Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God: The Scandalous Truth of the Very Good News

Does God s Wrath Define Christianity Or Does God s Love In his famous sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, Puritan revivalist Jonathan Edwards shaped predominating American theology with a vision of God as angry, violent, and retributive Three centuries later, Brian Zahnd was both mesmerized and terrified by Edwards s wrathful God Haunted by fear that cripplDoes God s Wrath Define Christianity Or Does God s Love In his famous sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, Puritan revivalist Jonathan Edwards shaped predominating American theology with a vision of God as angry, violent, and retributive Three centuries later, Brian Zahnd was both mesmerized and terrified by Edwards s wrathful God Haunted by fear that crippled his relationship with God, Zahnd spent years praying for a divine experience of hell What Zahnd experienced instead was the Father s love revealed perfectly through Jesus Christ for all prodigal sons and daughters In Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God, Zahnd asks important questions like Is seeing God primarily as wrathful towards sinners true or biblical Is fearing God a normal, expected behavior And where might the natural implications of this theological framework lead us Thoughtfully wrestling with subjects like Old Testament genocide, the crucifixion of Jesus, eternal punishment in hell, and the final judgment in Revelation, Zanhd maintains that the summit of divine revelation for sinners is not God is wrath, but God is love.
Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God The Scandalous Truth of the Very Good News Does God s Wrath Define Christianity Or Does God s Love In his famous sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God Puritan revivalist Jonathan Edwards shaped predominating American theology with a vis

  • Title: Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God: The Scandalous Truth of the Very Good News
  • Author: Brian Zahnd
  • ISBN: 9781601429513
  • Page: 153
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God: The Scandalous Truth of the Very Good News”

    1. Commending Jonathan EdwardsI will never forget a very special evening with a small group of Christ-followers at the McLean home. My good friend, Don suggested that we read Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God by Jonathan Edwards in one sitting – on our knees. And so a group of middle-aged adults gathered in Don’s living room alongside several children (whose knees were much more nimble) – and we read Edward’s classic sermon – on our knees. It is a moment I will not soon forget. We were [...]

    2. I've barely slept since picking this book up because I can't stop mulling it over in my mind. This book is so much more than a writing on God loving humans. It confronts the evil in mans heart towards our fellow humans and condemns the use of using scriptures to justify violence and vengeance. My favorite line is, "the way you interpret scripture exposes more about your heart than it doesn't about God". It addresses the many contradictions in the scriptures and how man manipulates those contradi [...]

    3. Brian Zahnd was a big fan of the Angry God. As a young pastor, he carried around a handwritten copy of Sinner's in the Hands of an ANGRY GOD, Jonathan Edwards's famous sermon. He memorized portions of the sermon, in order to give preaching more of an edge, so he could draw sinners to repentance as Edwards had done. However, Zahnd since discovered the Father revealed to us through Jesus Christ is not the violent, angry, retributive monster god articulated in Edwards's sermon.Wrestling with issue [...]

    4. As a recovering fundamentalist, I have found this book to be very healing. Rather than the fire and brimstone gospel that has been touted to me so much, this book actually delves into Jesus, what he really taught and how God really is. God is love, not hate, not revenge. So, so important.

    5. This is one of those books that I found myself highlighting paragraph after paragraph and needing different colours just so the highlighted sections would stand out. Brian has a gift for taking complex theological ideas and relating them in simple easy to understand and remember ways. His take on Revelations was different in some ways from what I've come across before and it really just made a lot of sense to me. Like pieces of a puzzle that I had been staring at for a long time finally found th [...]

    6. Like many towns, our hometown has a monument. But when I first moved here, it was horrible to look at. It was entombed inside a sarcophagus of filth, chewing gum, mould, moss and pigeon muck. Then, a few years later, the council finally came along with a shot-blaster and a thing of beauty suddenly emerged. Underneath all those generations of layered grime was a work of art to behold.In a similar fashion God has become a repulsive image to behold. Certain circles of Christian theology, with their [...]

