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Monday, June 25, 2007

The Rarity of the God Fearing Man

There is a perceived dichotomy between the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament. The OT God is wrathful and dangerous, while the NT God is loving and harmless. This is a schizophrenic understanding that seems to say oh those silly Jews where did they get the idea that God is scary and demands sacrifice?

The way to think about it is to realize that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Notice it says the beginning, not the end. And love is the end. To have a properly developed faith we must start with the fear of the Lord to get to love of the Lord.

The problem with us today is that we have lost our fear of God and think He is our buddy. But if we don't fear God, then what do we fear but everything else. This article in Touchstone by Russell Kirk says it well.

An excerpt:

Such is the post-Christian man, contemptuous of God but fearful of everything else, for whom Shaw would have invented a new sort of faith. Politically, the man who does not fear God is prey to the squalid oligarchs; and this is no paradox. What raises up heroes and martyrs is the fear of God. Beside the terror of God’s judgment, the atrocities of the totalist tyrant are pinpricks. A God-intoxicated man, knowing that divine love and divine wrath are but different aspects of a unity, is sustained against the worst this world can do to him; while the goodnatured unambitious man, lacking religion, fearing no ultimate judgment, denying that he is made for eternity, has in him no iron to maintain order and justice and freedom.

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