We’re at the point now of wrapping up our study of the love of God. As we have seen, there has been a lot of metaphysics involved. Tonight, we’re also going to see some exegesis. For those who do not know, our guide as we’ve been looking at the doctrine of God has been the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas. This can be read for free at newadvent.org. Tonight, we’re going to be asking the question of if God always loves better things more.
In this case, we have some passages and maybe the objections will show an interesting way of looking at the passages and while we wouldn’t interpret them that way, we can stop and think “I wonder why I never even had that question pop into my mind before?”
The Scriptures say that God so loved us that he gave his only Son for us and about how much God has given us in giving us Christ. Well who would give up a greater thing for a lesser thing? Since God sacrifices Christ for the world, then surely though Christ is the better, God still loves the world more.
But this is not so according to Aquinas. While God does will the good of the world, he wills the good of Christ more. We are not given a name above all names. We are not ontologically in the position of glory that Christ is in. If we looked at just the cross, maybe there could be a point, but there is the resurrection and the ascension as well.
But what about angels? Does not the Bible say that we are a little lower than angels, but yet he loves us more apparently? Aquinas answers that some angels are better than men and some men are better than angels. We are better than fallen angels, but the good angels are better than us. God assumed human nature because our needs were greater.
There is some debate in the medieval philosophers as to the salvation of fallen angels and one idea presented is that since each angel is its own species, they could not be saved because God would have to become each individual angel in order to save them, and he could not do that. There is no “angelic nature” as it were to save. There are angels to be saved.
But doesn’t the text also say that there is more rejoicing over one sinner who repents than ninety-nine who have no need of repentance? Yes it does. However, this is also become such a sinner is more penitent. Aquinas speaks of how it had been said that in battle, the general desires most the soldier who has fled and yet after fleeing bravely pursues the enemy, more than the one who has never fled, but also never done a brave deed.
Basically, God’s loving better things more is his willing something a greater good. This is especially so the more like something God is. Maybe it’s time we as Christians take seriously then the call to holiness and righteousness. It is something that we are constantly called to. We are not called to be successes in our careers or loved by the world, but we are called to be holy. Let us be.
Thus concludes our look at the love of God and we begin preparation for another section.