The love [Agape] which the gospel demands is justified and validated only transcendentally. We are asked to love our enemies that we may be children of our Father in Heaven…
Topic: Love, Compassion, & Kindness
There is, nevertheless, a distinction between them [Eros and Agape]. The love [Agape] which the gospel demands is justified and validated only transcendentally. We are asked to love our enemies that we may be children of our Father in Heaven. An attitude of spirit is enjoined without any prudential or selfish consideration. We are not told to love our enemies because in that case they will love us in return. The love that is asked of us does not move on the plane of emotion or desire.
Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr, June 21, 1892 – June 1, 1971) was an American theologian, ethicist, commentator on politics and public affairs, and professor at Union Theological Seminary for more than 30 years. Niebuhr was one of America's leading public intellectuals for several decades of the 20th century and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964. A public theologian, he wrote and spoke frequently about the intersection of religion, politics, and public policy, with his most influential books including Moral Man and Immoral Society and The Nature and Destiny of Man, the second of which Modern Library ranked one of the top 20 nonfiction books of the twentieth century.
Love Your Enemies
Niebuhr, Reinhold. Love and Justice: Selections from the Shorter Writings of Reinhold Niebuhr. Westminster John Knox Press, 1957, p. 220 [Reinhold Niebuhr (Love Your Enemies, Christianity and Society, Autumn 1942)].
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