‘Friendship is not the consolation prize for those who fail to gain romantic love. Like marriage and like parenthood, it is another way in which God manifests an aspect of his love for us. Christians are “one body” (Rom. 12:5), brothers and sisters (Matt. 12:50), “knit together in love” (Col. 2:2), comrades in arms (Phil. 2:25). Paul calls his friend Onesimus his “very heart” (Philem. 12) and likens his affection for believers in Thessalonica to that of “a nursing mother taking care of her children” (1 Thess. 2:7). Nursing a baby is vitally different from a sexual act, but it too is a true comingling of two people in mutual vulnerability and dependence. New Testament Christians are seen sharing their resources, living communally, bearing one another’s burdens, loving each other deeply, and expressing love physically. The command “Greet one another with a holy kiss” appears in the New Testament five times.’
Confronting Christianity: 12 hard questions for the world’s largest religion, Wheaton, IL: Crossway.