A Fundamentalist View of Hell
04-16-2012, 10:28 AM
RE: A Fundamentalist View of Hell
exOBCstudent: Thanks so much for the encouragement; I'm glad I was able to encourage you
Quote:You presume that sin is temporal and not eternal- why? Why would the sinner separated from God in "hell" (whatever it may be) will not continue sinning against God and cursing him throughout eternity. I would assume that an omniscient God would know this when he proclaimed the sentence with finality.
I presume that sin is temporal and not eternal because it takes place in time (and is thus temporal). I'm sure there's a longer argument here, but in this case I'm simply accepting what intuition tells me is correct. If you want, I can try to work out a longer argument for sin being temporal and not eternal.
I'm not anti-calvinistic; in fact, when I first began seriously thinking about my faith, I embraced the five points because they honestly made the most sense. At this point, however, I'm not sure Total Depravity is in scripture and reject Limited Atonement (for obvious reasons). I believe in Unconditional Election, Irresistible Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints. Guess that makes me a 3-point calvinist. Having started out rather Arminian, I believed that
1. God wanted to save everyone,
2. He couldn't because they didn't believe,
3 Thus, Hell is occupied.
Calvinism's Irresistible Grace clause allowed me to reject (2), but it was a few years before I realized that if you take God's love in the Arminian sense and Irresistible Grace from Calvinism, the argument breaks down.
Put differently, the three premises are thus:
a. God wants to save everyone.
b. God can save everyone.
c. God won't save everyone.
Calvinists embrace b and c.
Arminians embrace a and c.
Christian Universalists embrace a and b.
Which to me makes the most sense. (Obviously).
Quote:If a person has the choice to accept or reject Christ then why would they accept a Christ who was currently punishing them for their sin by placing them in whatever it is that hell is?
That's a fantastic question, but it demonstrates an assumption that hell is a Penal sort of punishment - that is, that God's righteousness will somehow be satisfied by punishing men for all eternity. The greek work Kolassis that appears in Matthew 25 comes from a root word that means pruning. In this view, Hell is remedial, rather than punishing, in nature.
George MacDonald puts it this way in his sermon "Justice":
Quote:Suppose my watch has been taken from my pocket; I lay hold of the thief; he is dragged before the magistrate, proved guilty, and sentenced to a just imprisonment: must I walk home satisfied with the result? Have I had justice done me? The thief may have had justice done him--but where is my watch? That is gone, and I remain a man wronged. Who has done me the wrong? The thief. Who can set right the wrong? The thief, and only the thief; nobody but the man that did the wrong. God may be able to move the man to right the wrong, but God himself cannot right it without the man. Suppose my watch found and restored, is the account settled between me and the thief? I may forgive him, but is the wrong removed? By no means. But suppose the thief to bethink himself, to repent. He has, we shall say, put it out of his power to return the watch, but he comes to me and says he is sorry he stole it and begs me to accept for the present what little he is able to bring, as a beginning of atonement: how should I then regard the matter? Should I not feel that he had gone far to make atonement--done more to make up for the injury he had inflicted upon me, than the mere restoration of the watch, even by himself, could reach to? Would there not lie, in the thief's confession and submission and initial restoration, an appeal to the divinest in me--to the eternal brotherhood? Would it not indeed amount to a sufficing atonement as between man and man? If he offered to bear what I chose to lay upon him, should I feel it necessary, for the sake of justice, to inflict some certain suffering as demanded by righteousness? I should still have a claim upon him for my watch, but should I not be apt to forget it? He who commits the offence can make up for it--and he alone.
I think I am reading him right to say that MacDonald thought that it is a mistake to equate suffering with justice done.
Additionally, Karl Barth believed that all would freely choose Christ, which amounted to a sort of "soft universalism."
Quote:But, since most of what you cite is emotionally based, how about this? I guess I can comfort my very good friend who is a Christian, whose urepentant husband molested her children, that even though he is a pedophile, he's going to heaven too!
I love the way you're engaging with this. It is emotionally based, but it's also based in reason.
The problem with the question is that not only does it apply to universalism, it applies to practically all Christianity. All that most Christians believe God would require for your friends' molester / pedophile husband to enter heaven would be that he repent. If he did so, you could "comfort your friend by telling her that her molester / pedophile husband is going to heaven too!"
There's an understanding within Christianity that Salvation is more than just "going to heaven when you die." Salvation is wholistic. The Macdonald quote above may give a better notion of this. Christianity, I think most agree, is about forgiveness. Christ taught us to pray,
Quote:Forgive us our sins/debts/trespasses as we forgive those who sin/owe us debts/trespass against us.
If Christianity has no forgiveness, then I would say that Christianity is no different than any other religion. C.S. Lewis once walked into a room full of people trying to figure out what Christianity had that was unique. He replied, "It's grace." Your friend's husband is a sick man. But which of these two scenarios will be the most healing for your friend?
1: Your friend knows with certainty that her husband is going to hell for all eternity and refuses to forgive him and burns and holds that grudge forever.
2: Your friend's husband discovers grace and is saved by it. He repents and apologizes to her and the children and attempts to make amends. She forgives her husband.
This does not even imply universalism, and yet in story 2, her husband is going to heaven anyway. Christians believe that at the end of days, all things will be permanently and completely set right. Will that setting-things-right mean that her husband has to suffer in hell for a time until he comes to his senses and is healed and changed by God into a repentant sort of person? Perhaps! There is no injustice with God; we agree on this. I just believe that God is strong enough to save anybody and everybody, and I highly suspect that He will do so.
I have to quote Derek Flood again; his Christus Victor paper SO much applies to this scenario:
Quote:When we are allowed to be honest, we all know that we have needs and dark places in our lives. Jesus was never about degrading people, but about restoring them to worth. There is no need for guilt trips or false humility here, just the freedom that love gives us to be real and honest. On the cross God in Christ took on our sin. That means he at once bore the weight of the harm that we have done, and also bore the pain of the victims. This was not, as Satisfaction-Doctrine would say, God punishing the human Jesus, but the incarnate Jesus revealing the compassionate heart of God to us.
Hell for the wicked person in your example won't heal the victim and it won't save the wicked. Only Christ on the cross can do anything for either.
In the age to come, they will not ask me, ‘Why were you not Moses?’ They will ask me, ‘Why were you not Zusya?’" ~Rabbi Zusya
I think that all of my opinions are right. Thank God nobody else does, or I could become a fundy preacher.
|Messages In This Thread|
RE: A Fundamentalist View of Hell - Bob M - 04-09-2012, 02:15 PM
RE: A Fundamentalist View of Hell - Bob M - 04-09-2012, 02:42 PM
RE: A Fundamentalist View of Hell - Bob M - 04-09-2012, 02:53 PM
RE: A Fundamentalist View of Hell - Bob M - 04-09-2012, 03:16 PM
RE: A Fundamentalist View of Hell - Bob M - 04-09-2012, 05:36 PM
RE: A Fundamentalist View of Hell - Bob M - 04-16-2012, 02:17 PM
RE: A Fundamentalist View of Hell - TurningIntoDavid - 04-16-2012 10:28 AM
RE: A Fundamentalist View of Hell - Bob M - 04-17-2012, 04:36 PM
User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)