Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Tag: loving god

Book Review: Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God

 Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God: The Scandalous Truth of the Very Good News, Brian Zahnd, Waterbrook, 2017.

Brian Zahnd has been on a theological and spiritual journey. And thankfully, he has taken any who are willing to go, with him. Much of this journey has been documented in his earlier books and through his sermons at Word of Life Church.

Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God continues to take us on this journey. Here Zahnd turns a traditional theological understanding of a vengeful God on its head. That is, the idea that God has utter contempt for humankind that was introduced by Jonathan Edwards in 1741.

Edwards’ sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, which I read for the first time in an American Lit class in college, is the main vehicle of this idea. A Puritan classic, the sermon is one of the prominent influences on American evangelicalism. Zahnd provides plenty of quotes from Edwards’ sermon in the opening chapter as he prepares the reader for the shift he is about to make.

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Loving God, Loving Each Other

The following is the note I wrote for Peakland Pages, the monthly newsletter at Peakland United Methodist in Lynchburg. 

In a seminary class we were asked to identify five theological rocks that grounded our ministry. These “rocks” were to be the things behind why we did what we did in ministry. I could only think of two: love God and love each other. For me, this is the bottom line of the gospel.

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Prayer for Easter

Gracious and loving God, who took the horror of what we did to your Child and turned it into new life: hear our prayer this morning. We have chosen the world’s cares over your Child’s easy yoke. We have looked for smooth paths, when your Child would have led us over difficult ones. We have hidden our faces from you. Holy One, remind us: You who raise Jesus from the dead can raise us to new life. Bring healing to our broken places, bring your peace to our anger and our fear, and bring your tender mercy to us, that we might know ourselves forgiven and ready to begin again. – Jane O. Sorenson

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