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RIVERSIDE, Calif. (May 29, 2015) – The wrath of God can evoke spirited debate. Some people downplay God's wrath, saying God is too loving to do that. Others say God is as wrathful as he is loving.

Neither side is biblical, said Dr. Chris Morgan, dean of the School of Christian Ministries, citing passages like Exodus 34:6-7, which depict God as slow to anger but abounding in covenant love.

"We tend to view God through our own sentimental lens rather than through the biblical story," Morgan said. "The wrath of God is a part of who God is. God is a just and loving and a good God who is opposed to evil."

Morgan wrote about the wrath of God for the NIV Zondervan Study Bible that is scheduled for publication in August. The NIV Study Bible is the best-selling study Bible. The new edition features Dr. D. A. Carson as general editor and more than 60 contributors, as well as new study notes and other study tools that combine to present a biblical theology of God's special revelation in the Scriptures, according to the Zondervan website.

Morgan is one of those contributors. He has written or edited 15 books ranging from the love of God, heaven, the church, the kingdom of God and the doctrine of sin. Four of those books are related to hell, so the request for the article about wrath was not unusual.

God's wrath is not an attribute of him like his love or holiness, Morgan said. Those are intrinsic and eternal, but wrath is occasioned by sin.

"Partly because God is a God of love, he gets angry," he said. "Evil and sin contaminate and destroy and he's seriously opposed to all things that would hurt his creatures."

Morgan said the new edition includes summary articles on doctrines in the Bible, such as the glory, the justice, the love of God.

"Christian doctrine isn't really a smorgasbord or about what we might prefer to believe. It's our job to study what is and follow what the revelation of God is in the Scriptures, so it's not really a creative enterprise," he said. "It's a research and processing what's there enterprise."