Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I want everything saved

The discussion of Rob Bell and hell has made it to the Guardian's "The Question" page ... Who is in hell? .... and Andrew Brown has commented on it too in one of his recent posts - Hell and linoleum.

NT professor Ben Witherington has a post on the subject too - Hell? No??. The post is long, but here's just a bit of it .....

[...] Does the NT teach that 1) there is a Hell, and 2) some folks are going there (not necessarily in a handbasket), and 3) they will experience eternal torment once there? .......

[W]hat exactly does the Bible say about Hell? Let’s start with some basic facts. Fact One— the Old Testament says little or nothing about Hell. What it does talk about is Sheol, the land of the dead, which in Greco-Roman thinking has been called Hades ...... Let’s be clear that the answer to the first question— Is there a Hell to be found in the NT?, is certainly yes. And Jesus is perhaps the one most clear about this. He calls it Gehenna, and he says its rather like the stinky garbage dump in the Hinnom Valley south of the City of David, and like a garbage dump its where the worm does not die and the fire never goes out. And there are people expected by Jesus to go there, as the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus shows in Lk. 16 ...... What about texts which suggest that Hell is a place of eternal torment? Yes, there are such texts, and they can be interpreted that way. Perhaps the most famous of these texts is 2 Thess. 1.5-10 .....

I was in a pretty good mood when I started this post, but not now :(


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