Monday, October 5, 2009

Tina Turner, Jonathan Edwards and Deuteronomy 6:5

Several posts below is a YouTube clip of Tina Turner belting out "A fool in love" and "I think it's gonna work out fine." Now here I am, a sixty year old minister posting this teenage goofiness on my blog. Why?

Because she gets it. She shows a capacity for intensity. Through the years, whenever I've seen people who showed a capacity for intensity and passion and wholeheartedness, I've been drawn to them. And I am repelled by listlessness, especially my own. Peel away the outer layer of silliness -- not that it's wrong -- and Tina Turner is demonstrating something powerful.

In his biography of Jonathan Edwards, page 497, George Marsden writes, "In the Edwardses' world, the meaning of life was found in intense loves, including earthly loves." It was the tone of their life together. They understood that God is of such a nature, creation is for such a purpose, redemption is of such a power, that intensity of love is the meaning of it all. Intensity. Passion. Wholeheartedness.

Deuteronomy 6:5 makes intense love the greatest commandment: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might." Moderate love is a sin. Maybe the worst sin.

As Augustine said, "Give me a man in love. He knows what I mean."