A Jagged Contention: The God Who Wounds

Christianity has far too many voices that would have us believe in a God who doesn’t wound us. But God himself declares otherwise: “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make a live; I wound and I heal.” God knows that it is only in our weakness and woundedness that we simultaneously discover our own ineptitude and his healing power. Without wounds we foster an image of ourselves as strong and healthy.

But the hands that wound us—they themselves bear the stigmata of grace. Our Savior kills, but only to make alive; wounds but only to heal. He is conforming us to his cruciform likeness so that we see ourselves exclusively in his resurrection reflection. This is Christian growth: to become in our weakness more and more dependent on his strength, to seek in our woundedness more and more of his healing.

– Chad Bird, Night Driving: Notes from a Prodigal Soul, pg. 132-133


Why is it hard for us to conceive of a God who wounds and kill in order to heal and make alive? Why do so many theologies work against this concept? What do you make of the idea that Christian growth is simply growing more dependent upon God’s strength?