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God causes all things to work together for good, for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose...

Throughout my life, in all its ups and downs, this has been the one constant truth I can confess.
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« What The Bleep Did Jonathan Livingstone Seagull Know? | Main | A Conversation on Biblical Hermeneutics, Inerrancy & Stuff »

August 11, 2005


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"For that matter, why does God have wrath? Shouldn't he be above all that. Anger generally arises from thwarted expectations. Shouldn't He have seen all this coming?"

Generally speaking, it is frustration and not anger that comes from thwarted expectations. Anger or wrath is rather a response to real, imagined, or anticipated violation of our - and God's - sense of integrity. That integrity can be physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, or any other "-al" word you might think of.

An aspect of the image of God is seen in the normal, human response to such violations: anger. The expression of the anger can be problematic and sinful, but the response is not intrinsically wrong. People that do not get angry about anything have lost their moral compass: should we not be angry about the sexual abuse of children? the slaughter of innocent civilians? rape? murder? To be "above all that" is to be sub-human, not superior.

Also, knowing that something will happen is no safeguard against anger, either. For example, I was well-aware of the fact that American soldiers killed during the Iraq war were likely to be subject to being publically displayed and/or dragged around the city. Does this in any way diminish my anger or sense of outrage? Does forewarning lessen the offensiveness of such deeds?

It is no different with God (or so it seems to me). To violate His holiness or divine integrity - e.g., by desecrating the temple during the days of Christ - may have been foreknown but no less offensive. It is also quite likely that God demonstrates His wrath in part to show us that there are things that are morally reprehensible and not to be tolerated.

Thanks for the comments.

I agree in the main. "Anger" in and of itself, is neither sinful or righteous. It is the human response, flowing forth from God's image in us, to perceived injustice. Our problem is that what we perceive as injustice may not actually be. We may be outraged at some slight against our person that may have been justified or unintended. God is never without just cause for wrath. When we are outraged over injustice, especially at the violations of God's Holiness that spark us, then it prompts us to action to rectify that situation, even as God's wrath does in Him

Thanks for the comment

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