From The Pastor At St. Paul's UCC, Freeburg, IL

Love and Wrath

Here‘s a helpful article, from a Calvinist perspective of course, explaining how a “God of love” can be wrathful, and a wrathful God can be loving.

While balancing these two can be difficult, it’s obvious that both are portrayed in Scripture. How does your theology account for them? When I was growing up, I rarely if ever heard sermons concerning God’s wrath. I took it to be a primitive, outmoded view of God that only crazy fundamentalists and hateful preachers clung to. When I began to take Scripture more seriously, I had to ask myself – were all those Biblical expressions of wrath just primitive outmoded views of God that we could dispense with? Or that we could explain away by assuring ourselves we had evolved away from such a primitive views?

That seemed like arrogance to me, especially as I got older and saw more evidence of human depravity that made me wonder just how far from those “primitives” we’d actually “evolved”. If we reach the place where we no longer write off the wrath, how do we hold that, and the love of God, together? How do we account for them?

For me, at least, the Reformed approach is the fullest and most helpful attempt to account for the entire Bible – not just the parts we like!

In any case, the article cited above may be helpful to you not only in balancing love and wrath, but in taking into account the entire Biblical witness.


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