What If God Isn’t Love?

What If God Isn’t Love? August 22, 2023

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I have a friend who always challenges this assumption that God is Love every time someone mentions it. He’ll say something like “What if God isn’t love? What if God is Gratitude? Or something else?”

I guess it’s a good question. Why do we think “God is Love” is a true statement? For many of us, as former Evangelical Christians, the answer is that “it says so in the 1 John 4:8 “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love,” and also in verse 16 “God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”

But, what if your Deconstruction process has led you to the place where you really no longer approach the Bible as “The Word of God” but more so as a record of what some people used to think God was like, but not necessarily the exclusive perspective on the Divine?

What then?

That’s where it starts to become a bit more challenging. If our grip on Scripture has loosened over time, then it’s not enough to simply say, “The Bible says…” as an answer to this question.

Yes, it’s true that whoever wrote 1 John felt strongly that it was true that “God is love” but WHY did he think that? What convinced this person to write these words down? Who told this person that God is love? Why do we just accept these words at face value without stopping to challenge this notion that “God is Love”?

A few weeks ago a few of my friends and I began to talk about this together. We weren’t sure how to prove this idea that “God is love” outside of those two verses in the book of 1 John.

Eventually, we came to this conclusion: “We don’t know for certain if God is love or not. But, we like who we are when we assume that God is love.”

In other words, maybe God is love, and maybe not. We’re not sure. But, the decision to live our lives as if God is love has proven to be a better way to live, and a more fruitful experience in terms of kindness, compassion, mercy, grace and, yes, of course, love.

So, is God love? Maybe. Who can say? It’s helpful to know that at least this one guy who wrote 1 John thought so around 2,000 years ago. We’re not sure how this person came to that conclusion, but we’ve discovered the goodness that flows into and out of our lives whenever we assume that God really is love.

We can all agree, I think, that love is a beautiful, profound, and powerful spiritual force. Love transcends language, and music, and art. It can be expressed by those things – sound, words, beauty – but it is not those things. Love transforms us. It changes us from the inside out. It heals, and builds, and grows. Creativity and wonder flow from love. Love makes us brave, and courageous. Love makes us noble, and kind. Love makes our world a better place. Love makes our lives worth living.

So, maybe it’s true that God is love. Or, maybe not. But when I assume that God is love; when I begin to live out of that reality in my daily waking hours, what I find is that this love begins to permeate my senses and overcome my fears.

My life is better when I accept the notion that God is love, and that I am created in this same image of God’s love.

As the great Indian mystic and philosopher, Jiddu Krishnamurti observed: “Have you not noticed that love is silence? It may be while holding the hand of another, or looking lovingly at a child, or taking in the beauty of an evening. Love has no past or future, and so it is with this extraordinary state of silence.”

So, perhaps this is how we come to realize that God really is love: we sit quietly and listen; we wait in the stillness and the silence and when we do this, we begin to experience the presence of Divine love all around us, and in us, and through us.

Perhaps the only way anyone will ever truly find the answer to this question, “Is God love?”, is simply to immerse oneself in that endless, deep well of silence where love itself rests and awaits our discovery.

Is God love?

You tell me.


Join me starting Monday, Sept. 11 for a 3-week online course based on my book, SOLA DEUS.

In this course, we’ll explore questions like this one above, and also talk about, Pantheism, Panentheism, the Deification of Humanity, Spiral Dynamics, and much more.



Keith Giles is the best-selling author of the Jesus Un series. He has appeared on CNN, USA Today, BuzzFeed, and John Fugelsang’s “Tell Me Everything.” He hosts the Second Cup with Keith podcast, and co-hosts the Apostates Anonymous podcast, and the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast.

Find out more about his online courses HERE>

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