the gospel

The Wrath of God

This entry is part 3 of 13 in the series Pastoral Soteriology

The Wrath of God

It is very popular among certain soft-spoken pseudo-theologians today to downplay and “preach away” the existence of God’s wrath toward man’s sin.  Placating today’s whiny “I’m okay, you’re okay” cultural sentiments, they express anti-biblical platitudes which decry that “a loving God” would simply not reveal his anger toward mankind whom he loves.  Indeed, many are perfectly contented with the idea that God is incapable of genuine wrath; claiming that it is outside of his perfect nature to be prone to jealousy and anger.  “Rock star” preachers, such as Rob Bell, gain standing ovations from such gross misrepresentations of biblical theology, such as Bell’s “The God’s Are Not Angry” sermonette tour.  Ending with the phrase “God is not angry because God is love” is a certain crowd pleaser at such gigs. 

Others, such as popular emergent author, Alan Jones, declare that penal substitution is a “vile doctrine” (Reimagining Christianity, p. 168) and that anger is inconsistent with love as a characteristic of God.  The position of this warped understanding of the gospel is based upon the sentimental and philosophical perception that love and anger are somehow mutually exclusive qualities.  Noting that “God is love” and that everything God does is “inspired by love,” they contend that God is incapable of exhibiting wrath because wrath is not motivated by love.  These men must not have children.  Continue reading

A Pastoral Soteriology: Introduction

This entry is part 1 of 13 in the series Pastoral Soteriology

Soteriology is the technical term for the study of the doctrine of salvation.  From the Greek soterios, meaning “salvation,” this field of study biblically defines the basis of what is necessary for man to be made right with God and have fellowship with him.

In short order, salvation is that which satisfies the judgment placed by God upon man’s sinful condition.  Thus, if man were not a sinner there would be no need for salvation.  As such, Soteriology and Harmartiology (the study of the doctrine of sin) are inextricably connected.  It is because of man’s sin that he is separated from God and it is because of salvation that man is able to be restored to God.  Unconditionally, a valid and biblical presentation of the (true) gospel must emphasize man’s sin, which is the core condition requiring God’s intervention on his behalf.  Sin is universal and incurable by man’s own actions.  Furthermore, it holds the most serious consequence of any action of eternity past or future; an eternal separation from God in unquenchable punishment.  Continue reading

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