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date: 23 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This article analyzes the character of Christian love in Agape and Eros. It considers some major themes on their own terms and whether those terms can bear the fullness of the Gospel vision to which Nygren would be faithful, in an effort to bring forth something of the power and the limits of this classic in Christian ethics. It is argued that agapē generally includes a self-concerned but non-egocentric desire for loving relation with another, for its own sake; that God's love for the sinner in her real individuality is also for a beloved child who lives in Christ and is called as such to participate in the divine life; that this participation may be an object of non-possessive desire fully encompassed by God's gracious mercy and power; and that the sinner as real covenant partner may respond out of that desire in self-giving love for God that corresponds to her God-given nature and thus to her good.

Keywords: Christian love, gospel, faith, Christian ethics, God

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