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October 19, 2007


Alex Marshall

So is anger never appropriate? For example, when Jesus drove out the money-changers, that seemed pretty angry. Or some of Paul's letters where he is less than gentle seem pretty adamant and perhaps would fit what we would call anger. I agree with the idea that we should not use anger as a "motivator," but are there times when a more "angry" response is appropriate (in quotations because perhaps it should be labeled something else in those times?)?

Bubba matthews

Hi Alex:

How's college?

Ephasian 4:26 is an interesting passage..."In your anger do not sin..." It seems that perhaps there is an anger that is appropriate and it seems likely to be the motive that matters. Jim;s illustration is anger so as to produce results he wants. Your illustrations seem to be rightous anger that produces results that glorifies God. the latter case seems to be a small category of times when anger, or angry action, could be called for. I, of course, always tend to get angry at the wrong things and hence blow it.

Alex Marshall

College has been great, have several awesome profs who have really challenged me (in a good way).

How's Baylor? I've been reading some stuff by several of your Philosophy profs (didn't realize Francis Beckwith was a Baylor guy till the other day, bet his move to Catholicism put out shock-waves there!).

Your distinction of motives makes pretty good sense. I figured that was probably the correct way of looking at it, but Jim's post seemed a bit more "absolute" (not questioning the existence of absolutes, just not sure if that's the word I'm looking for here) so I wasn't sure. Thanks for clarifying!


Anger is an emotion - it is neither good nor bad. It is an emotion that alerts us to the fact that our will has been thwarted (all I have to do is drive on a freeway for this to happen to me). If our will was in line with God's on a particular issue, then our response would be like His - righteous anger. For most of us our will is not aligned with the Lord's and our anger occurs when someone does not comply with our wishes or expectations. To deny our anger is a dangerous thing. The question is what do we do in response to it. To avoid sin, our will must remain in control. It is the action (contemplated or real) in response to anger that we must face. We cannot even let us get away with calling someone a name (jerk, idiot, etc). Christ clearly speaks against that. We must become the kind of people who respond as Christ would...

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