Divine Double-Talk and the Parable of the Good Samaritan

Friday, 22 Jun 2007

The Law and the Gospel are not two separate words, but one double-edged word, whose ultimate goal is to forgive sinners and raise the dead. God kills in order to make alive. He condemns in order to forgive. He brings down in order to raise up.
"The Lord kills, and He makes alive; He brings down to Sheol, and He raises up again" (1 Sam. 2:6). "I form light and create darkness, I make wealth and create woe, I am the Lord who does all these things" (Isa. 45:7). Sin and grace; death and life. Even the novice reader of the Scriptures detects the tension almost immediately. God seems to talk out of two sides of his mouth. He commands, threatens, curses, punishes, kills, destroys. He comforts, he promises, blesses, forgives, raises to life, restores. On the one hand, God appears full of wrath ...

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