    7. Honestly, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God is one of the most eye-opening and challenging books about faith I have ever read. I grew up in the Bible Belt and I had know how much toxic and dangerous theology I had inherited from my local church environment. Brian Zahnd's premise is as devastatingly simple as it is hopeful - Jesus is the perfect embodiment of God, and thus Jesus' life, death is the "perfect theology" we should strive to echo in our own lives. Along the way, Zahnd dismantles un [...]

    8. What is God truly like?  This is a question I have wrestled with.  My whole life I have heard people say, and have said myself, that God is a God of love and of justice.  Your sin deserves God’s eternal and unending punishment, or wrath.  You can avoid this punishment by trusting in Jesus for in Jesus we see God’s love.  In other words, God shows love to some and wrath to others.              To hold this understanding leads to some unavoidable questions.  Does Jesus save [...]

    9. Zanhd eloquently and sharply dismantles one common, broken image of God and introduces us to the reassuring truth of the love revealed in Jesus. This isn't "comprehensive" in that it won't answer every question or unpack every challenging text of scripture. But as a primer on Christocentric hermeneutics, it's a perfect way to reorient yourself to the grace, mercy and kindness of the Jesus Way.

    10. This was the first book that I've read within a day in a LONG time. Let that speak for what it's worth. I would also like to add, however, that just because I was able to read it fairly quickly and that in itself lends as a witness to the readability and intrigue of said book, it does not necessarily reflect my agreement with all of the material presented. That being said, I firmly believe that this is a book that most Christians (if not all) should read, not because what he said is necessarily [...]

    11. A concise but powerful prophetic word to the American church, rebuking the twistings of Jesus and theology in many wings of evangelicalism in the name of servicing American Empire and twisted views of sin and punishment. Zahnd's chapters on Hell and Revelation are particularly powerful and insightful, his illuminating of Revelation as a symbolic critique/satire of the Roman Empire is remarkable, making me want to revisit a book I have generally avoided due to distaste with conservative manipulat [...]

    12. I have no issue with his conclusion that violence is antithetical to Christian belief. My problem is how he gets there. His emphasis on God as revealed in the person of Jesus is to the exclusion of the God that Scripture reveals in the Old Testament. This is not an orthodox reading of Scripture, nor is it a helpful way of teaching who God really is. I agree wholeheartedly that Jesus is the fullness of God, the clearest picture of who God is, and the Man we should model our lives after. But in Mr [...]

    13. This is my third book by Zahnd. (The first two: Water to Wine and Beauty Will Save the World.)Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God challenges what I would consider to be the conventional, evangelical Christian positions on violence. How are we to interpret the violent passages of both the Old Testament and the New (particularly Revelation)? Why would a loving God require the violent death of his Son into order to appease his own wrath? How do we reconcile the doctrine of hell and the belief in a [...]

    14. If Sinners in the hands of an angry God goes to the extreme, the book, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God, clearly goes to the other extreme. If you choose to magnify one attribute of God above all others, you will end up with a warped theology. To prove that God is not an angry God, the author takes great license in reconstructing Biblical teaching on basic beliefs. I would not recommend this book!

    15. A challenging read for sure—it is a much different perspective especially on some challenging questions about the Old Testament. However his position is both too simplistic and undefended: throw the Old Testament out.For instance, Zahnd repeatedly quotes Hosea when God says that He desires “mercy and not sacrifice” and uses that to say that the Old Testament authors got it all wrong with the sacrifice system. Never minding that Jesus never spoke against it, always spoke about his place to [...]

    16. Enjoyed that this book caused a "spurring" on, if you will. I think sometimes we have just gotten used to a comfortable view of painted pictures portrayed by the church at large. This book caused me to further look into thoughts I have had before myself. However, not lining up with some doctrines I just brushed those thoughts off. I had a hard time with the writers style. I feel like had I have listened to some of his podcast prior to reading, I would've better been able to sync with it. Overall [...]

    17. Excellent presentation of an evangelical theology that is influenced by Orthodox theology and reading of Scripture. Very helpful to anyone who wrestles with the Old Testament, doctrines of Hell as taught in some places today and as a rebuke to religious nationalism.

