Tag Archives: hell

Everlasting Torture in Hell: McKnight and Piper

Another intriguing post by Scot McKnight! (It’s worth a look)

He notes the issues contained in this book: A review of John Piper, Jesus: The Only Way to God: Must You Hear the Gospel to be Saved? (123 pages, $5.99), by Terrance L. Tiessen.

It brings out important topics like- How do the various views of Hell effect Evangelism and sharing the gospel?


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?

7 Reasons We (all) Aren’t Ready for Heaven

 

God is love, pure, and holy.

 

Great balls of Fire –where could I be going with this?

This will take 2 min and 15 seconds. Hang in there.

1. Grace. Our life in heaven isn’t up to us. We’re not good enough or ready to be with a Holy God. God overlooks this. He, himself paid the debt, to cover over our deficit. Many of us remain awfully content with our goodness, or special knowledge to gain eternal life. But, this life beyond life remains fit as God’s territory singularly. Our residence there is a gift we could never afford. This is what is meant by Saving Grace.

2. Community. Interestingly, atheist Jean-Paul Sartre wrote that, “Hell is other people.” Many of us find being with others (who are not of our own choosing) gets difficult, tiresome, frustrating, annoying, or worse. Even extroverts don’t enjoy communing with every type of person. Some of us get to a point where we consider being with others something to consciously limit, or avoid. Sartre would be very uncomfortable in heaven, would you? God is Trinity, so God in its (pick your pronoun) own Divine essence is community. This is the basis for love-which must have a beloved, or personal recipient of love. And hence, community is the very stuff of heaven.

3. Humility Andrew Murray wrote a wonderful book called Humility: The Path to Holiness. In it, Murray aptly shows how humility was Jesus’ chief characteristic. Jesus was the human face of The Holy God. Jesus was not concerned with being humiliated, and didn’t consider himself above others, but a servant of all. Many of us have quite little of this characteristic that is plentiful in God, and in heaven.

4. Self-absorption Many of us tend to think life, and life after life is about us, and our needs. With this viewpoint, we would be quite out-of-place in heaven. The Kingdom of God is about loving God and others. In doing so, we are found, healed, known, and freed.

5. Idolatry The things that capture our attention, time, and desires are the gods we worship. They can even be good in themselves, like, staying healthy, or being devoted to our children, doing ministry service, or working hard. Whatever we love or enjoy become idols when they possess our main focus. It is our natural bent to allow things other than God, to become first priorities, but it is not good for us. When we have our life ordered properly, everything else falls into place well. In heaven, that will be the case. We will have a chance to learn, and enjoy many things far more amazing than we do in this life. The heavenly, top-down-priority system will likely jar many of us very much for a while.

6. Judging Many of us are not use to leaving the judging to God. As humans we are not in the position to be good, accurate, or fair judges. We are skewed because of our sin, and we are not innocent. However, this doesn’t seem to stop us from doing it to others. We won’t be foolish enough to do that in heaven. The time we typically use to surmise and judge others will be all freed up, leaving many of us feeling quite disoriented, perhaps. This adjustment could take some “time” to get used to.

7. Holy Fire God is good. How grateful we can be for this! But have you ever noticed when righteous people in the Bible meet an angel of God, they flip out, and feel very uncomfortable in the presence of holiness. God is so very good, and so very pure. In this way, God is like a refining fire in the presence of any impurity, or imperfection. Shock and awe, yet all together good. No darkness can exist in God’s Light. It makes one wonder if the course to be made in God’s image (and fit for heaven) will be wonderful… eventually, but the Fire of God’s Holiness will be more of a conflagration, of sorts, during the cleaning process. The process of spiritual growth isn’t for God’s benefit, but our own. All that is not right for heaven will be burned away in his presence, otherwise we really aren’t ready for paradise with him.

Perspectives on Heaven

Some people think, once we are in heaven, we will be instantly and miraculously transformed, and be suddenly fit for heaven. I have thought this, even wished for it. But, I’ve also had to ask myself, “Is it like God to do this? Or, does God most often–for our best interest–allow us to benefit by going through some kind of ‘refining fire’?” Would a shortcut make our characters Christlike and fit for, that is,fully comfortable, in heaven? I’m thinking, probably, nah. A Junior Varsity area might be a good idea.

