In my last post, I highlighted a WSJ article that reminded me of some of iMonk's confessional pieces. I responded in a comment to him, and I'll say it here, too: I find some of his posts very helpful. So in the spirit of equal time, here's an example.
For Valentine's Day, he wrote a piece about Romantic Love. Here's his opening statement:
As best I can tell, romance is our poor imitation version of the love of God that is ours in the Gospel; a kind of minor league salvation story for people who need to be “saved” from being alone and unloved.
Wham! How's that for an in-your-face assessment?
Now, we need to define terms here. I'm using the traditional definition of Romantic love (the one I learned in Integrated Humanities), the same one Shakespeare talks about. I'm hoping he's talking about the same one, because if not, I'm putting my foot in my mouth.
Nevertheless, I think I'm on safe ground, because he goes on to mention Shakespeare himself. I like how he puts it here, when he compares Romeo's soliloquies to Fifty Cent's lyrics:
...the contemporary version gives a far purer version of what is really going on. When the veneer of piety is removed, the truer version of romance . . . remains.
Next, he talks about marriage counseling, and makes this observation:
Even if I were to hand them over to a relationship counselor of the highest order, if he were not a God-centered counselor, there would be cracks in the new foundation.
Further, I believe that if I send them down the path of resurrecting romance as our culture understands it, I will have diminished the greatest capacity for experiencing the joy of marriage: the personal experience of the love of God in the Gospel. I will have signed on to a cultural ritual where Christ is not Lord, and the highest goals are reached with no reference to Jesus. Without Jesus, we do not know if we have climbed a step-ladder or an Alp.
He's moving in the same direction I would, which is that there is a distinction between romantic love and Godly love. (BTW, in Greek, the distinction is plain, because they have different words for love. In English, we use the word "love" in different ways, like "I love coffee," or "I love my wife," but it would be better and easier to understand if I had different words.)
I won't get into his Q&A--you can read it if you'd like. And I'm not going to say that I agree with everything he writes here (which doesn't really mean anything, because I've yet to find anyone that I agree with on everything).
But instead of quibbling about details, I'd rather affirm his point in the main: Romantic love (love as our society sees it), is complete bosh, and worthless when put up against the surpassing greatness of God's love for us.