Monday, January 16, 2006

Fire and Brimstone

I reckon that very few ever truly come to love God as he is. Maybe I'm wrong. Jonathan Edwards was big on this. He made sure to occasionally address the reality of hell and he did so graphically. He liked to posit the image of God from Isaiah 63.3-4:
"I have trodden the winepress alone;
from the nations no one was with me.
I trampled them in my anger
and trod them down in my wrath;
their blood spattered my garments,
and I stained all my clothing.
For the day of vengeance was in my heart,
and the year of my redemption has come
It's not the language we like to hear, and yet it is God himself speaking to us. Because we ignore it, we have allowed the skeptics and atheists to own these passages and now even find them embarrassing (example).

It struck me today at lunch with Paul--all those images from the Tsunami last year and the harbors full of bodies... What did it look like outside the ark? I imagine that the population was smaller, but I'm sure that the currents sometimes concentrated the flotsam. Perhaps, God held them in the boat for a year in order for the disease to subside. It was unspeakable carnage, and yet it was God himself writing the story.

As the church, we must tell the story as it is. God has no need for our embarrassment. Only when we see him as He is do we ever really see Him. The love stands side by side with his wrath. He's much more like Aslan than George Burns or Morgan Freeman.

For Tomorrow:
1-Here are pictures and video of all the animals on Earth.
2-Here's how to be funny. It works...
2.5-Others have greatly influenced my thinking above, including Glenn Kreider and Jeff Bingham.


sekondstory said...

So true. I think now more than ever, people don't want to know the God of the bible, they only want what they can wrap their mind around and what feels good.

Wendy said...

It is hard to see God that way.

Johnny T said...

I've never thought about the flood like that. I mean in the Bible story book it just shows a bunch of happy animals in pairs, and Noah's clan getting to handbuild this awesome boat, I admire crafstmanship.
I think of getting to know God like getting to know a new friend. At first, it's positive and you get to see what clicks between the two of you. Then as time and circumstances go on, deeper sides of personalities are revealed and it's a chance for one of the other to really begin to understand. I think it's about the maturity of a relationship. Sad thing is, I'm not sure if a lot of Christians get past the intial part. And, I really liked your number one for 2T.

f1rststory said...

cool thoughts about the flood. Makes perfect sense. And even though there are people out there who mock and/or misrepresent God, it's really neat when, every once in a while, you hear from (or about) someone who's life was actually changed because of some of the mockers. God works in mysterious ways - even through embarrasment...