“It’s the Wrath of God”: Reflections on Inferring Divine Punishment
James S. Spiegel
James S. Spiegel is Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Taylor University
Abstract: If God still exercises wrath today, is it possible to identify instances of this? If so, then what sorts of criteria might one use to assess whether a particular event is a case of divine wrath? In addressing these questions, I distinguish between direct and indirect divine wrath as well as between special and natural divine wrath. I propose three potential corroborating factors for inferring the occurrence of special divine wrath: (1) the occurrence of a miracle in conjunction with the event in question, (2) extraordinary coincidences associated with the event, and (3) the
event occurrence constituting the fulfillment of a bold prediction. Along the way, I use numerous biblical cases of divine wrath to guide the discussion and provide standards for elucidating the distinctions and corroborating criteria I propose.
Key Words: Divine wrath, miracle, redemption, revelation, skepticism