Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The good news of God’s wrath

From The Living Church-

Almighty God,
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
maker of all things, judge of all men:
We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness,
which we from time to time most grievously have committed,
by thought, word, and deed, against thy divine Majesty,
provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us.

I pray this confession of sin nearly every day, and yet I find the language of God’s “wrath and indignation” somewhat alien. I bet you do, too.

Why does speaking of God’s wrath or anger or indignation seem strange, or even suspect? For example, the modern hymn “In Christ Alone” has provoked controversy with its lyric “Till on that cross as Jesus died/the wrath of God was satisfied.”

The problem is the picture this language seems to suggest: “that the cross is primarily about God’s need to assuage God’s anger,” as one critic put it. This picture (which is only a clumsy caricature of the so-called satisfaction theory of the Atonement) is rightly to be rejected as false and misleading — but, then, scattering a strawman doesn’t really accomplish much.

More here-


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