape. I hope that my writing shows my admiration for much that is eros, but primarily my hope is that many will seek to know the best of love which is agape.

When, then, we speak of 'Twice-Conquering Love' in this book, we mean that eros is very powerful. It is so strongly human, because its source is wholly human. It may well be that it is Divine love (agape) humanised to become eros. Whatever the case, it certainly conquers men and women; yet agape makes its way to the very 'secret heart' of a person and there defeats eros—the human love. God as love is revealed and so brings a person to the knowledge and experience of agape-'twice-conquering love'.

I hope that the stories, whilst being entertaining, will convey the richness and desirability of such love, true love, God Himself in action in our lives.

Geoffrey Bingham