Love and Wrath

Whoa… heavy:

One evangelical cliché has it that God hates the sin but loves the sinner.

There is a small element of truth in these words: God has nothing but hate for the sin, but this cannot be said with respect to how God sees the sinner.

Nevertheless the cliché is false on the face of it, and should be abandoned. Fourteen times in the first fifty psalms alone, the psalmists state that God hates the sinner, that His wrath is on the liar, and so forth. In the Bible the wrath of God rests on both the sin (Rom. 1:18–23) and the sinner (1:24–32; 2:5; John 3:36).

Our problem in part is that in human experience wrath and love normally abide in mutually exclusive compartments. Love drives wrath out, or wrath drives love out. We come closest to bringing them together, perhaps, in our responses to a wayward act by one of our children, but normally we do not think that a wrathful person is loving.

But this is not the way it is with God.

Excerpted from “God’s Love and God’s Wrath” by D.A. Carson, on Justin Taylor’s Between Two Worlds blog.

The modern, touchy-feely church dances around God’s wrath, but it’s there and just as real as his love.

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