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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Jesus as the Ultimate Wrath of God

How do you reconcile God’s wrath with God’s love? Is one primary and the other secondary? Are they the flip sides of the same coin? Or is there no way to bring consistency out of these two natures of God? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1298).

I see the wrath of God as basically flowing from the truth of God. The prime instance of this is when God sent Jesus (the Word) into the world. This can be seen as the wrath of God because Jesus confronted the forces of darkness head-on then and remains a merciless gadfly against those forces to this day. Of what forces do I speak?—the forces of falsehoods and deception, the forces of hypocrisy and cruelty, the forces of self-righteousness and greed. In the face of blindness and self-deception Jesus’s weapon was uncompromising truth. Many of us would say that he treated the scribes and Pharisees with other than love as we would define it…..but not as God defines it. We insist that tolerance include the attributes of soft indifference and cool detachment, a studied and remote polite political correctness. This is and never has been God’s view of love or tolerance. We see that the wrath of God inflicted in the person of Jesus against the scribes and Pharisees was in a huge sense brought on by the scribes and Pharisees themselves. God is light and when people besmirch God’s deepest core convictions, they are setting themselves up for exposure by that light. God’s redemptive, revelatory love intervenes in history with uncompromising sometimes harsh illumination cast upon human affairs. God’s judgment visited upon the world is thus bifurcated—the result of God's love and man's idolatry.

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