Monday, February 1, 2016

New Evangelizers Post: On the Necessity of Justice for Mercy

I have a new article up at  

We have now entered the Year of Mercy, a wonderful year when we focus on the incredible love and forgiveness that Christ brought to the world. Mercy is a truly heavenly thing. As Shakespeare wrote, “The quality of mercy is not strained; It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It is twice blest; It blesseth him that gives and him that takes…” (Merchant of Venice, Act IV Scene I)

And that is the mercy we find in the Gospel. But what about before the Gospels in the Old Testament?

A common cudgel used by secular society against the Church is the harsh justice presented in the Bible before the birth of Christ. Our opponents will point to God sentencing whole populations to death for infractions that are rampant today. What cities in the modern world could pass the test of Sodom and Gomorrah now? Capital punishment was enforced by the Jewish people for idolatry, adultery, blasphemy, and the like. The severity of the rules handed on by Moses sometimes appear at odds with the gentle forgiveness offered by Jesus. But the God of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament. We didn’t get a different God with Jesus. And God is not schizophrenic. He was not all fiery and angry at first but then mellowed out for the Gospel.

So how do we explain the relationship between a God of severe justice and gentle mercy?
Simple: You cannot have mercy without justice.

You can read the entire article here.

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