The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


What about unconditional love?

Yes, it is dangerous

Kenneth M. Trexler (February, "Letters") indulges in what seems to be for some a very popular pastime—labeling someone “liberal” so their views can be trivialized, dismissed or demonized. Walter Bouman was one of my seminary professors, a dedicated and faithful teacher and one of the most truly Christian people I ever have met. Trexler also wonders about scriptural support for the concept of “unconditional love.” Tell him to try looking at Romans 8:38-39 just for starters. He is right about one thing, though—unconditional love is a dangerous concept. I believe it even got Jesus killed.

Steven M. Krebill
Berea, Ohio

Trexler and the rest of us aren’t loved because of our deeds or our opinions. Jesus loves us. Period. No conditions. Saved or unsaved, we still are loved. We are commanded to love each other in the same way. Is it dangerous? Well, sometimes it gets thrown back at us as unreasonable hatred. When what we might call the worst of persons is seen in the light of Jesus’ love, we must forgive. I suppose this is dangerous because the person is free to strike again. That’s part of the cost of discipleship. Unconditional love is better than unreasonable hatred.

Richard I. Learned
Meredith, N.H.

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February issue


Embracing diversity