In reply to my last letter, you ask,
"Is [seeking another's good] the ONLY expression [of love]?
Yes, I do believe so. Every expression of love can be summed up by this phrase. There is nothing loving that we can do for another person that is not for their good. If we do something harmful to another person, this is not love, but hate. If we do nothing at all for another person, this is not love, but indifference. The only other alternative is to do good for another person.
By Good, I mean that for which we are created and properly ordered. A "good" car is one that runs properly and gets the ideal gas mileage, etc. that it was designed to achieve. A car whose brakes are shot or whose tires are flat, etc. is not a good car.
Seeking another's good is not the same thing as simply doing nice things for them. Sometimes the things we (or God) must do for one's good do not seem nice, at least at the time, but they are designed to bring about a greater Good, a greater orientation and achievement of the purpose for which that person was ultimately created.
Obviously, the Ultimate Good is God Himself, and so our ultimate good is union with Him.
You say that you could agree with this entire argument, if seeking the good of another was all there was to love. I'm not sure what else there is to love, once one understands what is meant by "good".
In my last letter, I wrote,
God chose to create us, not because He needed to, but out of the infinite Love that He is, within Himself. He does not need us to love Him, nor does He need us in order for Him to be Love, because all the love He needs, all the Love that He is, is summed up within Himself--in the Three Persons of the Trinity. Everything else is simply an overflow of that great love, finding its expression in creation, redemption, and relationship with Him.I italicised the pertinent portions, because you quoted this paragraph back to me, and stated that you disagreed with it because I am "somewhat mandating that God needs to create us", as you put it.
Eric, forgive me for saying so, because this might sound harsh--but I'm not sure how else to make myself clear. You're disagreeing with me above because you seem to think that I just said the exact opposite of what I actually did say. I said, paraphrasing, that God doesn't need us, because He is perfect and unchanging. Thus His love mandates that He is Trinity, so that His perfect Love would be unchanging and not need anyone or anything to complete it.
You object to this by saying that God doesn't need anything, because He is perfect, and that somehow, in saying just that very same thing, I said that God does need something.
So, my frustration lies here: First, you seem unable to define or understand the definition of Love. Second, you seem unable to define or understand the definition of Good. Third, you completely misunderstand what I've just stated in plain English, to mean the utter and exact opposite of what I just said. After doing all of this, you claim that you disagree with me. In other words, you claim that I am wrong.
If you cannot understand these basic philosophical concepts, nor understand what I write to you, being from the same or at least a similar culture to you, speaking the same (though spelled slightly differently) language as you, how can I expect you to properly interpret the Bible, which was originally written in two ancient languages between 3500 and 1900 years ago, in entirely different cultures? How can, in light of this, you absolutely make the claim that I am wrong, and you are right, if you cannot even understand what I have said? This is why discussing theology with you has been so frustrating.
Our conversation so far, I think, has been going nicely here. But please, that can only continue if you take the time to read and understand my comments.
May the Spirit of Understanding guide our minds and hearts to the Truth.
(Category: Theology Proper: The Holy Trinity.)