Tag Archives: God’s wrath

What in the Hell?

fires of hell?

Scot McKnight has an intriguing post regarding Sharon Baker’s book Razing Hell: Rethinking Everything You’ve Been Taught About God’s Wrath and Judgment. His article here.

After you read these 7 considerations (from Scot’s post), will you please comment here?

1. Theodicy: how does God deal with evil if it, in effect, exists for ever in a hell-state? Does evil not continue to exist, even in spite of the statement in Revelation 21:1-4 that death and suffering will be no more? So, the issue here is squaring God’s goodness with eternal evil.

2. Eternal hopelessness: a traditional hell does not permit any hope after death for anyone, including those who have never heard. Is there a law that says God’s grace can only be active in the temporal sphere — that is, during our physical lifetime?

3. Eternal evil: does not the traditional view entail the view that God never really does purge his world of evil?

4. Justice vs. Love: the issue here is an old one. If God is love, how does justice fit in with that love. Is God ambivalent or split? An image of God that emerges for many is a cruel father who guides people to think of eternal punishment as an act of love.

5. Eternal divine violence: assumptions are that punishment is an act of violence and eternal punishment would mean God is eternally violent. She connects this view of God with acts of violence in history. She thinks God’s violence contradicts God’s love.

6. Retributive justice: again, a major issue is that God’s justice in the Bible — in Christ — is restorative but hell is a belief in a retributive justice that never becomes restorative.

7. Eternal punishment for temporal sin: how can it be just to punish a human being, who sinned temporally — that is over a life time (and no more), for an eternity for that temporal sin?

Who are You?

WHO are YOU?


Long ago, singer/song writer, Bob Dylan sang  that we’ve all “gotta serve somebody.” Nothing could be truer. Dylan wasn’t preaching, he was capturing the human condition.

Look at anybody you know, or watch a few people for a while. What do they love? What do they work for? What do they invest in? Of course, ask yourself the very same questions, because your answers are the ones that start the thoughts and insights that produce growth, or betterment.

Whatever someone starts to love or invest time and effort into, that very thing becomes their master. (It owns them, etc.) It becomes the object of their worship.I realize this sounds negative, but that is not what I’m shooting for here. It’s just an observation. But notice how, a kind of power or attention shift happens, like it or not.

It’s true with hobbies, goals, money making, fitness, drugs, career, relationships, material wealth, fame, ministry, and yes, God. So, what ever it is we love or enjoy had better be the best master, the most good, or the highest way, so when (not if, but when) it soon rules us, the fit will be for our good, not ill, because, “you gotta serve somebody.” We’d like to think we’ve mastered independence, and we make our own decisions, but what we love (worship, adore, spend time on) influences us. And that’s that. (I got folksy on you, at the last second.)

You can tell so much about you, if you write down 10 adjectives that best describe the thing (person, item, idea) that you love best or put most of your time into, (like a strategy, trade, or discipline). Give it a try if you don’t believe me. If you leave 10 adjectives in the comments section (answering honestly), even if I don’t know you, I’ll reply and tell you something about you. (Or, maybe it’s more than you want to know. lol.)

Interestingly, it’s those who that say they love God, for instance, when they describe God as judgmental, angry, and so forth, they are really describing a god they have worshiped, which is different than the Being who made, loves, and redeemed us.

They also describe who they have become. We become that which we serve and worship. If we adore an ungracious god, we become ungracious. However, in this case, we are not worshiping the Living God.

(I’d love to hear your thoughts or comments; and if you were tagged to read this, thank you for reading and responding in a way that best suits you.)


(photo source)