The Nature of Sacrificial Love

Author: Peter Kreeft

Love is a word that we throw around a lot, both in Christianity and in our culture. We love our children, our spouses, our car, our days-off, and that one particular burner on the stove that is the best. With all this love . . . it’s hard to say if it really means anything beyond a generalized affection that ultimately costs nothing and gives even less.

Peter Kreeft takes us back to the basics. When God says that He loves us – what does that Love mean? How does it cost Him and us? How does it manifest? How is that love shown in the relationship between God and His children?

Kreeft has a sweeping style, one that often borders on shocking. For example, he’s not afraid to follow the Biblical illusion of sexual intimacy and God as a husband to its full potential – no matter how uncomfortable that makes contemporary readers. But Kreeft has a point, and His point, while it seems to be nearly heretical at times, is strictly Biblical. It makes us really think about the all-consuming, sacrificial nature of love, and how God leveraged the things that we can understand – romantic relationships and child/parent bonds – to explain this extraordinary love to us. Kreeft awakens us to the dynamic, physical, emotional, and spiritual nature of this love in a new way; God’s love is not the same old love we are used to espousing (and forgetting) on a daily basis. Kreeft spends a lot of time using scripture and the Greek theology of Agape to break down this nature of God and show where it is clearly exhibited.

Image by Karen .t from Pixabay

From here, the rest of the book is about application: theological, moral, practical, and even political. The strongest part of the book is admittedly the beginning, where Kreeft explains what love is and what God says about love via scripture. The rest of the book is vaguer, more an expression of opinion, and while it’s good, it loses some of the dynamism of the introductory chapters.

Overall, The God Who Loves You is a must read for all Christians, regardless of how mature you are in your faith. This book is a good introduction to love and the love language of the Bible. It’s also a good reminder to those of us who have become world wary to remember what love really is and how in accepting love we must engage in its ultimately sacrificial nature. Kreeft’s main point is that love of us cost God a lot, and in living in His love, we must be prepared to sacrifice as well, to respond to true love, which was bought at a blood price.

– Frances Carden

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Frances Carden
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