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Reclaiming Divine Wrath

A History of a Christian Doctrine and Its Interpretation

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Stephen Butler Murray

Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, there was prolific misuse and abuse of the concept of divine wrath in church pulpits. In pursuit of a faithful understanding of what he calls a «lost doctrine,» the author of this study investigates the substantial history of how «the wrath of God» has been interpreted in Christian theology and preaching. Starting with the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures and moving historically through Christianity’s most important theologians and societal changes, several models of divine wrath are identified. The author argues for the reclamation of a theological paradigm of divine wrath that approaches God’s love and God’s wrath as intrinsically enjoined in a dynamic tension. Without such a commitment to this paradigm, this important biblical aspect of God is in danger of suffering two possible outcomes. Firstly, it may suffer rejection, through conscious avoidance of the narrow misinterpretations of divine wrath that dominate contemporary theology and preaching. Secondly, irresponsible applications of divine wrath may occur when we neglect to engage and understand the wrath of God as inseparable from God’s justice and love in Christian theology and proclamation.

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Index 297

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Index Abelard 201 Adams, Harry Baker ix Adams, James Luther 241 Adams, John C. 160, 162 Allen, Alexander V.G. 158 Althaus, Paul 109, 115, 116–118 Altizer, Thomas J.J. 219–220, 221, 250 Ambrose 84, 87 Ananias 35 Anselm of Canterbury 73–76, 102, 267 Antonaccio, Maria ix Aquinas, Thomas 94–97, 102–103 Aristides 51 Aristotle 65, 89, 94 Arminius, Jacobus 154 Armstrong, Karen 156, 218, 219, 221 Arnobius 62–63, 100 Assmann, Jan 19, 247 Athenagoras 51, 52 Autolycus 52 Augustine of Hippo 62, 66–72, 87, 101–102, 209, 264 Ayer, A.J. 219, 250 Bachl, Gottfried 19, 264 Bachmann, E. Theodore 109, 111, 112, 114 Baggett, David J. 258 Bainton, Roland 107, 110, 116, 117 Baker, J. Wayne 143 Baldwin of Ford 84 Baldwin, James 231 Baloian, Bruce Edward 11 Barth, Karl 30, 127, 130, 136, 137, 172, 177, 181, 182–194, 236, 241, 249, 263, 264, 266, 267, 268 Bartlett, David L. ix, 269–270 Basil 87 Bass, Dorothy C. 243 Battles, Ford Lewis 121, 122, 123, 126, 127 ben Sirach, Jesus 23–24 ben Nahment, Samuel 26 Benson, Joseph 154 Bernard of Clairvaux 76–88, 102, 265, 266 Berrigan, Daniel, S.J. 232–234 Berrigan, Phillip 232–234 Bettenson, Henry 69 Biel, Pamela 143 Blarer, Ambrose 142 Blow, Susan 222 Boden, Alison ix Boesak, Allan 257 Bolt, Peter G. 28 Bonansea, B.M. 89 Bonaventure 88–94, 102, 263 Bonhoef fer, Dietrich 266 Bouwsma, William J. 122, 123, 126, 131, 135, 138 Branch, Taylor 228 Brandt, S....

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