Friday, October 7, 2011

And We Wonder Why We Are Nuts

Here are two quotes from Jonathan Edwards, that go a long way toward explaining our craziness.  

“The bow of God’s wrath is bent, and the arrow made ready on the string, and justice bends the arrow at your heart, and strains the bow, and it is nothing but the mere pleasure of God, and that of an angry God, without any promise or obligation at all, that keeps the arrow one moment from being made drunk with your blood.”— Jonathan Edwards, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”, in The Works of Jonathan Edwards (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust), vol. 2, p. 9.

“The apostle tells us that ‘God is love’; and therefore, seeing he is an infinite being, it follows that he is an infinite fountain of love. Seeing he is an all-sufficient being, it follows that he is a full and overflowing, and inexhaustible fountain of love. And in that he is an unchangeable and eternal being, he is an unchangeable and eternal fountain of love.”—Jonathan Edwards, Charity and Its Fruits (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, reprinted 1982), p. 327.

Placing these quotes together allows us to peer inside the tortured human psyche, writhing in the pain of two worlds, two Gods, two visions.  Edwards puts Picasso into words.  

'Thank you Lord Jesus Christ for coming into our traumatic darkness to show us the truth.  As believable as it is to us in our terrible confusion, you have made it plain that there is no angry archer behind your back, only your Father who loves us out of his love for you and the Holy Spirit.  He will never be satisfied until we are delivered from the trauma of the false god and free to give ourselves to the blessed Trinity and life in Papa's house.'

"If you have seen me, you have seen the Father." (John 14:9)  


Ron said...

I like this post. It reminds me of almost every christian I've known. God is good, God is mean, mentality has been prominent in my church world. To begin to know the truth and to have a glimpse of the truth is better than the Tennessee Vols beating the Georgia Bulldogs this week.

Boyd Merriman said...

I have a friend who is a pastor and is conflicted about the nature of God. I found out he has read Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”, and he is having trouble accepting the God of grace and inclusion.

When things go wrong in his life, he tends to be very scared and worried. Yet he claims he has a loving relationship with God.

He is a very passionate preacher and people love is preaching. But when things went wrong in his life one time, the same people turned on him like a pack of dogs.

When you preach this angry god, you get the results.

I pray for him a lot.


Anonymous said...

Wow! Thank you for sharing another nugget of truth. The very exact same thing has been on my mind during the last couple of days. Without Jesus' vision of Father's Heart we will never heal.

Florian (Germany)

Anonymous said...

I think the problem is that we project our own brokenness (and anger) unto everything around us -and unto God. When we allow Jesus to show us the truth about God and ourselves we begin to live in the love of the Trinity.

Anonymous said...

Baxter how love to hear the Trinity's calm come through your writings, speaking peace to our very frightened hearts too afraid to believe that God IS good. How I long to tell my friends and family that "it is for freedom that He has set us free". My niece and her husband this week are going from grace to a prison of keeping jewish laws, but the good thing is that they are looking for Him who is with them but can't seem Him. But I was there for so long that I cannot condemn them but rather just glad they are looking and know that Jesus WILL show them His Father.

DuckieMom said...

Before Mass this morning, I prayed for God to return to my life. Then I reminded myself: Papa, Sarayu and Jesus are ALWAYS there. It isn't God who has left me; it is I who wandered from them. I just need to close my eyes and remind myself I am always surrounded by Their grace and love. Thanks for helping me remember this.

troy said...

God is love AND God is light. He dwells in unapproachable light, and is a consuming fire. The light of His love will either purify what it touches, or it will consume what it touches.

a_seed said...

Hi Dr. Kruger, may I translate this post into Chinese and post it to my blog Everybody Has a Theolgoy?

Boyd Merriman said...

I have to say something else to go along with this.

I think the poor fellow was mistaken when he sees God pointing an arrow in anger towards him (and humanity). He is seeing God pointing an arrow at sin, and the person is holding that sin too close to them. But he should not have anything to worry about, God will not miss. His arrow will be dripping with the blood of Christ about to destroy that sin. Like an angry parent towards a child who is in danger, they are angry at the danger, not the child but it seems so to the child.


Anonymous said...

As in the case of anyone's ignorance: when one comes to know, then one's ignorance is wont to melt away of itself; as in the case of darkness: it is wont to melt away if the light appears...if, then, these things have happened to each one of us, there is therefore that which beseems us: that we be mindful of it all, that the dwelling-place may be holy and quiet for a reunion.
The Gospel of Truth

Thanks Baxter for reviving the Gnostic strain of Christianity!

The God of the OT and the God of the NT are the same God; the difference is the object of his wrath. To presume that Christ did not take the wrath of God upon himself leaves us open to that wrath even still. Or it requires that his wrath be dissolved. So then must the OT be thrown out. This was the great error of Marcion in the first century, and the folly of the Gnostics that drew a sharp dichotomy between the Demiurge and the Perfect Father. But here we imagine a docetic Jesus that did not suffer the wrath of God but somehow made propitiation for sin apart from bearing the punishment for sin; hadn't we better consider the mystery of Christ's acceptance as a sacrifice the thread of Trinitarian unity rather than exempting the punishment for sin entirely? This view diminishes the sacrifice of Christ to nothing by conceiving of a wiping away of an abstract concept of sinfulness rather than the perfect sacrifice of the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. Sin is real to God and requires real sacrifice, not imaginary conceptions, for atonement. The Israelite that brought his unblemished lamb and held his hand on its head while its throat was cut knew that only too well.

Lynelle said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Right? How insane is it all?

How could I ever be at peace and thrilled about this "good news" which is no good news at all!

Nice, concise explanation. I'll share, or save to share at the right time, these words!