Sure. At a certain level I’m inclined to agree with this. Yes, love for Jesus is the end game of Christianity. At another level, though, I’m driven to inquire: Jesus who? The Jesus formed in your image or Jesus Christ (which may be better translated as an appositional genitive – Jesus the Messiah). In other words, while love for God is important, knowing Whom it is we love is also important. Nowadays, as Wright has argued, we can’t just assume we all mean the same thing when we use the word God. While the open theists portray a God who cannot know the future, the conservatives are just as guilty at times of construing God as a 35 year old upper middle class caucasian republican male who hates backbeats and despises alchohol.
Alright, enough talk, time to make the rubber meet the road. Here’s a good test: Would the God you serve ever endorse public nudity? Wow. Where did that come from? My point is many might be quick to answer: NO! Of course not! That would foster lust and other forms of sin. But have we answered that from the texts we know, or from the presuppositions of our 21st Century American sense of morality (which should not be confused with Biblical Ethics, though it frequently is). Maybe some astute thinkers a might consider this a trick question: Adam and Eve right? But of course we’re not in the Garden of Eden anymore. Things are dramatically different today (phew, thank goodness for dispensationalism J). Not what I had in mind. Check out Isaiah 20:1-3 when you get the chance, you might be surprised what God might do. Yeah, there’s disagreement about the translation, but only the NIV can bail you out here and I think it’s wrong.
So what’s my point in this ‘extreme’ example? Let’s be careful not to be so carried away by a concern for reading the Scriptures with an eye to obedience that we project back on to them what we are to obey. Perhaps we need to read them to understand before we obey. Let the Scriptures themselves shape and if necessary, purge our presuppositions that we may know the God we pursue (don’t be confused, this is NOT at odds with Baylor’s great post about Grenz). In avoiding the conservative equivalent of dichotomizing faith and history, we may just have to let our head lead our heart. At the very least, and more likely, we need to hold the two in a sort of symbiotic (mutually dependent) tension.