The First Duty of Love

Paul Johannes Tillich

This morning’s crossword quote is from theologian Paul Tillich:

“The first duty of love is to listen.”

To learn more about Paul Tillich click THIS LINK.

Most weeks I return to the works of Tillich. Paul Tillich has rescued many a faith, including my own, when doubt had been mis-perceived to be faith’s enemy.

“Doubt is not the enemy of faith; it is one element of faith.”

– Paul Tillich, The Dynamics of Faith

Tillich’s statement about faith and doubt go hand-in-glove with listening as the first duty of love. If you missed “Staying Together” on Views from the Edge’s, scroll down.  Steve’s poem puts these two Tillich quotes into practice of listening. Here’s a sip:

“Listen, learn, respect, rephrase, repeat

before you even start to speak.”

3 thoughts on “The First Duty of Love

  1. that reminds me of the title of a book by Sydney Carter called the “Rock of Doubt”. (He was composer of ‘Lord of the Dance’ and an English quaker). I have yet to track down a copy of it unfortunately.


    • just after I wrote that comment, I read this church motto: “In essentials unity; in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things, charity.”
      It is the motto of the Congregational Church, which my parents grew up in. The only requirement of church membership was faith in Christ and not agreement to a particular creed or doctrine. In the 60’s the NZ Congregation Church united with the Presbyterians – who in NZ are represent the more conservative and doctrinaire branch of the Free Kirk. A rather difficult marriage.
      As I am getting more involved in the Anglican Church, I thought I should really understand more about my Congregation roots. So I started reading one of the books Dad left me. Suddenly, I realise why our family had such an open and accepting approach to faith.
      Journeys in faith just get more interestinger and interestinger.


      • Indeed, interestinger and interestinger every step of the way! I suspec the Congregational Church adapted the motto of the Moravian Church that dates back to Jan Huss. I love it. “In essentials unity; in non-essentials liberty; and in all things love.” Something like that.


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