On Not "Loving" God by S. M. Hutchens

On Not "Loving" God

by S. M. Hutchens

I feel, I must say, little emotional attachment to the Lord—hardly any of what is normally called "love"—but doubt if any Christian should be troubled by that. Loyalty, gratefulness, desire for his approval (but not enough), yes. But I deeply mistrust affective attachment as evidence of love. Obedience is the thing, for in that we are so frequently and obviously deficient as to be able to use it as an accurate measure of love. I find it difficult to detach "love" from the idolatry given to a god invented according to our desires, for the True God, worthy of infinite love, is not "lovable," except perhaps to the greatest of saints, of which surely there are few. I think one goes on a fool's errand when he tries to excite himself into a state of mind where he "loves" God. I may be wrong, but whenever anyone says, "Here is one of those saints," I still take the liberty of doubting it and think myself better off for the doubt, for much folly and division is occasioned by the exaltation of men, even the best of men.

S. M. Hutchens is a Touchstone senior editor.

Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!


Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.

more from the online archives

29.5—Sept/Oct 2016

Dying of Despair

on the Loss of True Community & Rising Political Desperation by Karl D. Stephan

30.1—Jan/Feb 2017

The Heart of Paradise

The Godly Hierarchies of Love & Marriage by Diane Woerner

31.6—November/December 2018

Enduring Sacrilege

The Slow Vindication of Leon Podles by S. M. Hutchens

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone