Go Back   Christian Guitar Forum > Deeper Issues > Theology
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Arcade Mark Forums Read

Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 02-09-2017, 10:05 PM   #1
Old School
Administrator
 
Leboman's Avatar
 

Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Geezerville
Posts: 55,891
Hell

A discussion in one of the journals brought up different views of hell.

The five views (that I am aware of) are as follows:

1. Literal
2. Metaphorical
3. Conditional (Annhilationism)
4. Universalism
5. Purgatory

Where do you all fall? I grew up holding to the literal view but have slowly moved towards the metaphorical with a healthy respect for the conditional.

__________________
Nothing (Without You)
Granville Center Church of Christ Sermons
YouTube
My German is pre-industrial and mostly religious.
Leboman is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Unread 02-09-2017, 10:45 PM   #2
The Elephant in Your Room
 
Ben Toast's Avatar
 

Joined: Feb 2011
Location: The Monks
Posts: 4,974
paid
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leboman View Post
A discussion in one of the journals brought up different views of hell.

The five views (that I am aware of) are as follows:

1. Literal
2. Metaphorical
3. Conditional (Annhilationism)
4. Universalism
5. Purgatory

Where do you all fall? I grew up holding to the literal view but have slowly moved towards the metaphorical with a healthy respect for the conditional.
I believe hell is simply separation from God, so literal is out. As far as eternal punishment, I lean toward annhilationism, though I want desperately for universalism to be true. And purgatory? Please. One could say a regular 9-5 is purgatory enough.
__________________
I hope that all is well in heaven, 'cause it's all shot to hell down here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillSPrestonEsq View Post
...wives are expensive upkeep...
Ben Toast is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-10-2017, 06:26 AM   #3
Psychic theo-philosopher
 
athanatos's Avatar
 

Joined: May 2008
Location: Buffalo
Posts: 2,978
paid
Purgatory is viable if you take early church tradition seriously. What do you mean by literal vs metaphorical?

Also, is this the holding place of the reprobate until the last judgment or are you talking about the "lake of fire" into which Satan and others are cast after the last judgment?
__________________
my glob

They want to stop the ones who want
Prosthetic foreheads on their heads
But everybody wants prosthetic
Foreheads on their real heads

We Want a Rock, They Might Be Giants

Hidden?
athanatos is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-10-2017, 07:06 AM   #4
Old School
Administrator
 
Leboman's Avatar
 

Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Geezerville
Posts: 55,891
Quote:
Originally Posted by athanatos View Post
Purgatory is viable if you take early church tradition seriously. What do you mean by literal vs metaphorical?

Also, is this the holding place of the reprobate until the last judgment or are you talking about the "lake of fire" into which Satan and others are cast after the last judgment?
The descriptions of hell as fire are to be taken as actual fire versus fire being a metaphor.

That's kind of why I thought it would interesting to discuss. People have varied ideas as to what hell actually is.

The different terms and the way they have been translated only add to the confusion at times.

What were the NT writers talking about when they used the words Hades, Gehenna, and Tartarus? We can also look at the OT view of Sheol and how it relates.
__________________
Nothing (Without You)
Granville Center Church of Christ Sermons
YouTube
My German is pre-industrial and mostly religious.
Leboman is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-10-2017, 09:58 AM   #5
Illegal Immigrant
 
Austinn's Avatar
 

Joined: Mar 2014
Location: VA
Posts: 409
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leboman View Post
A discussion in one of the journals brought up different views of hell.

The five views (that I am aware of) are as follows:

1. Literal
2. Metaphorical
3. Conditional (Annhilationism)
4. Universalism
5. Purgatory

Where do you all fall? I grew up holding to the literal view but have slowly moved towards the metaphorical with a healthy respect for the conditional.
I'm strong Metaphorical. Annihilation is still something that I'm not quite familiar with the argument. I need to do more study on it in the future.
__________________
"He hath given me rest by his sorrow, and life by his death." ~John Bunyan
Austinn is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-10-2017, 12:38 PM   #6
Obnoxodox
 
IsaactheSyrian's Avatar
 

Joined: Apr 2002
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 8,859
paid
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leboman View Post
A discussion in one of the journals brought up different views of hell.

