Faithlife Sermons

Wrath Because of Love

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Miroslav Volf, a Christian theologian from Croatia, used to reject the concept of God's wrath. He thought that the idea of an angry God was barbaric, completely unworthy of a God of love. But then his country experienced a brutal war. People committed terrible atrocities against their neighbors and countrymen.

His last resistance to the idea of God's wrath was a casualty of the war in the former Yugoslavia, his home. According to some estimates, 200,000 people were killed and over 3,000,000 were displaced. Villages and cities were destroyed, people were shelled day in and day out, some of them brutalized beyond imagination. In light of such evil, he said he could not imagine God not being angry.

Or think, he said, 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 the perpetrators' basic goodness? Wasn't God fiercely angry with them?

He went on to write:

Though I used to complain about the indecency of the idea of God's wrath, I came to think that I would have to rebel against a God who wasn't wrathful at the sight of the world's evil. God isn't wrathful in spite of being love. God is wrathful because God is love.

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