God loves others before himself?

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limamichelle

Puritan Board Freshman
I am currently reading this book by Timothy Shay Arthur, 1849 "Advice to Young Ladies on Their Duties and Conduct in Life".

In chapter two I came across this paragraph and I just can't agree/get my head round it. As I believe God loves Himself primarily and anything else would be idolatry for God!

Now, God is love; not self-love, but a love of making others outside of himself happy. Such being his nature, the beings created by his hand, in his image and likeness, must have been, in their original state, lovers of others more than themselves, and seekers of the happiness of others.

For context see the book online here: Advice to Young Ladies

What do you think he might be saying? Am I wrong or misinterpreting something... And I've tried to research this guy but not found anything concrete about his doctrine.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
The quote is this:

Now, God is love; not self-love, but a love of making others outside of himself happy. Such being his nature, the beings created by his hand, in his image and likeness, must have been, in their original state, lovers of others more than themselves, and seekers of the happiness of others.

This denies the aseity of God. God is His attributes so to make God's love dependent upon something outside of Himself is to make Him dependent upon the creature to be love. Love could not be an attribute of God because He could not *be* love except that He had an object of love outside of Himself. We would have to change the statement from "God is love" to "God became love when He had creatures to love."
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
As I believe God loves Himself primarily and anything else would be idolatry for God!

I encourage you to stand by this belief and not be moved from it. If we look at God's love in terms of the Trinity, we see it is absurd to think that the love of God must seek fulfilment outside of Himself. In Him infinite love meets with infinite worth and is requited with infinite love. God's love is given to the creature from His fulness, not from want.
 

timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
I am currently reading this book by Timothy Shay Arthur, 1849 "Advice to Young Ladies on Their Duties and Conduct in Life".

In chapter two I came across this paragraph and I just can't agree/get my head round it. As I believe God loves Himself primarily and anything else would be idolatry for God!

"Now, God is love; not self-love, but a love of making others outside of himself happy. Such being his nature, the beings created by his hand, in his image and likeness, must have been, in their original state, lovers of others more than themselves, and seekers of the happiness of others."

For context see the book online here: Advice to Young Ladies

What do you think he might be saying? Am I wrong or misinterpreting something... And I've tried to research this guy but not found anything concrete about his doctrine.

The author's error arises from his overlooking the reality that God is Triune. The persons in the Godhead love each other to overflowing and it is out of that fullness of love that God's love to man originates.
 

limamichelle

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you all, were doing a ladies group study on this book at the moment, and I wanted to figure out exactly how to explain that "self-love" statement which I believe to be in error. Even if his following sentences after that seem reasonable.
 
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