Greek conceptions of love1

In Greek thinking there are three (or four) different concepts of love:

  • Eros: Attraction, romantic/sexual love
  • Philia: extended self-love
    • ”philos” actually meaning “self”, a word that can be extended to friends or family (“philia”)
    • Love your friends, hate your enemies
  • Agape: God’s perfect, redemptive love

Agape love is based on who God is

Eros and Philia come both out of self-centered human longings. Agape is based on who God is. “God is Agape”: 8.

  • Eros says “I am nice to who is attractive”. Agape loves even in ugliniess (8)
  • Philia says “Love your friends, hate your enemies”. Agape says “love your enemies” 44.

1 Cor 13:4–7 describes what this Agape love looks like.

We will be known by our Agape love

John 13:34–35: Love is our Evangelism strategy.


  1. Fatherheart of God (DTS 2021)