Thursday, May 22, 2008


I apologize for not posting last week. My current seminar class’ workload is higher than usual, but something I read yesterday struck me and I thought I’d share it with you.

There’s a church joke that says, “Don’t make me go Old Testament on you!” The implication is that the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath. In contrast to this we read in the New Testament that God is a God of love.

In fact, I believe we can replace the word “of” in my above description with the word “is” – God is wrath; God is love. Does that statement cause tension for you?

Here’s how William Yount describes this truth – “God is love and God is wrath. How can He be both? The answer is found in synthesis. The fire that warms is also the fire that burns. The difference is in our relationship to it. Those who are rightly related to God are warmed by His love. Those who refuse His love, who reject His offer of grace, are left to be burned by His wrath. He is not love or wrath. He is love-wrath, which exists like a two-sided coin.”

If this messes with your head a little, it should – synthesis is level 5 thinking (there are 6 levels, but those details aren’t really my point). My point is that there are many things about God that I struggle to understand, but that does not make them untrue.

This morning, I just learned about the death of Steven Curtis Chapman’s five year old daughter. Anytime something like this happens it creates a tension in my soul. I know God is Sovereign, but I cannot help but struggle with the “why questions.” God why would you allow this to happen?

Here’s where I land with this right now (and I’d love to hear your thoughts), God wants to have a relationship with us, He does truly love us, AND there are things (and circumstances) I simply cannot fully understand. Am I talking about blind faith? No, blind faith would require no basis whatsoever. I’m talking about faith that is able to understand enough to accept it all.

What about you – what do you struggle to understand and how do you choose to deal with your confusion?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OK, we did spend some time on this on Sunday, and I still have difficulty seeing love and wrath as opposite sides of the same coin. I agree with God is Love--not so much the "is wrath" part. I think because God is Love and a Righteous Judge, some may be on the receiving end of His wrath. The wrath is just a consequence?? Hey, maybe I'm just a "level 4" thinker :-) Interesting to think about...
As far as how I can accept what I don't understand about God... I find that very easy for some reason. There is a peace that comes from trusting in the promises of the Bible. The "why" question comes up often in my mind, but not in a "doubting God" kind of way.... in a "I wish I knew now" kind of way.