God’s justice is like a mighty stream. To defy it is to block God’s almighty surge.
For Paul, the gospel is not about being saved from an angry God but a message grounded in God’s rescuing love for the world and fully revealed in the faithfulness of Jesus. Now that’s a game changer!
God’s character of self-sacrificing love must be clear to both angels and men. Our image of Him matters not only for the future but for today. It affects not only contemporary politics but our views of who God is.
The traditional view considers the judgment scary. We’ve been taught that it brings punishment. Because the Judge of the Universe determines every verdict, there is no need to explain or reveal anything. The kind of judgment that plays out in our courtrooms, however, makes it hard to see the theological beauty and sense behind God’s judgment.
In the messy landscape of human perplexity, we are called to bring that kind of love into the world. May we relinquish our self-focus and pursue the only effective way to live together in healing and justice. This is the only way to follow Jesus.
The people’s desire for equality and fairness and their leaders’ thirst for power only fueled hatred and contempt for their enemies. Without Jesus’ grace or forgiveness, one doesn’t seek fairness but instead ugliness, oppression, or even violence.
God loves everybody and seeks the highest good for all, yet He also warns of serious consequences for failing to live up to our responsibilities. I can understand consequences, but why must there be an eternal lake of “fire and sulfur” at history’s end?
When I was young and working in my family’s vegetarian restaurant, I often had opportunity to sit and have meaningful conversations with customers during my lunch break.
Conservatives tend to visualize God as well suited to meet their goal of social order, while progressives see God as better suited to meet their goal of social tolerance. In a sense, therefore, we all shape God in our own image and apply our perception of His authority to ourselves, which sets us up to experience God in specific ways.
Believing in a judgmental God can be dangerous. Assuming that God demands an ethic of retribution not only gives a penal flavor to our theology but also encourages zealous violent retribution by cultivating its justification.