Jeff Gibbs, “The Myth of Righteous Anger”

Browse the interactive version above, download here as a pdf, or purchase print copies at the online store.

About Jeff Gibbs’ “The Myth of Righteous Anger,” Charles Arand writes:

It is hard not to draw the conclusion that we live in a society that is characterized by constant anger and outrage. While it may not be unique to our current age, what is new is the way in which social media has provided a megaphone for expressing our anger, often to shame others into thinking and acting in ways we find acceptable. Of course, Christians are not immune either to feelings of anger (in so far as we are shaped by original sin) or the use of social media to express our outrage (in so far as we are shaped by our culture). But Christians are perhaps more susceptible to justifying their anger as a kind of “righteous anger,” which makes it, somehow, okay. In light of hearing the phrase “righteous anger” on more than one occasion, Dr. Gibbs decided to explore whether such a concept exists in the New Testament. Thus, he examines several passages that are often used as warrants for “righteous anger,” and concludes that the notion of “righteous anger” does not exist. It is a myth.

This particular essay originated as an online article at ConcordiaTheology.org, where it sparked significant discussion. You can view the comments here. In light of that discussion and the fact that online outrage has only intensified in the time since, Dr. Gibbs has written a follow-up article forthcoming in Concordia Journal.

Concordia Pages is a series of shorter articles and essays available as PDFs for individual study or small group discussions in congregations, Bible studies, or among church workers (such as Winkel conferences in LCMS circles).

The PDFs are available electronically for free at ConcordiaTheology.org. Professionally printed copies can be ordered in quantities of ten at Concordia Seminary’s online store.

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4 Comments

  1. Russ Troester November 28, 2018
    Reply

    Dr. Gibbs – As one who battles my anger more than I care to admit (sometimes I feel like I make the Hulk look cheery), I found your essay timely, insightful, and helpful. Thank you for taking the time to write it and share it!

    • Jeffrey Gibbs December 10, 2018

      Russ: I suspect that you and I are alike. May the Spirit enable us to be more like Bruce Banner, and less like the Big Green Guy. Jeff

  2. joshua cottrell December 7, 2018
    Reply

    Thank you very much for your research, about 3 years ago I did similar, came to the same conclusion as yours. I found your website because my best friend is debating me at the present time over my take on anger.

  3. Jeffrey Gibbs December 10, 2018
    Reply

    Joshua: The Biblical teaching is pretty straightforward, isn’t it? May God enable us all to take it to heart. Advent blessings to you! Jeff

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