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C.S. Lewis on Love

C.S. Lewis on Love
Dr. Art Lindsley
Given the centrality of love in Biblical teaching, it is not surprising that C.S. Lewis commented on love a great deal. He recognized different kinds of love in his book The Four Loves (affection, friendship, romance, and charity-agape). There is no way we could do justice to all the wide-ranging comments he made on the subject—so we will focus on a few observations on “agape” love.

First, C.S. Lewis believed that (agape) love is not primarily a matter of feeling but of will. Obviously, it would be ideal if both duty and desire are fully present in our emotional and spiritual life. But we need to remember that love is commanded. We are obliged to love whether we like it or not. Thus Lewis says, “Christian love, either towards God or towards man, is an affair of the will.” In another place, Lewis amplifies this thought further, “Love in the Christian sense, does not mean an emotion. It is a state not of feelings but of the will; that state of the will which we have naturally about ourselves, and must learn to have about other people.” It is good to have the feelings as well. Lewis says about the affections that, “if they ever also play their part, so much the better. . .

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Arthur W. Lindsley

Arthur W. Lindsley is the Vice President of Theological Initiatives at the Institute for Faith, Works, & Economics. He has served at the C.S. Lewis Institute since 1987 both as President until 1998 and currently as Senior Fellows for Apologetics. Formerly, he was director of Educational Ministries at the Ligonier Valley Study Center, and Staff Specialist with the Coalition for Christian Outreach. He is the author of C.S. Lewis's Case for Christ, True Truth, Love: The Ultimate Apologetic, and co-author with R.C. Sproul and John Gerstner of Classical Apologetics, and has written numerous articles on theology, apologetics, C.S. Lewis, and the lives and works of many other authors and teachers. Art earned his M.Div. from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of Pittsburgh.  

COPYRIGHT: This publication is published by C.S. Lewis Institute; 8001 Braddock Road, Suite 301; Springfield, VA 22151. Portions of the publication may be reproduced for noncommercial, local church or ministry use without prior permission. Electronic copies of the PDF files may be duplicated and transmitted via e-mail for personal and church use. Articles may not be modified without prior written permission of the Institute. For questions, contact the Institute: 703.914.5602 or email us.

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