From Bob Hyatt’s review of The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning:
It’s just that in the drive to reduce everything down to “God loves you!” I can’t help but feel some important nuances are lost…Is God jealous for His own glory at all? Or is He simply all about ME?
I’ve been chewing on this since I read it. Admittedly I fall in the category of those who believe that the more we know God’s love for us, the better. Of course I don’t want to be guilty of being narcissistic or disrespectful in a way that diminishes God’s glory.
God’s purpose in creation was to include mankind in His fellowship. Why this extreme gesture of generosity, love, and inclusion extended to us? I don’t know.
Although it seems contradictory, the more I dwell in the Father’s love for me, the greater my capacity to respond to His love in worship and loving others. In fact, it is only His love in me that can fuel this response. I would suggest that an individual’s revelation of His love is the proper acknowledgment and reflection of His glory.
The world is desperate to know, yet reluctant to really believe the truth that God loves them. They don’t need to be convinced of their alienation, guilt, or sin. In fact, these very things are often the barrier to accepting the love the Father has for them.
If the “just love” message is trivialized, perhaps we actually tarnish His glory. God’s glory isn’t the image of an abstract and distant deity. His glory is the essence of the fullness of His love, His very being. I don’t believe there can be a genuine expression of God’s glory that doesn’t resound with His extravagant love for mankind.
So what are the nuances that are lost if the message is reduced to “God loves you”?
I would suggest that whatever they are, they ultimately point back to God’s love for ME (and you).