Just to address, in part, some of the very welcome comments appearing on this blog…
The logic of violence is truly a hard thing to break through. That the Bible is replete with wrath and violence is no secret but to then extrapolate, that, "wrath is an inescapable reality of God’s person" is the "logic of violence". It is, in fact, the "divinization" of our violence.
Let me explain. You’ll remember the story of Achan who kept a bit of spoil for himself, from a previous battle, and as a result Joshua’s campaign to wipe out the Canaanites stalled. After a search they came upon Achan and after a brief interrogation he pleaded guilty for keeping a "devoted thing". And so Achan and his family are killed:
"All Israel stoned him to death; they burned them with fire, cast stones on them, and raised over him a great heap of stones that remains to this day. Then the LORD turned from his burning anger."
The story describes perfectly how the sacrificial mechanism works. The rising internal agitation–in this case over a lost battle–that threatens indiscriminate outbreaks of violence, finally gives way to an exclusive focus on a "culprit" (considering the size of the Israelite army we can guess that Achan wasn’t the only one to keep back some booty). Nevertheless, Achan is killed and God turns from his "burning anger". Peace is restored. Sacrificial violence triumphs.
It is easy to see how the wrath of "all Israel" in the stoning of Achan, is projected on God, as "divine wrath" precisely because "peace" breaks out. And the peace that comes at the expense of the victim is naturally translated as God’s approval.
But now, think about this is personal terms. How often have we been involved in a situation where the group we belong to, or church, or nation etc., is unified by the expulsion of a victim (scapegoat) and is justified in terms of being God’s will, or for the greater good of the people? (Remember Ciaphas?)
This sacrificial mechanism is nothing other than "the power of sin" because it keeps alive our sorting out of "us and them", violent or otherwise, while hiding from us our own involvement.
This "mechanism" is what God wants to destroy because it is destroying us. To continue seeing God as sacrificial, wrathful, is to undo what God is trying to do. It is to charge God with using the same mechanism to destroy the mechanism. It is tantamount to "Satan casting out Satan".