GRACE AND JUDGMENT
an All-Purpose Guru blog
David M. Guion
Exploring how God destroys sin and wickedness with the power of his love and grace
God hates and judges sin. God extends grace and forgiveness to the sinner. Those aren’t contradictory statements, but seeming opposites that Christians must learn to keep in balance. In love, God’s grace destroys sin.
In this day of short letters to newspaper editors, Facebook posts, and of course tweets limited to 140 characters, even people with more complex views can come off seeming to represent an extreme.
It’s all to easy to make God appear as either an angry judge, bent out of shape when someone breaks one of his rules or as an indulgent grandfather who showers a chummy sort of love on everyone regardless of what they do.
In a blog, I can write as much as necessary to lay out facts and nuances necessary to understand the deeper truths of the Bible. Deep truth does not mean some kind of buried treasure that only a few diligent seekers can ever uncover. It just requires looking beneath the surface. I have.
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What qualifies me to write Grace and Judgment?
- I grew up in a church-going family in an academic community.
- Through college, I fancied myself an intellectual Christian, which meant that I disbelieved in anything supernatural. I disdained people who took the Bible literally or who talked about having a personal relationship with Jesus, including some of my undergraduate friends.
- When I started graduate school, I actually stopped going to church for a year, but continued reading the Bible and Christian books. Then I picked a church based on its active outreach to the surrounding community.
- The people I admired most sounded like the undergrads I hadn’t listened to earlier, but many of them had advanced degrees. My intellectual pretensions began to fall apart. When I read C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, they crumbled entirely. I knew that I needed to learn to worship a supernatural God.
- I had grown up supposing the Bible was the work of human minds and that it was riddled with contradictions. The more intensely I studied it and came to know Jesus as a living person in my life, the supposed contradictions started getting resolved.
- I met some friends who talked about the Holy Spirit in a way that made me profoundly uncomfortable, but eventually, almost in spite of myself, I had my own personal encounter with the Holy Spirit and received my supernatural prayer language.
- All the while, my life seemed to lurch from one personal crisis to another. It took another dozen years after I learned to pray in tongues before I really knew that God loves me.
- It’s not that my life no longer has crises, but God has taught me a lot about his grace. I recognize that troubles do not mean I’m being punished for something.
- I’m beginning to understand what a beloved hymn calls “grace that is greater than all my sin.”
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