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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

About Hell

I have a Christian friend who was once dating a non-Christian female. He was witnessing to her, and she would not accept Christ. In his frustration, he told her to go to hell.

I recently purchased a T-shirt from Book People in Austin that says, "Go to hell, I'm reading." Sorry if I offend, but it couldn't be resisted. (Along with that I bought the shirt that says, "Will work for books.")

Here is my question: What do you believe about hell and why? Is it literal? Does it exist? Eternal? Torment? Annihilation?

4 comments:

Bryan L said...

Nope. Don't believe in a literal burning in eternal torture type of hell. Annihilationism or some sort of temporary sort of hell.

hope you're feeling better.

Pascalian Awakenings said...

starting to feel better...thanks.

rtjones said...

Someone once said that the rapture is what happens when one day you look out your window and see all the good Christians flying up into the air and you say to yourself, "Well, I'll be damned."

Weeping and gnashing of teeth suggests regret, not everlasting torment. There are indications that Jesus intended the fire and brimstone references to be understood as a metaphorical reference to Biblical judgment (like Sodom), but it is not something literal.

Clark Pinnock believes that people in hell will eventually be annihilated. The bulwark of orthodoxy, John Stott, believes that people are only conditionally immortal, so those who end up in hell will have a final end.

I don't know what to think about hell, but I do know that the 'traditional' view of hell seems to subvert the entire point of Christ's final judgment. For innocent victims, the final judgment is supposed to bring relief, but how can it be relief for the millions of Jews that were exterminated in concentrations camps, if they, in turn, are also going straight to hell? Something doesn't add up here.

Brian said...

Well I recently read a study that reviewed all the instances of hell in the Bible and tested them against the traditional definition of "the future place of the wicked dead." His study found the traditional view wanting.

Instead it seemed to suggest that hell was more a condition or state of existence due to bad choices and poor relationships. (or something like that - I don't have the source with me at the moment).

As to the Lake of Fire I think no one is there yet as Revelation is pretty clear that the Devil and his angels get thrown in first.

If you haven't yet read C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce, you should! Then come back and tell us what you think. He has an interesting view on heaven and hell.