Saturday, March 13, 2010

Doctrine of Hell.

I'd like to state this formally: I do not have a specific belief about hell. I am not a universalist. I am not an annihilationist. I am not a traditionalist (when it comes to the doctrine of hell).

I don't know what I believe in regards to this doctrine. This is NOT because I am trying to affirm agnosticism regarding this issue for my whole life. I simply have not given it enough thought and investigation. However, I am heavily considering the option of writing my final paper for the Barth seminar on the doctrine of hell.

I would just like to say one thing - shouldn't we all be hopeful universalists? Even if we never find warrant for such a position in the text, shouldn't everyone who claims to be a Christian embrace a sense of extreme sadness and mourning when we think about hell? Even Christ proclaimed on the cross, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." A part of me cringes inside every time I hear a Christian dogmatically affirm the eternal punishment of the non-elect with a bit of glee in their voice. They clearly have never read Jeremiah, nor John 17, nor the sentiments of Paul in Romans 9.

While I don't agree with everything in this article, the last line was very meaningful to me:

1 comment:

Charissa said...

This made me so happy to read. I'm pretty much at the same place. I'm not sure if it's an okay place to be, but for the time being, I don't know how to be anything but a hopeful universalist with the caveat that in the end, God can do whatever He wants. I can't help but wonder how much common positions on hell reflect us making God in our own image.

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