We live in a time of great division in the world, and too often we find this polarization mirrored in the church. People sitting in the same pew, working in the same office, and living on the same street find themselves at odds with one another politically and theologically on a variety of issues. Conflict seems to reign supreme. As Christians, we know we are supposed to love one another, but even that mandate has come to mean different things to different people. What does it mean to love God and neighbor today—in both the world and the church—and can this be the answer to the conflict that divides and polarizes us?
In Our Purpose Is Love, author David Field answers this question with a compelling “Yes!” as he challenges us to recognize and reclaim love as the center of our identity and purpose as the church. Field presents a Wesleyan vision of the church as the embodiment of God’s love in the world and explores the implications of this vision for our life together. In this vision, the church is where we become creatures of love, learning to love God and neighbor ever more completely and authentically through the means of God’s grace. As a result, we bear witness to the world by reflecting God’s love more and more perfectly in the way we treat others and order our common life. With a special focus on the importance of unity for the church’s witness, Field invites us to consider the ways in which embodying God’s love can and should influence how we live as individuals and as communities of faith, calling us to reclaim and recommit to love as the center of who we are.