“He is a great friend of mine,” the man was saying, “a really fine fellow . . . good old what’s-his-name.”
At that moment I could not help questioning the depth of the friendship. Now it is possible the man was suffering one of those lapses of memory that grow all too common as we get older, but my doubts still suggests an important point:
You get to know the people you love.
Nobody would trust the profession of years of love from a man who could not tell you the colour of his beloved’s eyes. In the early days of a relationship, time itself does not seem long enough to talk. Shakespeare was right: the lover can be eloquent about his beloved’s eyebrow!
Of course, knowing isn’t the same thing as loving. The Fairest Flower in All Christendom has blue eyes. This is a fact, but now that you know my wife’s eyes are blue, this does not mean that you love her. If I love her, then I will know the colour of her eyes, but I could know it and not be in love with her.
It simply is not true of anyone that “to know them is to love them.” God is perfectly beautiful, but Satan saw God and hated Him. If this is possible in the case of God, no knowledge necessitates love.
Knowledge does not produce love, but real love does produce knowledge. While one can know about God and not love Him, nobody who loves God would wish to remain ignorant of His nature. Love drives a man to wonder about the object of his love and this is as true of God as it is about a sports team, a friend, or the family dog.
If a woman knows more about the desires of her cat than her husband, the marriage is in trouble.
Obviously this means that no Christian would intentionally ignore theology: the study of the nature of our beloved God. You do not have to read theology to be a Christian, but a Christian would read all the theology he could. Some theology may be beyond my ability, but Christians will do the best they can. Just as many men master other languages in order to woo a woman they admire, so those who can at all will learn Greek to read the Word of God in the original.
Two things are true about the God we love: He is a creator and He loves mankind. As a result, we will learn to love creation for His sake and serve the people He died to save. We will do science to follow His thoughts in creation and study history to know what His people have done and what He has done for His children.
Love creates wonder. The cosmos was created by love and is sustained by love and so is wonderful. Thinking is a natural result of love and thinking well is the desire of every man who wishes to love well.
A bit of Good News is that God loves us and knows our names. The Lord of Creation does not just feel kindly towards us, but knows us better than we know ourselves. He loves us despite knowing all about us!
Thankfully the final end of our loving came to Earth and took on a name so that we could love Him, too: Jesus.