Friday, 19 February 2010

Spirituality : Eros love vs Agape faith

David F. Wells in his document "Eros spirituality Vs Agape faith" highlights the difference between the Holy Love of God in the bible and the "New Age" concept of love which are introduced by postmodern spirituality. Eros is considered the type of love described by “Mysticism”

He explains: "the contrast between biblical faith and this contemporary spirituality is that between two entirely different ways of looking at life and at God." One world-view, which are referred to as "Eros", has the self at the center and the other, called "Agape", has God who is at the center". The understanding of Eros about God and salvation is diametrically opposed to what we have in biblical faith.

David F. Wells states: "The movement of Eros spirituality is upward. Its essence, its drive, is the sinner finding God. The movement of Agape, by contrast, is downward. It is all about God finding the sinner. Eros spirituality is the kind of spirituality which arises from human nature and it builds on the presumption that it can forge its own salvation. Agape arises in God, was incarnate in Christ, and reaches us through the work of the Holy Spirit opening lives to receive the gospel of Christ’s saving death. In this understanding, salvation is given and never forged or manufactured. Eros is the projection of the human spirit into eternity, the immortalizing of its own impulses. Agape is the intrusion of eternity into life coming, not from below, but from above. Eros is human love. Agape is divine love. Human love of this kind, because it has need and want at its center, because it is always wanting to have its needs and wants satisfied, will always seek to control the object of its desires. That is why in these new spiritualities it is the spiritual person who makes up his or her beliefs and practices, mixing and matching and experimenting to see what works best, and assuming the prerogative to discard at will. The sacred is therefore loved for what can be had from loving it. The sacred is pursued because it has value to the pursuer and that value is measured in terms of the therapeutic payoff. There is, therefore, always a profit-and-loss mentality to these spiritualities. By contrast, in Agape faith, God is not loved simply for the benefits that flow from that loving such as the forgiveness of sins. He is loved for what he is in himself. If Eros loves the sacred because it is worth doing, Agape, by contrast, loves God without ulterior motives. Agape surrenders; Eros grasps. Agape loves simply and only because it should, because God is most lovable."

The love of Christ both wounds and heals, it fascinates and frightens, it kills and makes alive, it draws and repulses. There can be nothing more terrible or wonderful than to be stricken with love for Christ so deeply that the whole being goes out in a pained adoration of His person, an adoration that disturbs and disconcerts while it purges and satisfies and relaxes the deep inner heart. A.W. Tozer

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