The Wrath of God--according to


The Wrath of God--according to Some

This morning Dylan notes that there are some who definitively approve wrath over mercy. Since the time of Jonah it has ever been thus. But I am reminded of an absolutely delightful book to recommend to everyone. Actually a set of three books, thus far, by a man named Philip Gulley. (I've only read two of them so I cannot unconditional recommend the third, but if it follows in suit. . .) The books are about Harmony, a small town in the midwest (Indiana, I think) called Harmony. Home to Harmony is the book I was put in mind of. The protagonist, a Quaker minister who is looking for work, returns to Harmony. The minister of the local Quaker meeting dies and as there is no one else who everyone can agree upon Sam Gardner is asked to take on the position. At his first sermon, Easter, he preaches the love and triumph of Jesus Christ, redemption, salvation, and mercy. There is a comment in the book regarding one of the character, "Fawn" I think, who found this particular minister wanting--she happened to know that Jesus had a list of people He was ready to smite, and she had more than a few she wished to add to the list. If you like the fiction of Jan Karon, you may like these books. While they are similar, I like these somewhat better as they are both shorter and pithier.

In fiction, this is charming and gently satirical. In real life, it is terribly sad. What a notion of God such a person must have. I have been blessed thus far this morning to have avoided any interaction, but I know that I must pray. This notion of God is so similar to the God of Heinlein's Job or the monster of Philip Pullman's atrocious and highly detrimental His Dark Materials trilogy. (Note to Franklin, if you're reading, this is definitely one to stay FAR away from). What would ever give you this notion of God? What a tremendous hardship it is, and what a terrible life it leads to. I cannot imagine a fate worse than that of Jonah, perpetually unhappy because God is a God of Mercy and love.

Jonah 4:1-4 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. And he prayed to the Lord and said, "I pray thee, Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish for I knew that thou art a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and repentest of evil. Therefore now O Lord, take my life from me, I beseech thee, for it is better for me to die than to live."

Overall, I prefer the life of one who holds with this:

1 John 4 6 We are of God; he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby we know the Spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. 7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love. 9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us: that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 Herein is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us. 13 Hereby we know that we dwell in Him and He in us: because He hath given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath for us. God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19 We love Him, because He first loved us. 20 If a man say, "I love God," and hateth his brother, he is a liar. For he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loveth God love his brother also.

I note that Dylan posts from the first chapter of the same epistle. Great source for wonderful knowledge of what God is really like, rather than our preferred conception. Rather than being Jonahs or other wretched, unhappy wrath-seekers, wouldn't our lives be so much better if we saw everyone as potential a companion for eternity in the beatific vision?

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on September 28, 2002 8:41 AM.

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