Recently I received an unsolicited book entitled Common Sense Religion. The book title implies that there is a religious understanding which makes sense, but then the author proceeds to warn that common sense was a dangerous way to try to understand God. While I would agree that God and His ways are counterintuitive, I don’t believe that God operates arbitrarily in contravention to any human sense of fairness, as many would suggest.
In his 73 page book, the author attempts to explain the key, essential elements of the biblical message. For him the message is this: Be sure you know what is true because the truth is necessary to escape God’s wrath. His is the age old orthodox message with the appropriate adjustments to honor the author’s particular denominational traditions.
While 73 pages may seem a considerable abbreviation of the 2000 page message in the Bible itself, I think the message can be even further simplified. I John 4:8 says God is Love. I Corinthians 13:8 says Love never fails. To never fail means never to cease and never to be unsuccessful in achieving its purpose. That for me captures the Bible message in six words: God is Love. Love never fails. We can argue about whether unfailing divine love makes sense or not, but it is concept whose elegant majesty has thrilled countless hearts throughout human history.
If judgment is the final answer, then God is not Love because Love and mercy are not compatible with fear and judgment (I John 4:18; James 2:13). Either Love is the answer or there is no answer, because God is Love.