23. In Christ alone (my hope is founded)
This is a fairly modern hymn having been first published in 2001. Two British composers , Keith Getty(music) and Stuart Townend (lyrics) wrote the hymn as a statement of the creed that we believe in Jesus Christ who suffered, died and rose again.
There are two lines in the hymn that have caused problems with some wings of the church. And that is in verse 2….
‘Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God is satisfied-’
Some people have claimed that the two words ‘wrath’ and ‘satisfied’ suggest that God somehow took his anger out on Jesus and that this is not how they see the event of the crucifixion. This is sometimes referred to as ‘ the satisfaction theory of atonement’ .
Some hymn books have omitted this hymn because of the controversy.
Bob Terry, an American Baptist said, “if the meaning of ‘wrath’ is that God is vindictive and took joy in punishing His Son then that is not how I find God described in the Bible. As I understand the Bible, it was because ‘God so loved the world’ that He was willing ‘to crush Him and cause Him to suffer.’
I have sung the hymn several times and have wondered what the writers meant by this but then it is always good ( in my book at least ) to have our views challenged.
Why not read the hymn through and see what you understand by that verse ?
The hymn was sung at the 2013 enthronement of Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury.