Angry God

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This post has 44 Replies | 4 Followers

Posts 225
Michael Birney | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Mar 15 2010 7:27 PM | Locked

(stretching the forum guidlines, if this gets deleted, I understand)

I'm studying God's grace, and the question of God's anger has been coming up.  Below are 2 resources from L4 - one a book quote, one a list from a search.  

The question - can a loving God that has my best interest at heart really be angry enough to pour his anger out on a person or group of people.  

I am not the crazy man on TV that says God is punishing Haiti for sins with an earthquake, not inferring that, in fact, I guess I am asking how do you intellectually debunk that crap .  The question might be asked - how is God's love shown when he floods the whole world and kills everyone except Noah and crew?    

Maybe a list of resources that you have read that have helped you deal with this would keep it inbounds.

Couple of resources I've looked at (I've looked at a lot more, just throwing something in).

libronixdls:jump|pos=LLS-AOL:0<CAT891.B.2.C>.0.0|res=LLS:COLLINSTHESBBL

 libronixdls:jump|pos=LLS-AOL:0<PT.1.2>.2.0|res=LLS:40.170.4

If you think this is out of bounds let me know, I will delete it.

Posts 5337
Kevin Becker | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 16 2010 5:41 AM | Locked

My response to this would probably stretch the forum guidelines too far. drop me a line at beckerkr AT gmail dot com

Posts 3163
Dominick Sela | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 16 2010 5:48 AM | Locked

I can offer a book that helped me a lot with this question (hardcopy only, not Logos format - sorry) -

"How Big Is Your God?: The Freedom to Experience the Divine" by Paul Coutinho

http://www.amazon.com/How-Big-Your-God-Experience/dp/0829424814/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1268743545&sr=8-1

it's a very easy read, but very inspiring...

 

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 16 2010 6:09 AM | Locked

Logos has this Carson work:

http://www.logos.com/products/details/4482

actually, that is a collection, and his title is: "How Long, O Lord?"  It deals with pain and suffering.  Two other works I appreciate: (not in Logos-Yet)-- "Disappointment with God" by Philipp Yancey and "the Problem of Pain" by CS Lewis.  These should at least get you started.

From a positive perspective, I like Robert Webbers approach to telling the story of God: creation/incarnation/re-creation.  That comes up in a number of his books, whether The Divine Embrace (not Logos) or "Ancient Future WOrship" (in Logos) and others.  You balance the very narrow "what do you do about suffering" with seeing God's overall heart and personal investment in his rebellious creation.

Another book most here will consider "heretical" is John Sander's "the God who Risks."  you may not agree with much, but he does give some interesting, and I think valuable insights into the side of God that experiences pain and sadness (among many other things)

 

 

 

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

Posts 4508
Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 16 2010 6:35 AM | Locked

I'm not sure what an appropriate "non-rule-breaking" answer is but one thing to remember (at least from my perspective) is the relationship between what we deserve, and what we get from God.

If we start from the idea that God owes men nothing, that every breath is a merciful gift...then when things go wrong, we are thankful...we see that He is God and we are not.

I'll look around my Logos library and see what resources i can come up with...

As far as the Haiti thing? Ah...no comment....I've not really thought about that aspect of it...

 

EDITED TO ADD: I just did a search on "natural disasters" in my systematic theology collection and that would seem a good place to start...I got a few good relevant hits.

 

I have Robert Reymonds systematic theology, Wayne Gruedems, and Shedd's, and a few others.

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

Posts 225
Michael Birney | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 16 2010 6:53 AM | Locked

Hesitant to say thank you yet, because I would like even more input and thank you might infer that I'm all settled on this.  

But thank you all for your input.  Good input on the searches, and books, all things I had not touched yet.  

Posts 1130
Keith Larson | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 16 2010 6:59 AM | Locked

Michael,

All the suggestions you have gotten so far are really good ones, the only thing I could add is to suggest you get into the habit of questioning your own pre-supposition's as well. For example: "Does a loving God love everyone the same way?" "Does God really have everyone's best interest at heart?" "Is anger incompatible with love?"

Question everything, but most of all question yourself. Your goal is to get your presuppositions in line with the God's revealed truth, not society's.

Posts 1539
Terry Poperszky | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 16 2010 7:09 AM | Locked

Keith Larson:
Question everything, but most of all question yourself. Your goal is to get your presuppositions in line with the God's revealed truth, not society's.

Yes

 

 

Posts 13417
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 16 2010 7:12 AM | Locked

Michael Birney:

The question might be asked - how is God's love shown when he floods the whole world and kills everyone except Noah and crew?    

This came up in our Bible study the other week from 2 Thess 1:8. I think the only answer is that:

  • God loves justice and righteousness, and therefore justly punishes what/who is wrong.
  • God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life. In relation to Christ and those punished in the flood, see 1 Peter 3:18-20 (though that is admittedly tricky to interpret). The important points are: the message of repentance was proclaimed, God was patient, but righteousness must prevail.

When we studied 2 Thessalonians last week, one of the things that came up was that God was promised to put things right at the end. In his patience and love he was willing to let the church suffer persecution in order that he could exercise patience towards the persecutors. I think it is in this context that Paul elsewhere talks about sharing in Christ's sufferings.

Posts 4508
Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 16 2010 7:21 AM | Locked

Keith Larson:

All the suggestions you have gotten so far are really good ones, the only thing I could add is to suggest you get into the habit of questioning your own pre-supposition's as well. For example: "Does a loving God love everyone the same way?" "Does God really have everyone's best interest at heart?" "Is anger incompatible with love?"

Question everything, but most of all question yourself. Your goal is to get your presuppositions in line with the God's revealed truth, not society's.

very well said Yes

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

Posts 225
Michael Birney | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 16 2010 9:36 AM | Locked

Keith Larson:

Michael,

All the suggestions you have gotten so far are really good ones, the only thing I could add is to suggest you get into the habit of questioning your own pre-supposition's as well. For example: "Does a loving God love everyone the same way?" "Does God really have everyone's best interest at heart?" "Is anger incompatible with love?"

Question everything, but most of all question yourself. Your goal is to get your presuppositions in line with the God's revealed truth, not society's.

Good points.   Yes, my anger is incompatible with love, but I'm not God - and Jesus was obvious angry at times.  Lets avoid the predestination/choice discussion here. Smile

Actually the reason I am asking the question is I am challenging my presupposition's.  I can answer my own question in seminary speak (that's kind of a sad comment on me), I can say, God sees the big picture I don't.  I can quote "God brings rain on the just and unjust".

But to practically answer the question - If God loves and pursues us, explain the flood - I'm struggling with that. I think struggling with this is a good thing.  

Just to keep from getting too our of bounds -  besides searching for angry God (95642 results in .54 sec) natural disasters (5770 results in .88 sec), what are some other things you would suggest I search for to help with this study?

Thank you all for input, it's been very helpful.  L4 is so great for this type of study and search.

But that does not mean stop posting on this!

Posts 286
Dr. Charles A. Wootten | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 16 2010 1:19 PM | Locked

Michael Birney:

 Below are 2 resources from L4 - one a book quote, one a list from a search.  

The question - can a loving God that has my best interest at heart really be angry enough to pour his anger out on a person or group of people.  

I'm not sure why this question keeps popping up among biblically literate people, but it does.

That said, before anyone gets upset about the "poor, picked-upon, abused" Canaanites to start another thread, check out Deuteronomy 9:4-6 then work out the fact that there were only 7 people groups that met God's criteria for annihilation. And that He gave them about 650 years to repent before Joshua went in. But, Joshua didn't succeed.

And that said, one of the coolest answers ever to this question was made by Christopher J.H. Wright (2008) The God I Don't Understand, Zondervan, ISBN 978-0-310-27546-6.  I'll quote a short selection, but it must simply be read in its entirety to understand his premise. The italics in the paragraph are the author's, not mine. (He even addresses natural disasters, too!)

"God with his infinite perspective, and for reasons known only to himself, knows that we finite beings cannot, indeed must not, "make sense" of evil. For the final truth is that evil does not make sense. "Sense" is part of our rationality that in itself is part of God's good creation and God's image in us. So, evil can have no sense, since sense itself is a good thing."

He goes on, "Evil has no proper place within creation. It has no validity, no truth, no integrity. It does not intrinsically belong to the creation as God originally made it nor will it belong to creation as God will ultimately redeem it. It cannot and must not be integrated into the universe as a rational, legitimated, justified part of reality. Evil is not there to be understood, but to be resisted and ultimately expelled. Evil was and remains an intruder, an alien presence that has made itself almost (but not finally) inextricably "at home.' Evil is beyond our understanding because it is not part of the ultimate reality that God in his perfect wisdom and utter truthfulness intends us to understand" (p.48).

So, where is the sense in the results of evil? It's not that God doesn't give us an answer, Wright says. In fact, "we get no answer. We get silence. And that silence is the answer to our question. There is no sense."

And, boys and girls, that gives us the right to stand before His throne and yell and scream and cry and kick when horrible things happen. Don't believe me? Read the Book of Psalms very slowly and carefully. We are allowed to yell at God and God even gives us the words to use in our anger, pain, etc.

It is not that He pours out His anger on individuals or people groups, evil simply happens. He hasn't deserted us; it just ain't time for the second Parousia. Until then we simply trust the primary reason Jesus came: to destroy the works of the evil one (1 John 3:8b) at the Cross. That done, now we simply occupy until He comes. Then comes God's righteous anger and punishment. The interesting thing is that the world gets a fair trial first, unlike the Flood...

God bless

{charley}

 

 

running Logos Bible Software 6.0a: Collector's Edition on HP e9220y (AMD Phenom II X4 2.60GHz 8.00GB 64-bit Win 7 Pro SP1) & iPad (mini) apps.

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 16 2010 1:58 PM | Locked

Michael Birney:
Actually the reason I am asking the question is I am challenging my presupposition's.  I can answer my own question in seminary speak (that's kind of a sad comment on me), I can say, God sees the big picture I don't.  I can quote "God brings rain on the just and unjust".

yeah, it is pretty easy to "answer" it.  It is another thing to live it.

 

 

Btw, HOW do you quote multiple people in the same post?  I have seen that done, just not how it is done.  Is it by Edit?  (that is another thing.  I don't get . . . how I type things in the "edit" box and they don't appear.)

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 16 2010 2:02 PM | Locked

Dr. Charles A. Wootten:
And that said, one of the coolest answers ever to this question was made by Christopher J.H. Wright (2008) The God I Don't Understand, Zondervan, ISBN 978-0-310-27546-6. 

 

i did not know about this book, but I like Wright quite a bit.  And I have noticed he contributed several articles I have read in the ABD.

 

Dr. Charles A. Wootten:
Read the Book of Psalms very slowly and carefully

 

It was during an extremely difficult time for me that I grew to love the Psalms.  Ps. 88 was a wonder for me: pretty dark, start to finish.  And that was where I was.  It was comforting that an inspired writer "felt" like I did.  The Psalms gave expression to my inner turmoil and longing.  Ps. 130. etc.

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

Posts 3742
BillS | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 16 2010 2:05 PM | Locked

Dan DeVilder:
HOW do you quote multiple people in the same post?

Here's one way... Have a 2nd copy of the window open in another tab... start answering / citing multiple folks there, & cut-and-paste the quoted text into your "real" answer here...

Blessings!

Grace & Peace,
Bill


MSI GF63 8RD, I-7 8850H, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, 2TB HDD, NVIDIA GTX 1050Max
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Posts 229
Jeremy White | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 16 2010 2:11 PM | Locked

I think it would be also worthwhile to look at passages that talk about our jealous God and examine why He might be so.

Scripture set to music for worship and aid memorization. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-DojPa0TlpCGhtUJq1e3Pw

Posts 225
Michael Birney | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 16 2010 2:12 PM | Locked

Dr. Charles A. Wootten:
I'm not sure why this question keeps popping up among biblically literate people, but it does.

Charlie, I do not think I was clear at all.  I have a good grasp on good and evil in the world, and the consequences of that.  I understand "why" I did the funeral for one of my closest friends last year who was killed by a stray bullet while driving home with her daughter and mother-in-law.  Why - some sinful person with a gun was being stupid, and it caused her death.  I don't like that answer, and it does not make any sense (to reference your quote), but it's not hard to understand sin and evil, just hard to accept.  

The way you word your quote above .... I take it as a little condescending (but I am kind of thin skinned for some reason).  I would say "thank God people are asking questions, deepening their faith."

The question I am trying to ask, and what the quote you attached does not reference this (unless I am missing your point), is why God kills.  God sent the flood.  He did not say sin and evil have their natural consequences, He did not say it's a "natural disaster".  He said, enough, time for them to die  (that would of course be taken from the Mike Birney paraphrased translation - not to be trusted)  libronixdls:jump|ref=bible.82.2.5|res=LLS:1.0.710   2 Peter 2:5 says it well -   5 if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;.    

God brought the flood - and I even say He has the right to do that - I'm not complaining (as if He needs my approval). But how does Love (God is love) fit into flood.  I think is is about finishing this sentence - For God so loved the world that he flooded it killing all but 7 because -  

Maybe that is the wrong question, or maybe there is an answer for this, I need to settle it in my mind.  I am willing to do more study  - just needed more direction in that study.   

 

 

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 16 2010 2:15 PM | Locked

for me, answer didn't mean a whole lot.  Answers were too trite, too simple.  I read a ton of things, including CS Lewis' "A grief observed", Ecclesiastes, biographies, 1/2 Kings, pretty much the whole Bible looking for nuggets, looking for the unknowns,the uncertainties, seeing how people dealt with life and God when things didn't work out as they expected.

 

I did a lot of shouting, cursing, crying, whimpering, withdrawing, searching, freaking out, all the while just saying somewhere in the middle of all that: "God, if you hear me, hold on to me."  And somehow, building blocks of trust where set in place in a variety of ways, over time.  There is often no "one answer."  (yes, ultimately God, but no one "pat answer).   It was the steady example of faith of some, the small reminder of tenderness (even in the harsh/capricious world I was seeing),   a portion of scripture, a momentary "sense" that God was there with me amid the chaos, a return of small pieces of joy, a biography of someone like George Muller (place your community pricing bid!) or E. Stanley Jones etc etc.  In the end, you grow (or, "I" grew) to reaffirm scripture, to reaffirm God's goodness, and just learn to trust in Him when it pretty much all sucks or doesn't make sense.  Yes, and the incarnation and crucifixion played an eventual role, too, balancing out the "unfairness" and cruelty I saw happen in God's "good" world.  Lately it has been re-creation that has captured me (renewal, restoration, etc)

I will add that I also uncovered the powerful force of emotion to color ones grasp or interpretation of "facts."  When you are bitter, all hell breaks loose, and you don't trust anyone.  Let alone Anyone.

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

Posts 225
Michael Birney | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 16 2010 2:15 PM | Locked

Jeremy White:
I think it would be also worthwhile to look at passages that talk about our jealous God and examine why He might be so.

I'll add that too my study. (the notes on this are getting a little out of hand - is this a good place to complain about notes in L4?   Stick out tongue

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 16 2010 2:16 PM | Locked

BillS:

Dan DeVilder:
HOW do you quote multiple people in the same post?

Here's one way... Have a 2nd copy of the window open in another tab... start answering / citing multiple folks there, & cut-and-paste the quoted text into your "real" answer here...

Blessings!

duh!!  thanks!  Big Smile

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

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