Though we may be forgiven, and allowed admittance to the place where God has prepared for us, I wonder if God will still be interested in continuing to make our character more like his, in a process fashion, not unlike we normally learn, and experience reality. When we see him revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is; that is–knowing we are children of God. Understanding our connectedness. We are relational. But that may, in fact, be a process, and not be something that can or should be done instantaneously.

Author and philosopher, C.S. Lewis proposed that heaven could be a place where people would move deeper and further into heaven, and better awareness, as they were able to become accustomed to it. He goes into this quite a bit in his fictitious rendering of heaven in his short book called The Great Divorce. It’s well worth the read. The Catholic idea of Purgatory has a similar notion, of a holding spot, where the heaven-bound are refined in character, and prepared to be with a Holy God, in a holy place, forever.

Since I haven’t tried out the place, I won’t make a blanket or dogmatic pronouncement about how heaven must truly be, and how it may work. I’ll find out all too soon–as will you.

Regardless, of what you believe, or what may happen, it is important that we understand:

• God is Holy, and we are not. 

• We cannot be with God, or in a heavenly place after this life without God mercifully allowing us to be.

• We must humble ourselves to our Creator, and be willing to be crafted into God’s divine character.

thank you for reading.

Please leave your thoughts, of any kind.

Self-test: Is the Holy Spirit like a York Peppermint Patty?

 

 

taste the sensation

 

Self-test: Is the Holy Spirit like a York Peppermint Patty?

Some of you won’t remember the goofy York Peppermint Patty commercials of long ago, but thanks to the marvel of technology, you can view a couple retro ad pieces right now to either refresh your memory, or thank God you were not routinely subjected to such silliness.

After you watch the short video, have some fun and take this self-test to see how you score.

Self-test:
Answer true or false, and add up your scores.

1. When you hear the word “Holy Ghost” you get “shivers.” (You prefer the less weird  term “Holy Spirit.”)

2. Spiritual things are sometimes what you would call “spine-tingling”.

3. When eating minty candy, sometimes you feel a cool draft, or get a bit of a chill.

4. Watching shows like Ghost Hunters is fairly tempting.

5. You like to say “God bless you” when others sneeze–and now that you think of it, a dry and powerful sneeze seems practically other-worldly. (A wet one is just plain gross.)

6. If chocolate was served instead of bread at Communion, you would look forward to going to church more often.

7. The idea of dressing up as the Holy Ghost has never crossed your mind, yet you realize drinking some milk when eating chocolate makes sense.

8. If it were not sacrilegious, or highly odd, you could imagine the Holy Ghost (or Spirit) as a good choice for the pitchman for York Peppermint Patty and saying, “Get the (cool) sensation,” in a dry humor sort of way.

9. You can imagine Jesus eating and enjoying a York Peppermint Patty.

(Perhaps you can relate to this scenario: If you had two, and if he was physically there, you would give him one. If you had one, you would split it, but maybe you would have a brief conflict of conscience thinking of hiding it, or not mentioning it. After realizing that he would know anyways you would hope he wouldn’t mind if you kept the whole thing. Maybe you’d look at him in the eyes to check for a “knowing look,” after you averted eye contact for a little bit, first.)

10. You are finding that something simple like a York Peppermint Patty can somehow remind you of God, and yet make you a bit hungry for candy at the same time.

Scoring:

If you got more than 5 True answers you have made an irrevocable connection between a minty chocolate treat and one, or more, of the three persons of God. Use this connection wisely. It may help integrate your spirituality and draw you into a more intimate relationship with God, in everyday ways. On the other hand, you could get terribly fat filling a huge spiritual void with empty calories, and go to hell in the process.

Okay, I’m not really sure about that last part, but I do think something could go wrong in this whole setup, I’m just not completely sure what. And also, the test really isn’t scientific, in case you were wondering.

If you had fun, got a laugh, were the least bit amused, or even got mad, please tell a few people to drop by and visit to take the self-test for themselves. Then, they’ll get their own sensation. 

Your thoughts and comments are always welcome.

-Lisa, peppermint patty lover, God lover, and putting on the pounds with various chocolates.

