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Contradiction Tuesday: Is God a God of War or Peace?

God is often cited as the God of peace, for example:

Now the God of peace be with you all.  Amen. (Rom 15:33)

However, the Bible also describes God in terms related to battle:

The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name. (Ex 15:3)

So, “Which is it?” asks Jim Merrit.

Why not both?

Humans are made in the image of God.  Humans are dynamic.  Humans don’t act the same way in every circumstance.  We adapt.  So why can’t the One in whose image we are made not adopt a different approach based on the circumstances?

It’s ludicrous to reduce God to a one-dimensional construct who can’t act on a case-by-case basis.  Christians do this with God’s love, assuming God loves everyone the same and in equal measure — and that leads to the absurd notion that God couldn’t get mad at someone or that he won’t judge people and that everyone will end up in heaven by his side.

The truth is that God is more complex than we are in his behavior and his character.  God loves us all, but in different ways.  For example, you don’t love everyone in your own life in equal measure.  Many people might let you down or disappoint you, and that changes the way that you feel about them.

And so it is with God.

When the circumstances call for God to be a God of peace, he is.  When circumstances call for God to be a man of war, he is.  Same God, but acting differently in different circumstances.