When Eternal Agape Came Down to Us. I’ve previously written about the Trinity being a “solution” rather than a “problem” for Christians, particularly as it provides an eternal foundation for love (agape). Love was not created but is an eternal, personal, binding characteristic of the three persons of the Trinity.
Islam claims Allah is self-sufficient, eternal, and loving, but since Allah is a monad – god in one person, this is a contradiction. Love requires something to love. This makes Allah dependent on something else for an essential and eternal characteristic. Islam vehemently rejects the Christian Trinitarian God, but this biblical formulation of one God in three persons provides a coherent foundation for a relational and loving God where Islam fails.
Below is a quote from the book: “No God but One: Allah or Jesus” by Nabeel Qureshi (in the church library) that adds to our appreciation of Agape love through the Trinity.
“This is not a trivial difference [between Islam and Christianity], though; it has major implications. Since mankind is made in the image of the triune God, love is woven into our very nature. The Trinity gives us the most consistent, most powerful basis for being self sacrificial and altruistic.
This is an important point to unpack. Of course, many people are very altruistic, regardless of their worldviews. A person does not need to believe in God to genuinely care for others, as secular humanists demonstrate. There are even people who do not believe in any kind of morality yet still desire to care for people. Ultimately, though, such ungrounded altruism is a sentiment, something a person just wants to do. Unless one believes in a transcendent basis for altruism, one’s desire to care for people is unanchored and ephemeral, little more than a whim. According to this amoral worldview, nothing behooves a person to be kind. Even though someone might wish to be altruistic, in the next moment it would be entirely consistent with their worldview if they chose to be selfish.”
Agape is so much greater than just optional altruism. At Christmas, we celebrate the transcendent agape take on human form, be born as a baby, and dwell among us that we might see what love really is – all the way to a cross.
I hope this adds to your appreciation of Christmas – when eternal agape came down to us, and made the way for us to join into the eternal loving fellowship of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Merry Christmas.