God can handle your anger–and your confusion, fear and doubt, too

An Egyptian court last week sentenced an author to five years in prison. His crime? Insulting religion. He penned a book entitled Where is God? which some Muslims deemed offensive.Egyptian law, according to one report, "gives all Muslims the right to file lawsuits in cases where an exalted right of God has been violated." But maybe God can take it. At least that's what Ian Punnett argues in his new book How to Pray When You're Pissed at God, a title that might spark similar offense in some … [Read more...]

The changeless love of God

zoutedrop, Flickr

Our experience of God often changes, doesn’t it? Sometimes he seems angry, other times loving; sometimes comforting, other times convicting; sometimes close, other times aloof. It varies, which is tricky because Scripture tells us that God doesn't change. So maybe -- if you'll forgive me for speaking for the entire human race -- the problem is us.Scripture frequently associates God with fire. He appears in the flames of a burning-yet-unburned bush. He leads by a blazing pillar. Flame streams … [Read more...]

Into the hands of a loving God

The Heart of the Good Shepherd

On July 8, 1741, Jonathan Edwards preached his most famous sermon and probably the most famous American sermon ever, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” The sermon portrays God suspending sinners over the fires of hell with only his arbitrary good pleasure preventing their drop to eternal torment.Edwards paints a frighteningly vivid picture to provoke his listeners to self-reflection, fear, and repentance. “The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some … [Read more...]

Be attentive, banish anger

'The Gust'

In the ancient Christian story Barlaam and Ioasaph, the pagan king Abenner has a hot temper, and when he discovers that one of his governors has converted to Christianity and become a monk, he is furious. He orders that the unlikely convert be brought before his judgment seat to explain himself. It takes a while, but the man is finally found living in the desert and is taken to the king.The text says that Abenner was filled with “mingled grief and fury” and spoke “in speech blended of these tw … [Read more...]


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