Category Archives: Paul Zahl

Paul Zahl on Burying Anger

Paul F.M. Zahl is an Episcopalian priest. He’s a published author. He has also said what I have been thinking for quite some time.

I find that anger, what’s traditionally called odium theologicum, it’s the Latin word “theological anger”, not only kills our witness, but it kills its protagonists. I’m only one person but it killed me. It killed my whole…everything that I ultimately held dear, was basically profoundly affected by a kind of theological anger that has the blessing of righteousness, but it is cancer to the individual human being. And so I have felt the only way forward is to bury that body and go back to the things that we know. And what do we know? Judgment kills. Just raise children. Grace always makes alive. And I, for one, would like to be able to end my little time as a minister, as a Christian, focused on that, rather than on ideological, massive, inner emotional, hurtful catharsis. So I just encourage all of you to break down, to die to anger, to be buried yourselves, and then to throw away the key, and you’ll be amazed, in my opinion, at the potential fertility that comes back.

Let me add my hearty AMEN to Fr. Zahl’s thoughts. Theological anger drove me crazy…literally. I take medication for it even today. I am getting back to basics and preaching the thing I know…the One Thing Needful: Jesus Christ and Him Crucified for you.