15 April 2011
There is still a lot of talk about Hell in the Christian blogosphere in the aftermath of Rob Bell's book "Love Wins".
A question for readers coming out of these discussions:
True or False? "If you don't believe that God sends (most) non-Christians to a torturous hell, then you are denying the Lordship of Christ."
Labels: hell, Lordship of Christ
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Nothing to discuss.
Richard, it seems to me that this is the link that is being implicitly made by those who get so exercised about the importance of the idea of a torturous hell.
Agree with Richard, FALSE. We seem to need Hell more than God does in order to assure the utterly destruction of "our enemies" whom we deem to be God's enemies as well. If God is all powerful, does God really have enemies in the sense of an equal foe? And there is no hell in the OT -- just Hades or Sheol, those underground worlds where people seem to be still living.
The argument is defeatable be pure logic (of course, a large number of those who hold such a view would balk at the idea of philosophical theology but since it's a favourite area of mine I shall indulge in some anyway!): If Christ is God then the decision of who is in Hell or not is simply not ours to make, it is Christ/God's. To place ourselves in that position of judgement is to usurp Christ as God and replace Him with ourselves. To claim Christ is God while at the same time taking God's place in judging is falacy. In other word's those who claim God sends (most) non-Christians to a tortuous hell are themselves denying the Lordship of Christ and seem to be dooming themselves to an eternal Hell as well.
I hope this makes some kind of sense and shows that such a proposal is simply false.
MN: Many of the New Reformed will begin with a completely different philosophical paradigm and will disagree with you. Although I have not yet heard a neo-Reformed person acknowledge that their thought forms are built on a neo-Platonic foundation. They usually claim that their view is 100% biblical, whic makes things all the more confusing. I believe that our brains are, in some way, hard-wired to certain perspectives.
Pam, I agree, and when arguing with such people would tend not to adopt the Thomist style of theology that is my preferred mode. I would still, however, argue the statement is false.
isn't it they themselves that condemn themselves to a future without God's presence. That IS hell
For me, the concept of "hell" means - to quote from memory a group of Anglican Neo-reformed theologians - a place where "God creates and sustains the hell to which He (sic) has sent each individual who He has damned."
For me, the question I'd ask you is what happens to those who choose to be outside of God's realm? Do they go to the "hell" outlined above? Do they simply cease to exist?
And can you tie your view to the question of the sovereignty of Christ?
God doesn't "send" people to hell... His concern is rescuing them therefrom... they, because of rebellion/sin, in conjunction with the fact of God's holiness, and that He cannot, by His nature, tolerate its existence but must meet out retribution for that sin/rebellion (justice), are already on their way there. Not a popular idea. Tough.
Not sure why is necessary to add that?
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