Four Loves (C. Lewis Signature Classic)

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9780007461226: Four Loves (C. Lewis Signature Classic)

C.S. Lewis's famous work on the nature of love divides love into four categories: Affection, Friendship, Eros and Charity. The first three are loves which come naturally to the human race.Charity, however, the Gift-love of God, is divine in its source and expression, and without the sweetening grace of this supernatural love, the natural loves become distorted and even dangerous.

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The Four Loves summarizes four kinds of human love--affection, friendship, erotic love, and the love of God. Masterful without being magisterial, this book's wise, gentle, candid reflections on the virtues and dangers of love draw on sources from Jane Austen to St. Augustine. The chapter on charity (love of God) may be the best thing Lewis ever wrote about Christianity. Consider his reflection on Augustine's teaching that one must love only God, because only God is eternal, and all earthly love will someday pass away:

Who could conceivably begin to love God on such a prudential ground--because the security (so to speak) is better? Who could even include it among the grounds for loving? Would you choose a wife or a Friend--if it comes to that, would you choose a dog--in this spirit? One must be outside the world of love, of all loves, before one thus calculates.
His description of Christianity here is no less forceful and opinionated than in Mere Christianity or The Problem of Pain, but it is far less anxious about its reader's response--and therefore more persuasive than any of his apologetics. When he begins to describe the nature of faith, Lewis writes: "Take it as one man's reverie, almost one man's myth. If anything in it is useful to you, use it; if anything is not, never give it a second thought." --Michael Joseph Gross

From the Back Cover:

In praiseof C.S.Lewis
"If wit and wisdom, style and scholarship are requisites to passage through the pearly gates, Mr. Lewis will be among the angels." "The New Yorker
""Brilliant yet accessible." "U.S. News & World Report
"From one our most revered and beloved writesr and thinkers comesthis wise and warmly personal book reflecting on the four basic kinds of human love-- affection, friendship, Eros, charity. C.S.Lewis explores the promise and the perils of love between parents and children; the love that builds between truefriends through mutual respect; the dedication it takes to fulfill our visions oferotic love and partnership; and the love of and for God thatdeepens all others. He considers questions of sex, possessiveness, jealousy, pride, sentimentality, good and bad manners, and theneed for more laughter. Love's rewards come with risks, he cautions, butwe must take them, and remember that we are seeking to be awakened, to find an Appreciative love through which "all things are possible."

"With a love for beauty, wonder, and magic . . . he speaks to us with all the power and life-changing force of a Plato, a Dante, and a Bunyan." "Christianity Today"C.S.Lewis gained international renown for an impressive array of works both popular and scholarly: children's literature, fantasy literature, literary criticism, and numerous books on theology. "The Four Loves" is among his most celebrated achievements, along with "The Chronicles of Narnia," "Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, "and"Surprised by Joy.""

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