Does Your Hymnal Have Room for the Wrath of God?

Till on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied.

In my opinion, In Christ Alone by Keith Getty and Stuart Townsend is the best modern day hymn. It is rich in theological truth with a melodious tune. I listen to it often at home and become excited when I see that we are going to sing it together as a church during a worship service.

The quote at the beginning of this article is from the song. It is also the part of the song that caused a committee for a new Presbyterian hymnal to reject the inclusion of In Christ Alone.
This hymnal committee liked the song with the line about the wrath of God replaced by “The love of God was magnified.” I appreciate that the song writers were not willing to trade the lines.

Surely the love of God was magnified by the death of Jesus on the cross. But so much more happened with the crucifixion. Indeed, the wrath of God was poured out in full upon Jesus. Jesus had prayed the night before his death about this “cup” which he had to drink. The only way we could experience the love of God was if Jesus took this wrath full force.

Our modern sensibilities are often offended by the concept of a God of wrath. But you cannot have a holy God without wrath. We should quit trying to recreate God in our own image and worship God as he is.

On a lighter note, are we surprised that a denomination still appoints a hymnal committee? I love hymnals and have one that I use at home, but many churches are now hymnal-less.

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