Love without Jesus is like Spiderman without a universe

To speak of love or forgiveness or mercy or grace apart from the story through which they take their form, shape, and meaning is like speaking about a character in a movie as though that character has significance apart from the stories in which he or she is known. It’s like speaking of Spiderman without first deciding which comic universe you are referencing. There will be recognizable elements across all universes – such as the name and the ability to shoot webs. But to think of Spiderman as a good or a bad guy, to define his normal disposition, to ask if he is emo or romantic – the answers are not the same in different comic universes. In the same way, love and grace and mercy and forgiveness will all take a different shape depending on whether the stories of Jesus or the stories of hollywood or any other stories supply the context in which each concept comes to life.

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