Abandon “God Loves the Sinner but Hates the Sin”

D.A. Carson offers yet another reason we should abandon Bible cliches – they obscure the cross:

One evangelical cliché has it that God hates the sin but loves the sinner. There is a small element of truth in these words: God has nothing but hate for the sin, but this cannot be said with respect to how God sees the sinner.

Nevertheless the cliché is false on the face of it, and should be abandoned. Fourteen times in the first fifty psalms alone, the psalmists state that God hates the sinner, that His wrath is on the liar, and so forth. In the Bible the wrath of God rests on both the sin (Rom. 1:18–23) and the sinner (1:24–32; 2:5; John 3:36).

Our problem in part is that in human experience wrath and love normally abide in mutually exclusive compartments. . . Normally we do not think that a wrathful person is loving.

But this is not the way it is with God. God’s wrath is not an implacable blind rage. . . Thus there is nothing intrinsically impossible about wrath and love being directed toward the same individual or people at once. God in His perfections must be wrathful against His rebel image-bearers, for they have offended Him; God in His perfections must be loving toward His rebel image-bearers, for He is that kind of God. . .

. . . In other words both God’s love and God’s wrath are ratcheted up in the move from the Old Testament to the New. These themes barrel along through redemptive history, unresolved, until they come to a resounding climax in the Cross.

Do you wish to see God’s love? Look at the Cross.

Do you wish to see God’s wrath? Look at the Cross.

From D.A. Carson, “God’s Love and God’s Wrath,” Bibliotheca Sacra 156 (1999): 388–390.

HT: Tony Reinke via JT

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About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

3 Responses to Abandon “God Loves the Sinner but Hates the Sin”

  1. Pingback: God Hates the Sinner, and Loves the Sinner « Your Cross on My Back

  2. Pingback: What Preaching the Gospel Isn’t, and Is « Your Cross on My Back

  3. Pingback: The Fact that You Even Ask That Question . . . « Your Cross on My Back

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