In John 14:8 Philip the Apostle asked Jesus to reveal the Father. Jesus answered, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” Think about that: God, the greatest mystery imaginable, is now available to us, and he looks like Jesus.
This seems like the best possible news. After all, Jesus comes to us as the one who embraces the leper, the prostitute, the widow. He welcomes the child and tells us the kingdom of God is of such as these. From the cross he cries out “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And he describes God as a father who casts aside social convention as he runs to embrace his prodigal son, and who rejoices over the discovery of one lost sheep.
But if God looks like Jesus, then why does God often seem to look like an angry father, a capricious despot, a fearsome warrior? From the blood-soaked cities of Canaan, to the rocky hill of Golgotha, to the lake of fire roaring into eternity, the God we find in the pages of scripture frequently seems to be defined by wrath.
Is it possible to make sense of this apparent dissonance? Can Jesus help us to “unwrath” God?
That’s a great question, and in this episode of The Tentative Apologist Podcast we’re going to look for an answer as we sit down with Brad Jersak, a theologian, author, speaker, and Reader at All Saints of North America Monastery. Brad is the author of several books including Her Gates Will Never Be Shut: Hope, Hell, and the New Jerusalem, and Can You Hear Me? Tuning in to the God who Speaks. In his new book A More Christlike God: A More Beautiful Gospel Brad challenges us to explore the untold riches of taking Jesus at his word. If you have seen Jesus then you have seen God; The Lord of the Universe is a cruciform savior.
You can visit Brad online at www.bradjersak.com/