But What About God's Wrath?: The Compelling Love Story of Divine Anger, By Kevin Kinghorn
But What About God's Wrath?
  • Length: 168 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: November 19, 2019
  • Item Code: 5229
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-5229-1

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How can a loving God also be a God of wrath?

God's wrath stands out in the minds of many as the single most puzzling aspect of God's character. Often Christians who would like to reconcile divine love with divine wrath—while remaining faithful to the Bible—can't figure out how to do so. Kevin Kinghorn and Stephen Travis offer a way forward.

Using a philosophically informed line of argument and a careful study of the relevant biblical texts, Kinghorn and Travis show how these two aspects of God's character can be reconciled. Often God's wrath is viewed as an expression of holiness or justice, with the implicit assumption that God's just response to people is incompatible with a loving response. The authors instead view God's love as a strictly essential divine attribute, with justice as a derivative of love.

But What About God's Wrath? will appeal to Christians eager to engage this puzzle more deeply, more philosophically, and more biblically, beyond pat answers and devotional platitudes.

"In this outstanding book, Kinghorn and Travis thoroughly refute the common misconception that God's wrath competes with God's love. This insightful and illuminating treatment of divine wrath is philosophically astute and biblically informed. It makes a lucid and compelling case that God's wrath is a function of God's love—always motivated by God's concern for the long-term well-being of others."

John C. Peckham, professor of theology and Christian philosophy, Andrews University, author of The Love of God: A Canonical Model

"In an era that diminishes or altogether dismisses divine wrath and judgment—a phenomenon found even within the church—Kinghorn and Travis have written a much-needed book on the subject. They point out that wrath is not a central attribute of God but is actually an expression of divine love, which is directed toward the well-being and flourishing of humans. The book is thoughtful, wise, and biblically informed. I enthusiastically recommend it!"

Paul Copan, Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics, Palm Beach Atlantic University, and coauthor of An Introduction to Biblical Ethics

"The wrath of God looms large over a number of theological doctrines and debates, ranging from the atonement to predestination to hell, and often casts a distorting shadow because it is seen as the counterbalance to divine love. Kinghorn and Travis seamlessly and elegantly marshal a series of scriptural and philosophical arguments, making a powerful case that we should recognize the wrath of God as actually a vivid expression of that very love. This is a paradigm-shifting book that will enable readers to see important elements of Christian theology in a whole new light."

Jerry L. Walls, scholar in residence/professor of philosophy at Houston Baptist University


1. Wrath as a Pattern of Action
2. The Trinity as Benevolent by Nature
3. Does Love Always Seek Our Flourishing?
4. Love in Relation to Justice, Holiness, and Glory
5. Wrath as God Pressing the Truth on Us
6. Truth as God's Response to Sin and Self-Deception
7. The Pain of Truth as Our Greatest Pain
8. The Connection Between Wrath and Sanctification
Scripture Index


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Kevin Kinghorn

Kevin Kinghorn (DPhil, University of Oxford) is a professor of philosophy and religion at Asbury Theological Seminary where he teaches graduate courses in philosophy of religion, moral philosophy, and theology. He is the author of The Decision of Faith: Can Christian Beliefs Be Freely Chosen? and A Framework for the Good. He lives in Mount Streling, Kentucky with his wife, Anna, and their two children.