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God has only one love, for he is the ultimately integrated and whole self.But his love for us has to take on the nature of a sacrificial love because in our sin we lost our original attractiveness.
God's agape does not "transcend" his eros, but expresses it.But we may suppose that he loves with genuine desire for his loved ones and the pleasure they give him in fellowship and praise.On the other hand, it would be false to picture God as loving on two separate tracks.(Eerdmans, 1978) to my father on his birthday, because I think its 135 pages are packed with profound and practical insight into 1 Corinthians 13. Yet the language is through-and-through down to earth: "suffering is having to endure what we want very much not to endure." Nothing fancy about that, nevertheless, bull's-eye!There must be a hundred choice turns-of-phrase that make the mind wake up to reality.For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
He is author of more than 50 books, including A Peculiar Glory.
This love is God's power to transcend the needs of eros.
It is God's self moving outward by the power of his own being, to seek the salvation of his sinful creatures without demand for the pleasure of a great return on his sacrifice (p. These sentences are brimming with theological perceptions.
Love enables us to do what love obligates us to do" (p. Therefore, 1 Corinthians 13 must be read as a promise of divine power before it is read as a command. One is "our human weakness, which is a combination of our finitude and our sinfulness" (p. The other is that "we must live by powers and demands alongside of and different from agape. There is a link between the third and fourth features of agapic love. It is a gift of God built into our creaturely incompleteness, driving us to seek what is good and true and beautiful, and to create communion with others." Romance, friendship, family love, and love for God are all eros.
Second, "the promise of love's power is received only in an astounding act of faith." And "faith in love comes only after a soul's journey to Christ's cross, where God's love breaks through for what it is" (p. The only way to keep love alive "is to come back to the cross of Christ, where divine power healed the world by becoming weak within the world" (p. "This power is the love of God for us in the form of crucified love, the love we discover when we see Christ's cross as God's entrance into our lives with a love that forgives " (p. Third, the agapic love Paul speaks of "works within the limits [hence the book's title] of human life" (p. The third feature says: "Agapic love must do its work within the limits created by " (p. The fourth defines agapic love precisely so as to distinguish it from eros. Agapic love, on the other hand, "is not a seeking, grasping, holding love, but a giving love, a love that lets go. It is the power to move us toward another person with no expectation of reward" (p. "Love gives, knowing that it will never come to a time when it can finally ask something for itself" (p. Nevertheless Smedes rejects "the extreme Protestantism that praises agape in order to make eros look ungodly" (p. Even "God loves erotically in the finest sense of that word.
93), they are, as he says, not "desperate needs," but rather needs that flow from fulness. 14) and his , for he is the ultimately integrated and whole self." If only Smedes had spelled out the implications of this unity more fully, not only for God but also for persons who have God as their model!