So a Southern Baptist and an Episcopalian walk into a bar…

Belinda posted this comment last night under the Coretta Scott King entry, and I wanted to give it wider circulation. She wrote:

“I am interested (genuinely) in hearing what the more liberal Christians have to say about this. On Dr. Albert Mohler’s radio show today he talked about an LA Times story that seemed to indicate that liberal Christians: don’t view God as static, do not believe in a wrathful God, believe the Bible is open ended, and basically go for the “love” aspect of God without the judgment of God.

“‘Romans 1:18 says, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth of their wickedness.’

“None of us wants to go to a church that is hell, fire, and brimstone all the time. But do you believe the wrath of God ought to be preached? Do you believe the things the LA Times says you believe? Why, or why not?”

I’d love to have a link to the LA Times story she refers to, and will add it if someone caan provide it. Director Guy comes through. Here it is. But registration with the LA Times is required.

Some people have already posted answers under the CS King entry, but if we could continue the conversation here, I would appreciate it.

My own response is that I do believe in a final judgment–although that may be something different than what Dr. Mohler means by the wrath of God. I don’t think God punishes people in this life for their sins, or maybe what I don’t believe is that we can discern when this is happening. I am not saying some sorts of sin don’t have obvious consequences. But I think the Ray Nagin/Pat Robertson line of reasoning on this is dangerous as it equates misfortune with sin and equates being victimized with sinning. My guess is that the real differnce I would have with Mr. Mohler is that we may not agree on the nature of God’s punishment, or on the sort of things that deserve punishment.

So let’s talk about wrath and judgment with an eye firmly on Belinda’s original question. And as a matter of Christian hospitality, no personal comments on either Mohler, Belinda,(or me, for that matter.)

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