Love Alone is Credible § 1
Over the course of the next few days I’ll be posting a series of reflections on Hans Urs von Balthasar’s book, Love Alone is Credible.
Here is the first installment:
Over the course of the history of Christianity, by a variety of means and methods, thinkers in the church have attempted to articulate the logic and truth of the gospel in such a way as to persuade and even overwhelm the many “logics” of the world. Compelled by the Holy Spirit, the church offers her apologia, her defense of the logic of faith, in order to provide justification for her faith in the living Logos of God, Christ Jesus. The New Testament authors fervently claimed that all of the hopes, dreams, and expectations of the people of Israel, and indeed the entire world, had been fulfilled in a Galilean peasant. According to the earliest witnesses the person and work of Jesus Christ was “in accordance with the scriptures” (1 Cor 15:3-4). Further, in the ancient and medieval world the logic and credibility of the gospel was presented with reference to cosmology and world history. When these arguments became increasingly less persuasive to the modern “enlightened” mind, Christian apologists turned to the individual subject, appealing instead to our shared “religious experience.” However, as Hans Urs von Balthasar cogently argues in his magnificent work, Love Alone is Credible, both of these approaches ultimately fail, “for neither the world as a whole nor man in particular can provide the measure for what God wishes to say to man in Christ”(10). Instead, von Balthasar claims that the “logic” of the gospel is only credible as love, that is, “as God’s own love, the manifestation of which is the glory of God” (10).