Persuasion of Love, The
What would happen if we really believed that the meaning of the universe is love?
The Persuasion of Love examines the implications of believing that ‘the meaning of the universe is love’. It is axiomatic that the Christian faith is about the love of God, but John Blakely seeks to delve behind this easy assertion by proposing that all human love has God as its source, even if marred by human failings, and by exploring what it might mean for God to have created out of love. Viewing theodicy through the lens of love, the book finishes with a lyrical reflection on the fact that suffering is built into the universe because of its source in the love of God, and that we live in the ‘now and not yet’ - in tension between the glory of creation and the agony of the cross, before the future glory of the new creation.
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I would heartily recommend it as warranting more than one reading. ~ Ray Vincent, Progressive Voices 29 - May 2019
If love is the basic principle of the universe, and that universe is the creation of the God of love, how do we understand pain, suffering and environmental damage? Blakely offers a powerful answer weaving the centrality of the resurrection, insights and parallels from performance (as a top-class musician) and thoughtful discourses on science, particularly climate science. As would be expected by any of us who read his previous book [God in the Dark, written under the pseudonym Peter Longson], his meditations on the nature of human loving and relationship – how love is shown by constraining ourselves in relationships to support the other’s growth and flourishing – are unexpected and rich. A confident, multidisciplinary, surprisingly optimistic contribution to the puzzling state of our world today. ~ The Revd David Dadswell, Diocesan Secretary, Diocese of Lincoln
‘If we are willing to do as God has done and risk everything for love, then he may be able to surprise us,’ says John Blakely. This book is an inspiring and poetic meditation on love, desire and grief in the context of Christian faith. Using practical insights from personal suffering, from science and scripture, from theology and from his professional musicianship, John Blakely writes beautifully about how our experiences of love challenge us to expand our thinking and doing in response to the love of God. Read it with joy, risk everything, and be surprised into action by the depths of God’s love in us and for us and for all the world. ~ The Very Revd Dr David Ison, Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, London
Once again John Blakely enriches not just the faith of Christians but of anyone who wants seriously to try and understand the perplexing world in which we live. These riches grow from his painstaking and logical analysis of the Biblical conviction that God is love, and where love is God is. But this is not sterile theological exploration. Blakely challenges us as individuals, as the Church and as a community. He brilliantly extends that challenge to our thinking and living in the environment. If God is love, became incarnate in Christ and walked 'the earth', our love for God should compel us to take the environment and climate change with serious urgency. ~ The Revd Canon Dr John Searle OBE, Canon Emeritus, The Cathedral Church of St Peter in Exeter.