I teach ancient Greek political philosophy for a living. Plato and Aristotle are the main characters. Along the way I point out that the classical Greek virtues, wisdom, courage, self-discipline, and justice, are only half the story of Western civilization. The other half comes from the Judeo-Christian tradition: justice is necessary, but the Western tradition is also about love. The Western tradition needs both Athens (reason) and Jerusalem (love) to be complete. This is Christ’s great contribution.
According to Harold Bloom in Jesus and Yahweh, “Yahweh’s love is Covenant-keeping, no more and no less.” (p. 164) This does not seem a fair account of The Hebrew Bible (Tanakh). It is not much of a stretch to read The Song of Solomon as an account of a love affair between God and His people. What Jesus adds is the idea that God would allow himself to become man, suffer, and die in order to share in humanity’s suffering.
Yet, something about Christ’s love is frightening. If Jesus is God, then it makes no sense to think of His love as comparable to human love. I’ve never thought it made any sense to talk about taking Jesus Christ as my personal savior. There is something terrifyingly stark and other about Jesus. And there should be. He is man, and not man. Many Christians prefer the Gospel of Luke because in it Christ seems most “humane.” But if one thinks about Christ seriously, that is a category mistake. Christ is not humane because He is not human. One does not have to be a Docetist (representing the view that Jesus only appeared to be human) to believe that.