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God's Wrath Postponed by D. Michael Turner

God's Wrath Postponed (2006)

by D. Michael Turner

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The issue of the extent of the Atonement has always been puzzling to me. There are passages that teach that Christ died for all, yet other passages that teach that he died for the elect only. Every attempt I've read to resolve this tension have left me scratching my head. The logic always seems twisted in favor of one camp or the other.

Turner's resolution to the issue is the clearest and most unique that I've come across. It is well researched.

I was amazed by another review that accused Turner of discounting human logic. What I found was not an attempt to throw logic out, but rather a clear inductive method of allowing each passage to stand by itself literally without forcing an understanding of one set of passages to dictate over the other set. Of all the books I've read on this issue, this one is the most logical.

Although it is a short 100 pages, it is a difficult book and challenging to wade through. It is not meant for the Theologically inexperienced. I especially appreciated his exegesis of key theological passages. ( )
1 vote Influence52 | Jul 30, 2009 |
I haven't done extreme critical analysis of the Bible since my first year in college, when I tried to explain a passage of it using a exegetical analysis during an Inter-Varsity Bible study. My comments were met with blank stares until one of the leaders said, "we don't really try to look that deep into it."

It was also the last time I went to an Inter-Varsity Bible study.

I grew up analyzing the passages of the Bible. I learned exegesis, hermeneutics, and millions of other words that only make sense to people studying theology. I learned of imputed righteousness, Mosaic law, and even more finer points, like the difference between a disciple and an apostle, as well as the proper spelling of resurrection (without even having to use a spell checker!).

This book will interest you if you have a strong background in theological studies, especially with respect to etymological derivations.

This book will most likely bore you to tears, though, if you have no interest in things pertaining to Calvinism versus Armenianism versus Universalism, or the significance of Jesus Christ's crucifixion. If you fall in this camp, don't be fooled by the cover. There are no glowy-eyed dudes with swords doing stuff in this book.

The author does make some good points, using Biblical passages to back up his claims. One thing that got to me, though, was it seemed that the author discounted logic, or at least treated it as something to be avoided when discussing issues Biblical. It seemed to go like this:

1. Man's logic is flawed because man is flawed, and logic is a creation of man.
2. Theology is the study of God.
3. God is Holy, and should not be studied using a flawed system.
4. Therefore, do not use man's logic to study God.

Which, as honorably intended as it is, still uses logic to make a point. I understand the desire to not make God a slave to logic, but at the same time, I understand the need to have a consistent God.

The book itself addresses the common beliefs on "divine selection" (that is, who decides who gets into Heaven). The Extreme Calvinist claims that God, having foreknowledge of everything, is responsible for selecting who gets their eternal rewards, which discounts things like Free Will. The Armenian (not the people group, but the theological group) claims that man chooses salvation, which discounts God's foreknowledge, and to some, weakens God. The Universalist claims that God will let everybody in, which discounts passages involving him throwing those "not written in the book of life" into "the fiery lake." I had difficulty determining which camp, if any, the author subscribed to (I believe it was "Modern Calvinism," which I think accounts somewhat for free will, but I may be wrong).

Additionally, the book discusses the significance of Christ's death, which the author claims was to save the world (or cosmos, as it were) from God's wrath. But that did not mean that everybody was entitled to an eternal reward, just saved from the wrath of God for now. He provides several citations to back up his claims.

I'm not sure if I agree with him. I guess I need to mull it around in my head some more. But whether I agree or not, it's my belief that if God wanted us to "get something right" before we die, he'd make it very apparent to us. To quote the pastor Alastair Beg: "The main things are the plain things, and the plain things are the main things."

So, whether or not we are saved from God's wrath currently by the death of Jesus, my belief is that it must not be that vital, as it took significant study to uncover. ( )
1 vote aethercowboy | Jul 15, 2009 |
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I dedicate this book
to my father
John W. Turner, Jr.
He was a gentle influence of integrity,
a model for my life.
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