Agape is at best a regulative social norm.

It sets the outside definition of ideal justice as well as tempering whatever realistic means must be employed to dynamite recalcitrant centers of pride and injustice. Love remains a leaven in society, permeating the whole and giving texture and consistency to life. The balanced Christian, therefore, must be both loving and realistic. As an individual who in moments of prayerful self-transcendence has been justified by faith, he given final allegiance to Christ; but as an individual in complex social relations he must realistically meet mind with mind and power with power. — MLK, “Reinhold Niebuhr’s Ethical Dualism,” 1952


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