...if we be honest with ourselves,
we shall be honest with each other.  ~ George MacDonald

Jesus Wept 

Jesus Wept

 

You Cannot Have Perfect Justice Without Perfect Love

 
Good theology is built on two premises.

1. God is love.
2. God does everything because of love.

It's God's perfect love that makes him worthy of worship. It’s his love that sets him apart. (God is a perfectly just judge because he is a perfectly loving father.) God always judges fairly and never punishes more than is necessary. If he was not a loving father he could not be a just judge. (If you think the Bible does not support the view that God is love and that everything he does is motivated by love, you would do well to read Chapter 7, "God is Love" in The Inescapable Love of God by Thomas Talbott.)

Many in the Church today think that God can be perfectly just without being perfectly loving; but that’s only because they’ve projected their idea of justice onto the character of God. Man’s justice requires payment; God’s justice requires repentance.

Let the wicked forsake their ways
    and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
    and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
8
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
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“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:7-9).

Where did this idea that God requires payment come from? It came from a theologian named Augustine. (Luther was an Augustinian monk, and Calvin rejected the theology of all the Church Father’s in favour of Augustine. See here)

It’s time we scrap Augustine’s theology and start again (see David Bentley Hart’s book That All Shall Be Saved). When ever a person begins to trust God, he welcomes them (See Ezekiel 18, See also).

God is kind to the unrepentant as well as the repentant. He is always kind, and he is always just. 

Once a person repents, punishment is no longer necessary.