A short manual about the theory and practice of Christian love.
Three things are eternal in the Christian world, writes St. Paul in 1 Corinthians: faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. Love similarly occupies a central position in Fields’ nonfiction debut, which takes as its main premise the equation of the Christian God with an all-knowing, all-embracing, all-forgiving love. The book is both a verse-guided look at the blueprint for Christian life (the ways in which the Bible shows its readers “the ways God wants you to live”) and a discourse on the pervasive place of love in the Christian faith. The author urges the faithful to love every day, and to learn the ways of love from God: “Ask him to teach you how to love,” Fields writes. “Study love everyday until you see a breakthrough in your character.” That last detail is crucial in Fields’ view of Christians’ duty: they must reshape their natures, the author says, in order to school themselves in the ways of love, and they must teach those ways to their children. Indeed, one segment of Fields’ study addresses children and teenagers directly, assuring them that they aren’t too young to start devoting their lives to Jesus and warning them of many things (including gossip, slander, and “bad language”) that aren’t pleasing to God. The book effectively echoes one of the fundamental urgings of Jesus Christ by reminding its readers that their love isn’t just for loved ones: they must love their enemies, as well, she says, with the ultimate goal of bringing them to a love of Christ. In this way, Fields hits a proselytizing note throughout the book, portraying love not just as a way of life, but also as a tool of conversion. “Love never fails,” the author assures her Christian readers in plain, direct language throughout the book—and that same audience will find plenty of things to discuss in its pages.
A passionate sermon on the pervasiveness of love in Christian teaching and its overwhelming importance in Christian life.