Off-campus Fuller users: Please use the following link to log into our proxy server and download this thesis.

Publication Date

Winter 2-2019

Abstract

This study explores the spiritual transformation of anger as a starting point for personal and ecclesiastical renewal and reconciliation. Dr. Dallas Willard writes, “To cut the root of anger is to wither the tree of human evil.” This is an extraordinary claim which suggests anger is a primary human sin, and a catalyst for many other sins and social problems. The implications of anger reach deep into one’s personal life and relationships and threaten the unity and witness of the Church. The transcendent problem of anger, according to Willard, is why Jesus addresses it before lust, divorce, retaliation, and loving enemies in the Sermon on the Mount. The transformation of anger has profound implications for individuals, relationships, the Church, and the culture.

The first section of this thesis examines the epidemic of anger in the culture and in the Church. Getting one’s way, and what one wants, is considered an inalienable right in today’s culture. Defensiveness, unforgiveness, road rage, political antagonism, and old-fashioned fist fights are manifestations of the growing problem of anger. Faith in God, devotion to Jesus, and participation in a local church, often make little difference in how anger is used to advance personal agendas. The Church has a prime opportunity to pursue its missional calling through the ministry of reconciliation with a commitment to gentleness and civility. The Church, however, is too often defined by the opponents it angrily fights.

The second section of this thesis explores various perspectives on anger including those of philosophers, psychologists, and theologians. In addition, a practical theology of anger is developed based on various biblical narratives and teachings. Jesus’ unique role in God’s revelation provides the ultimate means for evaluating anger. Given the volatility of the current culture, the defense of “righteous anger” is challenged throughout this dissertation.

The last section of this thesis explores various individual and communal disciplines and practices for transforming anger. Authentic change requires intentional effort in cooperation with the work of God’s Spirit. The hope in this final section is to provide realistic means to personally and ecclesiastically transform anger into gentleness and grace.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

First Advisor

Gary Black Jr.

Date Uploaded

2-2019

Collection Number

DMin125

Document Type

Project

File Name

DMin125-0364

Language

English

Keywords

Anger, Transformation, Spiritual formation, Dallas Willard, Disciplines, Practices

Disciplines

Christianity | Practical Theology | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion

Rights

Material is subject to copyright.

Comments

This was uploaded by the David Allan Hubbard Library from the Theological Research Exchange Network (TREN). If there are any mistakes in this record, please contact archives@fuller.edu.

Upload File

wf_yes

Embargo Period

2-18-2019

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.