Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The wrath of God

I've been reading Is God a Moral Monster by Paul Copan. In this book he quotes "Yale theologian Miroslav Volf" who "was born in Croatia and lived though the nightmare years of ethnic strife in the former Yugoslavia that included the destruction of churches, the raping of women and the murdering of innocents." Volf writes,
I used to think that wrath was unworthy of God. Isn't God love? Shouldn't divine love be beyond wrath? ?God is love,and God loves every person and every creature. That's exactly why God is wrathful against some of them. My last resistance to the idea of God's wrath was a casualty of the war in the former Yugoslavia, a region from which I come. According to some estimates, 200,000 people were killed, and over 3,000,000 were displaced. My villages and cities were destroyed, my people shelled day in and day out, some of them brutalize beyond imagination, and I could not imagine God not being angry. Or think of Rwanda in the last decade of the past century, where 800,000 people were hacked to death in one hundred days! How did God react to the carnage? By doting on the perpetrators in a grandfatherly fashion? By refusing to condemn the bloodbath but instead affirming th perpetrators' basic goodness? Wasn't God fiercely angry with them? Though I used to complain about the indecency of the idea of God's wrath, I cam to thin that I would have to rebel against a God who wasn't wrathful at the sight of the world' evil. God isn't wrathful in spite of being love. God is wrathful because God is love (Miroslav Volf as quoted in Is God a Moral Monster? by Paul Copan, 192).

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