Wrath of God

Per the sermon today, we talked about the wrath of God in Zeph. 3.  Josh mentioned that God refines by fire.  Also that fire or wrath in the bible can be metaphor or allegory.  During the sermon, a thought kept coming up in my head on the wrath of God.  The PCUSA has just or will publish a new hymnal that was originally going to have “In Christ Alone” a contemporary hymn.   The bolded lyrics below got fought about in committee meetings due to it saying wrath of God was satisfied.  One baptist denomination hymnal said, “the wrath of God was magnified”.  So both of those brought up heavy debate.

This has been talked about a bunch in the blogesphere and other places.

Here are some sites that talk about this and I encourage you to look at them:

  1. http://www.christiancentury.org/contributor/mary-louise-bringle
  2. http://blog.presbyterianhymnalproject.com/2013/08/in-christ-alone.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ReclaimingOurVoice+%28Reclaiming+our+Voice%29
  3. http://www.adamjcopeland.com/2013/08/05/how-much-wrath/
  4. twitter.com/joshmrowley  (look for In Christ Alone, wrath of God, etc)

All of those above sites have a good discussion on hymnal development, the wrath of God, theology, Christology, and so forth.

I believe saying the wrath of God was satisfied is fine but saying magnified is pushing it and bad theology.  The word wrath in that song can be replaced with LOVE, PASSION, and other words to make it sound better.

A few weeks ago:  Ann Fischer, church member, mentioned to me after worship that, my paraphrase – “Since we are created in the image of God, can humans be angry, judgmental, critical and authoritarian like God?”  In other words, Do humans and God share the same attributes and characteristics?    I think Ann is on to something with that statement!  Please comment! 

The sermon today also talked about judgment language and calling you to action.  I was wondering what you all think about judgement language.  Is it to challenge you to move forward?  Is it about turn-and-burn language?  Or is it about a loving God calling all to repentance?

I agree that judgment language is all about challenging you to move forward.  Its all about opening your eyes and putting you in your place as well.

Also some of the judgment texts in the bible are metaphorical, not literal!  They are God’s way of calling humans to action.  This is what confession during Presbyterian worship is also about!

So I was wondering what you all think in regards to the wrath of God, the sites above, and the song lyrics below?   

Here is the text of the hymn:

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,

The wrath of God was satisfied;

For ev’ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.

“In Christ Alone”
Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2001 Kingsway Thankyou Music

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