    18. This book synthesizes so much of what I’ve been learning over the past few years, giving my faith so much more depth and meaning. A must read.

    19. Thought-provoking, irritating, and concerning are all words I would use to describe Brian Zahnd’s book, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God. Rev. Zahnd starts the book telling about his experiences as a child when much of the preaching centered around the wrath of God. People were scared into hell. His own favorite sermon was Jonathan Edward’s Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. He relates how he used to read the Chick Publication tracts (probably most of my readers are too young to remem [...]

    20. Brian Zahnd's Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God: The Scandalous Truth of the Very Good News is, in a word, breathtaking!Zahnd is working toward a radical (getting-to-the-root) Christ-centered biblical hermeneutic. I was soaking up every word of this beautifully written, entirely accessible, utterly practical theology book that combines rich faith with practical living. This really is a book of "Very Good News" and it points toward a sea-change that's happening among Christian evangelical prea [...]

    21. I am not giving this book a bad review because it is poorly written (it is a very engaging read) or because I disagree with the author's conclusions (which I certainly do), I am giving it a bad review because Zahnd may misrepresent his opponents more than any author I have ever read. I was excited to read this, as I thought Zahnd could fairly demonstrate a reasonable perspective to justify his view of atonement and the nature of God. To my disappointment I found a book that, while clever and wel [...]

    22. [Note:  This book was provided free of charge by Blogging For Books/Waterbrook.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.]The title of this book is a deliberate riff on the unrepresentative sermon Sinners In The Hand Of An Angry God, a sermon that the author once had a strange and even disturbing fascination with but has now decisively rejected.  Although I have a deep urge to rip into this book for its many flaws, I think that it is necessary to at least acknowledge its virtues in pointing out [...]

    23. Worth Reading Multiple Times I have been blessed, challenged and provoked to deep thought many times while reading Pastor Brian Zahnd's books, and this one was near the top of the list in those categories! I would not only recommend every follower of Jesus read this book, but anyone who wrestles with the themes of religiously motivated violence, or divine portraits of violent dieties. Well worth the read!

    24. This author has done some thinking. I'd recommend this book if for no other reason than to challenge yourself as to what and why you believe what you do. I'm sure there will plenty of posts in some sectors that will not approve of Zahnd's conclusions. Others will cheer the direction he has taken. He's a very persuasive author, but comes off a bit strident at times throughout this book. I did find most of what he had to say a welcome change of rhetoric. In fact, I think this is a long overdue cor [...]

    25. I first encountered Jonathan Edward's sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" while taking an American Literature class in undergraduate school. It was a horrifying piece of writing that, according to accounts, had his congregation weeping and wailing and repenting to escape the terrors of hell fire and damnation. It also presented an angry, vengeful God who held sinners over the flames like a boy might an insect.Though it wasn't until college that I encountered Edward's sermon, I had come [...]

    26. Many have walked away from Christianity or rejected it outright because, all too often, certain Christian sects (particularly those of a fundamentalist bent) present a portrait of a God who is, on one hand, claimed to be perfectly loving and, on the other hand, depicted as angry, judgmental, and merciless in torturing non-Christians forever in hell. There is an obvious contradiction between a perfectly loving God and a God who torments people forever; moreover, this angry, judgmental God is not [...]

    27. Brian Zahnd is an intriguing individual. In "Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God," Zahnd writes to readers who have been taught or told theological concepts that he used to teach himself, including fundamentalist-type ideas of God’s wrath. Throughout the book, he engages different aspects of Christian fundamentalism that have contributed to the notion that God is exceptionally angry at humans. He refutes many of these ideas by presenting alternative views of things like hell and eternal damna [...]

    28. Easy to read, easy to understand, and the best introduction to the love of GodBy saying this is the best introduction to the love of God, I don't mean to take anything away from Brad Jersak's "A More Christlike God: A More Beautiful Gospel" or similar works which address the topic with more theological depth. However, in terms of immediate accessibility to a wider audience, this is the best start.As I have seen criticism in other reviews, am aware that BZ does not grapple with all the scripture [...]

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