Re: [asa] Attaining heaven -- a poll

From: David Clounch <david.clounch@gmail.com>
Date: Sun Dec 28 2008 - 13:21:18 EST

Merv,
You said:

"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)."

I don't think a doctrine of eternal torment is necessary to demonstrate to
humanity the need for salvation. It's a distraction. The only one's who will
understand it are already believers anyway. I suspect it becomes a stumbling
block to anyone considering becoming a Christian.

It may be more fruitful to pique an unbeliever's natural understanding for
the need for justice. Kant said there is no justice in this life, therefore
it must be located in the hereafter. And only a wise and all knowing judge
could enforce it.
And judgment must have a real punishment, lest it be fake.

An unbeliever has a tension here. He can insist justice is located only on
this earth, but then he sees the denial of this all around him. Yet his
heart tells him there must be justice. But hitting him over the head with
our visions of hell only allows him to de-focus and ignore this tension and
stay in denial. He can rightly claim that Christianity is nonsense, and
assuage his conscience.

Thus its not important whether there is a hell. What is important is that
people perish, whatever that ultimately means.

But there I go being simple minded again. :) I think the theologians
should drink more beer.

Cheers,
Dave C

On Mon, Dec 29, 2008 at 10:45 AM, <mrb22667@kansas.net> wrote:

> Quoting "D. F. Siemens, Jr." <dfsiemensjr@juno.com>:
>
> > 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.
>
> --Merv
>
>
>
>
>
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Received on Sun Dec 28 13:22:27 2008

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