Re: [asa] Attaining heaven -- a poll

From: <>
Date: Sun Dec 28 2008 - 11:45:06 EST

Quoting "D. F. Siemens, Jr." <>:

> I take a different tack, considering a thoughtful point implicit in C. S.
> Lewis's /The Great Divorce/. Human beings have been given the power of
> choice, a freedom which even God does not override. We choose within the
> natural and spiritual laws, not establish a counter. Additionally, God is
> love, desiring the best for all his creatures. Can anyone imagine a
> greater agony than being in the presence of the thrice holy deity without
> being prepared for it? without wanting it? To put is simply, hell is
> God's loving provision for those who would be in agony in his presence.
> Dave (ASA)

I like Lewis' distinct summary statement (It may have been from The Great
Divorce) to this effect: In the end, either we will be able to say to God
"Thy will be done" or failing that, God will say to us: "Thy will be done".

  I guess according to universalists, though, the latter ones will be given an
eternity to come around eventually.

I think one of the main problems so many of us have with doctrines of eternal
torment is that they seem so out of character with a God who first moved us
towards limited vengeance (only an eye for an eye) and then moved us beyond that
towards no vengeance at all (turn the other cheek). Most of us are willing to
summon up the mercy of not subjecting evil people to eternal torment (let alone
someone whose main error was a doctrinal mis-step of not having the exactly
proper code-key set of beliefs). And then we face the awkward question: in
entertaining these sympathies, do we have more merciful sentiments than God? Of
course most of us agree that we can't be more merciful. So then why does Jesus
give us the doctrine of Hell in such explicit terms? Is there some
accommodation in that somehow? It certainly is a reflection of some of the old
testament voices given to God by the prophets.


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Received on Sun Dec 28 11:45:25 2008

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