Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Leonard I. Sweet
The twenty first century has a myriad of issues that people are passionate about, from sports to social concerns such as Habitat for Humanity. For example, consider when Apple introduces a new iPhone, people will sleep overnight outside the Apple store to be one of the first to obtain the new product. The question that I pondered over the last ten years is why aren’t Christians clamoring with the same type of energy when talking about their relationship with God? The pre-biblical Greek understanding of agape has become amplified in the manner in which Christians live out their faith. The profoundness of agape redefined by Jesus of Nazareth, exhibits a form of love that no one has seen before and since his physical presence. For two millennia, Christianity has struggled to live out the pragmatic and practical nature of agape. Jesus’ example of love cannot be accommodated realistically. The challenge of this text will be to ask the reader to re-imagine eros, a word that has been ‘nixed’ by the writers of the New Testament, the early Christian Fathers, and a majority of Christian theologians for the past 2000 years.
The challenge will be for the reader to re-imagine the 2000 year sexual, possessiveness form of love ascribed to eros and see the potential for this form of love to become our response to the divine agape exhibited by Jesus the Christ. Eros provides a means by which we can respond with a passion for God that can impact those in and outside Christianity. Re-imaging eros can provide a framework by which we can modify the metaphor for having a relationship with God to instilling a concept of a vital pragmatic relationship, leading us to move beyond loving God to possibly falling in love with God.
Lindstrom, Christopher Peter, "Re-Imagining Eros: Dare to Fall in Love with God" (2015). Doctor of Ministry. 100.