Is God a Psychopath?

July-August 2007

The Dean of St. Alban's (Anglican) Church in England, the Very Rev. Jeffrey John (a homosexual, but no longer sexually active), used a Lenten talk on BBC Radio 4 on April 4 to attack the doctrine of the Crucifixion and the Atonement (according to The Telegraph, April 5).

The Very Rev. John said: "What sort of God was this, getting so angry with the world and the people he created, and then, to calm himself down, demanding the blood of his own son? And anyway, why should God forgive us through punishing somebody else? It was worse than illogical, it was insane. It made God sound like a psychopath. If any human being behaved like this, we would say they were a monster…. That explanation of the cross just doesn't work, but sadly, it's one that's still all too often preached."

But he preempted that bit by saying: "On the cross Jesus died for our sins; the price of our sin is paid; but it is not paid to God but by God." Of course this is contradictory. But we know what he means.

Anglican Bishops Wallace Benn and Pete Broadbent said in a statement: "Jeffrey John is saying that the cross is not about anger or wrath or sin or atonement, but only about God's unconditional love." Here we go again. Then God didn't have to crucify His Son on the cross. If the Crucifixion isn't about God's anger and wrath or our sin and Atonement, if He doesn't hate sin, if His love is unconditional, then everyone goes to Heaven. So why be a Christian?

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New Oxford Notes: July-August 2007

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Good grief! If the editor hadn't said the Reverend John was an Anglican, I'd bet half my 401(k) the man was either a Jesuit or a Maryknoll priest!! Now I know why I hear that the certain portions of the Episcopal/Anglican Church, most notibly the American branch, is being called Apostate! Posted by: John
August 14, 2007 10:21 AM EDT
I defer any comment I may make to the magisterium of the church, especially on so significant a matter, but it seems pretty clear to me that the proof of responsible love, and not 'luv' as Peter Kreeft so nicely put it is self sacrifice out of love. The crucifixion as our tradition and sacred scripture reveals is the utter self emptying to love and for love in a manner so pure that it indeed can appear frightening to us and our worldly creature comforts. Such a visible and total love leaves us no room to doubt that we are loved beyond our imagining and that a higher order of love is indeed a higher order. Posted by: P Boire
January 10, 2011 09:12 AM EST
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