For John Piper, God’s Wrath Really Isn’t Satisfied

The Good News of Jesus Christ is that God has been born into the world, in the flesh, dwelt among us as a man, opposed Satan, healed the sick, raised the dead, inaugurated the reign of God in this world, was himself murdered, then rose from the dead by the power of the Spirit. Jesus Christ’s death on the cross paid the penalty for sin redeeming us, ransoming us, rescuing us. Jesus paid it all!

The American author who wrote the post on Japan’s disasters holds a very different view of the cross: that God poured out all his wrath against sin on Jesus that we deserved. For the American author, the cross “satisfies” the wrath of God like the proverbial virgin “satisfies” the volcano. However, this is directly at odds with the implication that Japan’s earthquake is an outflow of God’s wrath against sin. That implication would suggest that Jesus’ death on the cross only partially satisfied God’s wrath. Or that God’s wrath is greater than God’s grace.

If the Japanese earthquake is a result of sin and God’s wrath, as this author implies, then Jesus may not have paid our debt in full—because we’re still paying interest.

I think that this is an interesting development. Penal Substitution in the Piperan Calvinist view is not a full satisfaction of God’s justice, it’s can only be partly so. But then again, the question is, when is God’s wrath something to be “satisfied” or “fulfilled”? Jesus came to fulfill the law, that’s what the Gospels say, and the Law was not wrathful, on the contrary, it showed the Israelites and Judeans what was good.

I would also like to add that even if God did choose to either allow or directly make this happen, repentance is never for God’s glory, which has to do with God’s presence, and not some abstract notion of God being far away and distant. Also, the notion of repentance implies human freedom. God does not need to repent, nor does God force us to repent. God can send the Holy Spirit to persuade us, but it is up to us. God has chosen this way, otherwise Jesus is being completely disingenuous in his calls for all people to repent.

For more, read T.C. Moore’s “A Black Sun Has Not Risen On Japan: Challenging So-Called Answers for the Japanese Disaster.

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10 Replies to “For John Piper, God’s Wrath Really Isn’t Satisfied”

      1. Amen to that… yes the resurrection is theology springing forth from the cross!

        Pipers theology about God’s wrath on Japan / elsewhere is actually consistent with TULIP… for limited atonement only satisfies God’s wrath for the elect… and all else will be subject to God’s wrath – both in the now and future.

  1. I’m not trying to say anything to start an argument, but this is just an excerpt from a song that makes me think twice about what you wrote…

    Artist: Lecrae
    Song: New Reality (ft. Chinua Hawk)
    Album: Rehab

    …But I love you even when your lights off in your dark shame
    When you lay down and profane me
    Or when your bloodstream contains the things that would defame me
    When nobody knows that you claim me
    Or when you mess your life up, get mad, and want to blame me
    I still want you back, I won’t punish you
    I took that on the cross because I wanted you
    I might discipline and chastise
    But if you got what you deserved you’d be in hell with other bad guys…

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