If, as I contend, eros is a facet of Divine love, then it makes sense that humans derive their capacity for eros from being made in God's image:
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. - Genesis 1:26-28 KJV
Please note, first, the use of the plural: Let us make man in our image. In addition to being a classic proof text for the Trinity, it shows, in my opinion, that we humans are made in the image of the homoousian, the common Divine essence, rather than in the image of just one of the Divine Persons.
Second, both men and women are created in God's image: male and female created he them. If it were the case that God is exclusively male, then it would seem to me that women would not be in the image of God to the same extent that men are. There is no hint of this in the passage, however, and I regard this as an indication that the homoousian encompasses the fullness of sexuality, both male and female.
Finally, the command to "be fruitful, and multiply" is given in the context of the creation of mankind, before Adam and Eve sinned. I see this as confirmation that human eros comes from God in the creation, rather than from the corruption wrought by sin.
My conclusion is that Adam and Eve had the capacity to express eros for each other from the time that they were created, and, being at that time untainted by any rebelliousness toward God, they would have hastened to fulfill God's command to procreate. (I therefore see no reason why they would have remained childless if they had not sinned; as it happened, however, the events of Genesis 3 intervened, apparently before Eve conceived any children.)
Unquestionably, eros can be, and often is, twisted by sinful man into an unholy, destructive lust. I believe, however, that God’s grace enables us to recover the true nature and purpose of eros; when we do, not only can the husband and wife portray the fullness of Divine sexuality when they become "one flesh" in sexual intercourse, but they even testify to the Gospel by revealing the love that Christ and his Church have for each other. In Part 4, I will ponder how it is that the Divine, holy Son of God could possibly have felt eros for sinful, fallen humanity.
A Constitutional, Christian conservative who voted for Ron and stands with Rand
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