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: