Pastor Contends God Has Received Bad Press—He’s Not a God of Wrath But Love
An Important Exploration into How God is Revealed Perfectly
through Jesus Christ as a God of Love and Mercy Could it be that our American theology has been greatly influenced by a sermon preached 275 years ago?
Pastor and author Brian Zahnd says that Puritan revivalist Jonathan Edwards’ “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” long regarded as the most important sermon in American history, has shaped the American vision of God for nearly three centuries, and it is a tragedy.
In Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God: The Scandalous Truth of the Very Good News
(WaterBrook, Aug. 15, 2017),
Zahnd says that when he was a pastor in his 20s, he was greatly affected by Edwards’ vision of God as angry, violent and retributive. “What I did know was that I liked Jesus, but I was really scared of his Dad, the faceless white giant with obvious anger issues,” Zahnd writes.
Similar to Protestant Reformer Martin Luther’s experience over 500 years ago, Zahnd was haunted by fear that crippled his relationship with God. In fact, Zahnd actually spent years praying for a divine experience of hell. Yet what Zahnd experienced instead was the Father’s love—revealed perfectly through Jesus Christ—for all prodigal sons and daughters.
In the book, Zahnd shares his own powerful story of discovering that Jesus Christ is “the exact representation of His nature” (Hebrews 1:3) while exploring questions like:
· Is seeing God primarily as wrathful towards sinners true or biblical?
· Has our culture influenced how we view Christ’s work at the cross?
· What about Old Testament genocide?
· How does this affect our theology?
· How do we understand the final judgement in Revelation?
There have been centuries of debates about the Old Testament picture of God. Nevertheless, Zahnd stresses that “what the Bible does infallibly is point us to Jesus.”
Zahnd’s challenging and thoughtful message is a significant addition to the ongoing conversation both within and outside the church on understanding and deciphering the true nature of God as revealed in His Word. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Brian Zahnd
founded Word of Life Church in St. Joseph, Missouri, more than 35 years ago, and he still serves as lead pastor to a congregation committed to an authentic expression of Jesus Christ in the 21st century. He’s also the author of six books including Beauty Will Save the World
He lives in Missouri with his wife, Peri. For more information, visit www.brianzahnd.com where he regularly blogs about important issues in the church and culture. Praise for Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God
“I have come to love Brian Zahnd and his writings. They are deep, reflective, authentic, and inspiring. Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God
is a brilliant and important book that every Christian should read. If you’ve ever struggled with the violence attributed to God in Scripture, or the angry and vengeful images of God sometimes taught in Christian circles, this book will speak to you.”
, pastor and author of Making Sense of the Bible
“Brian Zahnd walks boldly into the violent propensity of so much Christian theology and preaching that has wounded so many people, a propensity in which he himself has participated. He not only shows what bad, irresponsible theology this is, pervasive as it continues to be; he exposes the ‘hackneyed trope of dispensationalism’ that feeds so much worldly violence and that authorizes so much wounding. But more than that, in his poetic mode, Zahnd invites to an alternative that is grounded not in ‘Biblicism’ but in the reality of Jesus who embodies the inexplicable love of God that passes all human understanding. Zahnd writes as one emancipated to evangelical joy. He invites his readers to walk with him into such a God-given vocation that honors the God of love and that loves the neighbor.”
, Columbia Theological SeminaryReligion/Christian Living
● Trade Paperback ● 224 Pages ● $14.99 U.S./$19.99 Canada
eBook ISBN 978-0-6014-2952-0 ● $11.99 U.S./$13.99 Canada