God Hates Injustice

The God who loves what is good must not love what is evil. He must not even be ambivalent toward what is evil, what is harmful, what is destructive. He must hate it. The God of the Bible reveals himself as a God of love. But he also reveals himself as a God who hates. We have been looking at verses where the Bible employs words like “hate,” “abomination,” and “detestable,” and have seen that God hates idolatry and God …

Gospel Weariness

Gospel weariness. It’s a little phrase I picked up from a friend when he preached at our church not too long ago. His text was James 1, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds…” As he began to preach he told of some of the difficulties his church had encountered in recent days. Most recently and most painfully, dear friends who had only one opportunity to have a child had experienced stillbirth at eight …

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Did God Break the Law for Love?

It happened again. A popular preacher said something in a sermon, it made its way to social media, and lots of people got upset. This happens quite often, doesn’t it? I rarely pay attention to these things and comment on them infrequently. However, I am making an exception for the latest one because I suspect quite a few people who saw it on their Facebook timeline are saying, “Hang on! What’s so wrong with what he said?” It’s one of …

The Question Asked at Every Conference Q&A

There is a question that comes up time and again in those question and answer sessions that happen at every Christian conference—those sessions that are so often a highlight of a good event. It is the question of justice and usually asks something like this: Can it really be just for God to punish people forever? At the recent Ligonier Ministries National Conference it was phrased something like this: Is it fair for God to punish a person in eternity …

I Demand Justice!

Last week I spent a few hours at Dachau, the infamous Nazi concentration camp. It stands today as a kind of monument to evil, a reminder of what humanity is capable of. It was sobering to walk the grounds, to view the barracks, to tour the museum, and to peer into the long rows of isolation cells. It was horrifying to see the pockmarked wall that was used as the backdrop for firing squads, to walk through a gas chamber, …

2 Serious Misconceptions about God’s Wrath

There may be no theological topic more controversial than divine wrath. While most of humanity is eager to acknowledge the existence of God, and while most love to acknowledge his traits of grace and mercy and kindness, very few want to acknowledge his wrath. Yet wrath is a consistent theme in the Bible and a defining characteristic of the God we meet in its pages. Divine wrath suffers when we fail to understand it aright. Here are two serious, common …

God Is His Own Executioner

What is involved in the idea of the Father, or Jesus, being a judge? This is something J.I. Packer deals with extraordinarily well in his book Knowing God. Let’s track with him just briefly to see our good God in his function of just judge. Here are 4 characteristics of the judge. The judge is a Person with authority. “In the Bible world, the king was always the supreme authority because his was the supreme ruling authority. It is on …

The Best Kind of Savior

My time of prayer began today with a verse from Isaiah. Right there, on the very first card I saw, was one of my favorite texts. The Lord speaks to his people and assures them, “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins” (Isaiah 43:25). God looks at his sinning, sinful people, reminds them that they are his, and assures them that he loves and longs to extend …

The Demands of Justice

Here in Ontario there is a criminal trial taking place of the kind that is so disturbing that I cannot bear to read any details. It involves the taking, raping and killing of a young girl. The very few details I’ve seen in headlines and bylines have been more than enough to convince me that I cannot read any more. It’s just too much, too weighty, too awful. A trial like this one is always accompanied by cries for justice. …

Death Is No Escape

Earlier this morning I finished up Richard J. Evans’ The Third Reich at War, a very long, very thorough, very interesting tracing of the rise and fall of German military might from 1939 to 1945. More than just another account of the Second World War, this book looks to battles, but also to atrocities and to the German home front. It provides an overall perspective on the German experience of war, from the men on the front lines, to the …