Monday, February 24, 2014


Shouldn't He Be?

Jeff Gissing @ Juicy Ecumenism holds a long discussion about whether God is angry based on the exclusion of a hymn from the new Presbyterian hymnal.
It is deeply theological, but I am drawn to this portion of the discussion:The wrath of God is a necessary corollary to His love. Were God not angry with our sin, He could not truly be said to love us. It is almost impossible to conceive of the absence of anger in any relationship marked by love. I deeply love my wife, when she is wronged by another I become angry at the injustice. I deeply love my children, but when one of them does something that places them in harm’s way—running into a road, for example—I become angry.

The analogy may not be perfect, but I believe we could all agree that were I to be unmoved by the injustice my wife suffered or the danger facing my children, it would be doubtful that my love for them was anything other than the most superficial of affections. Love occasionally produces anger, indifference never does. God is not indifferent to us and the result is his wrath at the sin that both violates his law and is so detrimental to our flourishing.
It seems as if we want nothing we perceive as ugly around us. We don't talk about sin because it's ugly . and anger well, anger is really ugly. And yet, just anger, that is to say anger at injustice, is a beautiful thing. I think of the soaring rhetoric of Martin Luther King Jr. He may have held to non-violence (a discussion for another time) but that rhetoric was anchored deeply in anger at the grave injustices visited on his people. His anger produced true beauty.

Why then do we find anger so ugly? I think because it is often aimed at us - because we are the source of the injustice that is the anger's seed. We do not wish to see anger because we do not wish to see what we have done. An angry God would acknowledge that there is sin and once we acknowledge that we will eventually have to acknowledge that we are sinners.

And yet, as Gissling so rightly points out, without the understanding of our sin we do not understand how deep is God's grace or how truly wonderful is his love.

There is much anger i the world that is unjust, but that does not mean we can afford to ignore just anger.


<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Site Feed


eXTReMe Tracker

Blogarama - The Blog Directory