Sunday, June 19, 2022

Divine Anger

              (A few weeks ago Linda and  were in New York City.)

This morning at Redeemer I preached on Matthew 25:31-46. Part of my sermon focused on matters of judgment, the wrath of God, and eternal separation from God.

These are topics liberal and progressive Christians don't believe in. For liberals' dsmisal judgment, see theologian Roger Olson's recent Against Liberal Theology: Putting the Brakes on Progressive Christianity, For progressivist waffling on judgment, see my Deconstructing Progressive Christianity (chapter 14 - "Love and Wrath").

To hold to a theology that demythologizes judgment and God's wrath is to hold to a religion that has become unhinged from historic, orthodox Christianity. See, e.g., these words of Jesus I preached on today.

31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the [a]holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats... Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

The concepts ensconced here permeate the Olivet Discourse of Jesus. Demythologize it, and what you have is a different religion, made in your own image. It's an understatement to say that such a Marcionite move disinterests me.

God's love and expressions of his wrath do not involve us in contradictions. For example, this morning I shared how the recent child-killings at the school in Texas made me sad, and angry. It did the same to you, correct? What kind of person would not feel wrath towards such a heinous act? And, wrathful emotions do not imply that one lacks love. Indeed, such wrath against unrighteousness is an expression of love.

For more on how God's love is sometimes expressed in God's wrath, see Kevin Kinghorn, But What About God's Wrath? The Compelling Love Story of God's Anger

See my sermon on "The Sheep and the Goats," HERE

Check out this quote from Yale theologian Miroslav Volf.