Christian Neighbor Love: An Assessment of Six Rival Versions by Garth L. Hallett

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By Garth L. Hallett

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20 Doubtless, too, "limitless" giving should not be understood as giving that incapacitates the giver for greater service; the neighbor's future needs should also be considered. Thus, "limitless" love does indeed recognize a limit; "uncalculating" love does at least some calculating. And even if a strongly altruistic stance is intended, what precise stance is it: Self-Subordination? Self-Forgetfulness? Self-Denial? Which of these alternatives is deemed preferable, and why? Mere assertion of an answer to a question, as though no other answers existed, is no substitute for defense and elucidation of the favored solution.

88 I pick this incident because of the stark simplicity of the comparisons Williams was able to make. He knew nothing of the four survivors with whom he found himself. He knew nothing of their characters, occupations, life expectancies, dependents, or potential contributions to society. He knew only that they were human beings as he was. Each time the lifeline came to him, it was life versus life, and Williams in each instance gave preference to another's life over his own. This the norm of Other-Preference would clearly ask of him whereas the norm of Parity would not.

The work has profited greatly from their generous help. SAINT LOUIS, MISSOURI Page 1 1 A Neglected Question In the view of many Christians, the gospel command of neighbor-love lacks neither clarity nor force, however much our thinking may dim or dilute it. "It is somehow hard to grasp and to hold firmly," Paul Furfey for instance observes, "the simple truth that love is the Christian's sole moral obligation. " For Furfey, "the familiar texts in which Jesus Christ stated categorically and in the clearest possible language the primacy of love" offer ample guidance.

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