Making Sense of the Wrath of God

Many people are troubled by the biblical doctrine of the wrath of God. Our lack of appreciation of this doctrine is one of the reasons we trivialize sin and fail to reverence God’s holiness. The best thing I’ve ever read outside the Bible on this subject is from a book by Christian philosopher Stephen T. Davis. Keep this quote handy when you preach or teach on the subject of holiness, judgment, and God’s wrath.

I think we ignore the concept of the wrath of God at our own cost. Indeed, I would argue for the radical proposition that our only hope as human beings is the wrath of God. (It is also true, of course, that our only hope is the grace of God, but that is another matter). The wrath of God shows that we do not live, as so many today suppose that we do, in a random and morally neutral universe. God wrath shows us that right and wrong are objectively real, they are to be discovered, not created. The wrath of God is our only hope because it teaches us the moral significance of our deeds and shows us how life is to be lived.

From Stephen T. Davis, Risen Indeed: Making Sense of the Resurrection (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1993), page 166.