The Beautiful Gospel (In Chairs)
How do we understand the God revealed in the Bible and, most especially, on the cross? How does he feel about sinners? Is he looking to settle scores or want to be reconciled? How we understand God will shape how we serve him in significant ways.
A gospel that sees God as out for retribution runs into serious problems because it says that God cannot look at sin. But God in the Old Testament is always looking at sinners, and if Jesus is truly God with us then it seems this sentiment is totally misguided. The retributive Gospel also assumes the Father abandons the Son on the cross. But Jesus’ cry of dereliction is actually an expression that God hasn’t abandoned him (he’s got all of Psalm 22 in view when he cries out, “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?”
Instead, we see God constantly renewing his covenant when his human partners prove unfaithful. He seeks out the lost to bring them salvation. He doesn’t soft-pedal sin, but he knows that punishing sinners doesn’t fix the world like healing them does. God is always pursuing us.
This teaching was originally developed by Anthony Carbo, and borrows heavily from Brad Jersak’s retelling.