The Myth of “Righteous Anger”

Incredible HulkThe United States of America in the twenty-first century is a profoundly angry culture, and in contemporary discourse anger (often labeled “outrage”) is almost regarded as a virtue.

By starkest contrast, when the Lord Jesus and his apostles teach about human anger their message is fairly simple and pretty clear. Anger is spiritually dangerous and often is simply equated with sin. Does the Bible teach a category of “righteous anger” on the part of Jesus’ disciples? I would say, “not really.”

To be sure, there is a place for anger, and for vengeance. But it does not belong to the disciples of Jesus. That prerogative belongs to God alone…

…to read the rest of what Professor Gibbs has to say, click over to his new essay “The Myth of ‘Righteous Anger’: What the Bible Says About Human Anger.”

Related posts

ICYMI: 2022 Multiethnic Symposium Videos

ICYMI: 2022 Multiethnic Symposium Videos


ICYMI: 2022 Multiethnic Symposium Videos

On May 3-4, 2022, we held our Multiethnic Symposium on campus, in partnership with Concordia University, St. Paul.  The theme of the symposium was "Rise and Enter the City": “But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do” (Acts 9:6 ESV). With these words, Jesus calls Saul...

Rev. Rossow’s Reflections on “the Spirit of Truth”

Rev. Rossow's Reflections on "the Spirit of Truth"


Rev. Rossow's Reflections on "the Spirit of Truth"

In the fifteenth chapter of his gospel St. John quotes Jesus as saying, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me” (v. 26). Soon afterwards, in the sixteenth chapter of the same...

A Proposal for Confirmation Sunday

A Proposal for Confirmation Sunday


A Proposal for Confirmation Sunday

My youngest son will be confirmed this Pentecost Sunday and I had the privilege of being one of his instructors (in addition to the “head of the household” instruction that my wife and I antiphonally carry out).  I still have this great picture of him as a little toddler falling asleep with the...

8 Comments

  1. Rev. Harlan Limmer October 27, 2015
    Reply

    Will be published in Journal?

    • Jeff Gibbs October 28, 2015

      Dear Brother Harlan,

      I think that the plan only includes the present on-line availability. One can, of course, distribute and copy as needed.

      All the best,

      Jeff Gibbs

  2. Pastor Bob Sharp October 27, 2015
    Reply

    Dear Dr. Gibbs,

    Thanks so much for this thoughtful and well-researched Paper. This topic has arisen a few times, usually in Bible study, and your scholarship will prove very helpful.

    Rich Blessings to you and your students,
    Bob Sharp

    • Jeff Gibbs October 28, 2015

      Bob,

      I”m grateful that you think it will be useful! Hope you are well!

      Jeff

  3. Mark R. Pflug October 27, 2015
    Reply

    Caught my eye. I remember studying the subject and preaching on it back in 1974. My anger will always be tainted by sinful prideful ego. Only God can have a holy anger and that is directed at sin and ha paneros – the evil one.
    Even anger at oneself for being weak and sinful is wasted energy in hopes of gaining relief from the pain of being sinful – only God in Christ can relieve that pain.

    • Jeff Gibbs October 28, 2015

      Dear Mark,

      Amen and amen to your comments!

      Jeff Gibbs

  4. Mark B. Stirdivant December 4, 2015
    Reply

    Would it be valid to conclude that Divine anger, and then also “righteous anger,” is appropriately classified as His “alien work”? God did not create anger (in my estimation of what I’ve studied) and can only react in wrath. I like the statement in the TDNT article you cited: “God’s wrath is that of wounded love” (V, 420, 425). Thanks!

    • Jeff Gibbs December 9, 2015

      Mark,

      Insofar as I’m understanding the “alien work” concept, yes, I think that might be right. God is (as we might say, of course) a little more complex than we are, and able to do/be all sorts of things at the same time.

      All the best,

      Jeff

Leave a comment