God as a Genie – Hoodoo Part III (moralist therapeutic deism)

Sociologist, Christian Smith and his team of researchers conducted surveys across America (and all religious preferences ) with over 3,000 youth, and got a feel for how they viewed God. (I would guess many American adults could score with similar results.)

The findings congealed into a perspective Smith terms,

“Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.”

Moralistic Therapeutic Deism consists of beliefs like these:

1. “A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.”

2. “God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.”

3. “The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.”

4. “God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.”

5. “Good people go to heaven when they die.”1

This view allows for much individual choice, values, and ethics, and nothing much in the way of a deepening relationship with the Creator.

It actually reminds me of how a child grows up. First, as a baby, the infant knows that something feeds him. After a while, he understands that certain things he does may cause certain needs or wants to be fulfilled. A little while later, the child comprehends that he has a person caring for him. Only much later does that child really respond to the parental love in any kind of reciprocal way, let alone, show much unselfish kindness to the parent. This is a good picture of the journey of spirituality, toward the heart of God.


1 R. Albert Mohler, Jr.| “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism–the New American Religion” Christian Post. Accessed November 16, 2009 from http://www.christianpost.com/article/20050418/moralistic-therapeutic-deism-the-new-american-religion/index.html 

(FULL article by R. Albert Mohler, Jr. called “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism–the New American Religion” here.)

Let them eat cake

Well, all that dialogue in the last post has made me quite hungry. Everyone who knows me will tell you I have more than one sweet tooth. Bill has really inspired me to rethink me habits, and consider name-calling as an evangelistic “technique”. As a dry run, I’ll probably just start with snarky sarcasm, as it has served me quite well in the past, if only to avoid growing hopeless. No, I’m joking. I won’t really go down that road too far.

I’d like to thank all the people who posted, and others who may join in later, and of course all who visited just to read, chuckle, or wipe the tears away as they realized the state of Christianity, or remembered being treated badly by Christians. 

So, after all this you might be wondering, as I have been, what on earth, or what in hell, do children of the devil eat? I mean primarily (besides sulfur, of course). It’s really the burning question, isn’t it? Well, the answer has been right in front of most of us all along. Cake. Devil’s food cake. 

I found this recipe in Bill’s underwear drawer, but trust me, he’ll deny the whole thing to his grave.

I’ll rename the recipe here as-

Bill’s Children of the Devil’s Food Cake

This recipe is down right sinful. Holy Rollers, God-fearers, and agnostics alike will agree, if you like chocolate, and fudge, this will be your guilty pleasure.

devilcake

The following is a recipe for devil’s food cake with cocoa and fudge frosting, not the picture shown which came from here.

I’ll just finish off with one more thing. Let’s enjoy each other, enjoy this beautiful world, and enjoy God. Let’s act and be beautiful to each other. Life is too short to waste on things that take away from God’s gifts.

I welcome dissenting viewpoints and comments from any visitor. Keep the posts coming. (And please read the guidelines on “The Skinny” page) The page called The loop is the contact page. Blessings all.

-Lisa


Time for CAKE!

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups milk, scalded
  • 2 cups cake flour, sifted or stirred before measuring
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preparation:

Grease two 9-inch layer cake pans and line bottoms with wax paper. Grease wax paper. Sift the cocoa with 1/3 cup sugar; pour into the milk gradually; stir until well blended. Set aside to cool. Sift together flour, remaining 1 cup sugar, soda, and salt. Add shortening and half of the cooled cocoa and milk mixture. Beat at medium speed of an electric hand-held mixer. Add eggs, vanilla, and remaining cocoa and milk mixture. continue beating for about 2 minutes, scraping bowl with a spatula occasionally. Pour into prepared pans. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes; turn out on racks and peel off paper. Cool and frost devil’s food cake as desired.

Fudge Frosting:

Chocolate fudge frosting recipe is cooked to a fudge consistency.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 3 squares (3 ounces) unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation:

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, corn syrup, milk, and chocolate; stir to blend well. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture forms a very soft ball when a small amount is dropped into cold water, or about 232° on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat; add butter without stirring. Set aside and let cool until bottom of pan is lukewarm, about 1 hour. Add vanilla and beat until frosting is creamy and just begins to hold its shape. Spread quickly on cake before frosting hardens. Makes about 2 cups.

 

 

 

(link to this and other recipes)