Tuesday, October 20, 2020


Affectionate love is a reflection of the image of God. If we want to live the kind of life that God wants us to live, then we need to learn how to be more spontaneous and warm in our love for one another.

As a whole person, I need the love of my fellows. And in order to make them whole persons I need to give them my love, too. That is what philia is all about.

The relative importance of the two kinds of love, eros and philia, is graphically expressed by Lewis when he asks two friends now married what they would do if they were offered a choice between ceasing to be lovers and remaining friends, or losing friendship and retaining only ‘the wonders, raptures and wild desires of eros.’

Which would we choose? he asks.  And which choice would we not regret after we had made it?

What a decision to make! Fortunately, most people do not have to make it. And both kinds of love are so closely integrated that in some ways, it is an absurd choice, like deciding between your arms and your legs.

If we did, we would, of course, choose philia. One can live without eros and still be content. But, without philia, loving friendship, life is almost impossible to bear.

To read more on this topic see Living in the Image of God, Barry Chant (Miranda: Tabor, 2012 available in eBook and Paperback) from which this edited extract is taken.

Barry Chant

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Barry Chant is a regular speaker at church services, seminars, conferences and conventions. Hundreds of thousands of his books have been sold around the world. He has degrees in arts, theology and ministry, a diploma in education and a PhD in history. He was the co-founder and former president of Tabor College, Australia.

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