Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Angry Religion vs. Merciful God

Dr. J. Alfred Smith, Senior Pastor of Allen Temple Baptist Church, Oakland, CA was the featured preacher for Baptist Peace Fellowship’s summer “peace camp.” One evening, using the Book of Jonah, Dr. Smith’s sermon contrasted angry religion (hoping that God will smite our enemies) and the God of mercy, who continues to save those we’d rather God didn’t. In Jonah’s case, he’d have preferred that God destroy rather than save the Ninevites. Will angry Hezbollah find God’s surprising salvation of Israel? Will angry Israelis be surprised to find God save the Lebanese or the Palestinians? Will my angry self find that God saves: the Religious Right? Al Mohler? George W. Bush?

July 27, 2006 - Posted by | Baptists


  1. Great comments Micheal! The irony i have found in Girard is that humans are the ones who tend to create divisions that determine who will be saved and who will be destoryed. God is niether violent nor exclusive! We will all be suprised to some degree who will exprience GOd’s salvation.\

    By the way, i have only recently noticed that i have never linked your blog; i will put on link on mine asap.

    Comment by JC Baker | July 27, 2006

  2. Thanks, J.C. No apologies necessary. I hadn’t linked to your blog either & it’s a good one. That’s easily remedied. I have tended to keep down the # number of blogs to which I link in order to have more room for links to organizations whose good work I commend. I suppose that this is a tension between my academic and activist side. ūüôā

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | July 27, 2006

  3. Our tendency to pick favorites is one reason I think Jesus commanded us to love our enemies. Who are we to pick and choose? (I think there’s a Casting Crowns song that uses that as a lyric) Great post Michael.

    Comment by Neil | July 27, 2006

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