Sediel Abel Boanerges - Surrender


Seidel Abel Boanerges, our Director of Outreach, brings us this weeks Sunday Service sermon with a message from Romans 1.

  • Gregg Monteith

    Hello Seidel,

    Thanks for posting your sermon regarding surrender. I’ve done a bit of thinking on this subject and I must admit that I rather think that there are some problems with the issue of “surrendering” all to God. It would be difficult for me to distill what I’ve written into a few paragraphs so I’m linking in two blog posts that I’ve written on the subject:

    First post: “Stewardship rather than surrender…”

    Second post: “Self-awareness rather than surrender”

    Also, in terms of your emphasis on God’s wrath you may find Terence Fretheim’s article “Theological reflections on the wrath of God in the Old Testament” helpful (if you have ATLA database access the full PDF is available on-line). It’s in “Horizons in Biblical Theology” from 2002. Here are just a couple of points from page 17 that bear on some of what you mentioned:

    “I conclude this segment with three more abstract points. (1) Because wrath is always “provoked,” wrath is not a divine attribute, and hence different from, say, love؛” if there were no sin, there would be no wrath.”45 In Eichrodt’s terms, wrath is never “a permanent state of affairs for God in relation to humanity.”46 See also Peels’s language: “Wrath is not a permanent ‘attribute’ of God, but neither is it ‘uncharacteristic’ of God.”*’ To claim wrath as an attribute would entail an eternal dualism and a compromise of Israel’s monotheism.
    (2) Anger cannot be construed simply in terms of emotion, for God gives reasons. God’s wrath is not “irrational” from the general understanding of God in the OT, one may infer that God’s actions always serve God’s purposes even though hidden with respect to specific motivation (“there can never be any question of despotic caprice striking out in blind rage”).** Emotion and reason come together in God’s anger. God’s wrath is “voluntary and purposeful, motivated by a concern for right and wrong.”49 (3) God is angry because God’s will is not being done؛ hence, God’s will is resistible. If this were not the case, then God’s anger would, finally, only be directed to God’s own self. If God’s will is resistible, God’s anger is meaningless.”

    In particular, his point is one way of showing that the love/wrath opposition is actually incongruent. A better way of framing the matter (and indeed, of both characterizing God and God’s wrath as a response rather than a characteristic, as I seem to think you sermon did) is tension of love and truth, truth and love. Hopefully there’s enough of value here to merit reading this lengthy comment.


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Our Outreach Director Seidel giving an outdoor lecture