The five views (that I am aware of) are as follows:

1. Literal
2. Metaphorical
3. Conditional (Annhilationism)
4. Universalism
5. Purgatory

Where do you all fall? I grew up holding to the literal view but have slowly moved towards the metaphorical with a healthy respect for the conditional.
Purgatory and Hell are two different things, in the Roman Catholic understanding.
__________________
I believe, O Lord, and I confess, that You are truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief...
~ Ryan Isaac



IsaactheSyrian is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-10-2017, 12:44 PM   #7
Illegal Immigrant
 
Austinn's Avatar
 

Joined: Mar 2014
Location: VA
Posts: 409
Quote:
Originally Posted by IsaactheSyrian
Purgatory and Hell are two different things, in the Roman Catholic understanding.
Yes. . . I was thinking the same thing when I saw this list
__________________
"He hath given me rest by his sorrow, and life by his death." ~John Bunyan
Austinn is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-10-2017, 12:48 PM   #8
Obnoxodox
 
IsaactheSyrian's Avatar
 

Joined: Apr 2002
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 8,859
paid
This is my understanding (and, as I understand it, the dominant Eastern Orthodox understanding) of Hell. From Greek Orthodox theologian Fr. George Metallinos,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fr. George Metallinos
Paradise and hell are the same reality. This is what is depicted in the portrayal of the Second Coming. From Christ, a river of fire flows forth. It is radiant like a golden light at the upper end of it, where the saints are. At its lower end, the same river is fiery, and it is in that part of the river that the demons and the unrepentant (“the never repentant” according to a hymn) are depicted. This is why in Luke 2:34 we read that Christ stands “as the fall and the resurrection of many.” Christ becomes the resurrection into eternal life for those who accepted Him and who followed the means given for the healing the heart. To those who rejected Him, however, He becomes their separation and their hell. … Consequently, paradise and hell are not a reward or a punishment (condemnation), but the way that we individually experience the sight of Christ, depending on the condition of our heart. God doesn’t punish in essence, although, for educative purposes, the Scripture does mention punishment. The more spiritual that one becomes, the better he can comprehend the language of the Scripture and Sacred Tradition. Man’s condition (clean-unclean, repentant-unrepentant) is the factor that determines the acceptance of the Light as “paradise” or “hell.” … The damned—those who are hardened at heart, like the Pharisees (Mark 3:5: “in the callousness of their hearts”)—eternally perceive the pyre of hell as their salvation! It is because their condition is not susceptible to any other form of salvation. They too are “finalized”—they reach the end of their road—but only the righteous [sincerely pious] reach the end as redeemed persons. The others finish in a state of condemnation. “Salvation” to them is hell, since in their lifetime, they pursued only pleasure.
In other words, to die and be in the presence of God, the ultimate Good, is to be in the presence of fire. Those who have loved the light during their lives may enter into the presence of God seeing it as a warm dawn on their brow. Those who have loved the darkness... experience it as a blazing inferno.

I am one, however, who sincerely hopes (along with my patron saint, Isaac the Syrian) for a universal salvation. I don't see punishment-for-the-sake-of-punishment as consistent with the character of God revealed in Jesus Christ, who disciplines whom He loves for their salvation. Thus, for the damned, who have so dehumanized themselves by their sin, to be in the presence of the love of God, is to be burned by it. But I hope - perhaps, beyond the Church's canonical understanding - that exposure to that Love will save them.

But that doesn't mean I want people to have to experience it, either way.

St. Isaac explains,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ascetical Homilies, II, 39, 3-6
For it would be most odious and utterly blasphemous to think that hate or resentment exists with God, even against demonic beings; or to imagine any other weakness, or passibility, or whatever else might be involved in the course of retribution of good or bad as applying, in a retributive way, to that glorious divine Nature. Rather, He acts towards us in ways He knows will be advantageous to us, whether by way of things that cause suffering, or by way of things that cause relief, whether they cause joy or grief, whether they are insignificant or glorious: all are directed towards the single eternal good, whether each receives judgement or something of glory from Him—not by way of retribution, far from it!—but with a view to the advantage that is going to come from all these things. …


That is how everything works with Him, even though things may seem otherwise to us: with Him it is not a matter of retribution, but He is always looking beyond to the advantage that will come from His dealing with humanity. And one such thing is this matter of Gehenna.

I am of the opinion, that He is going to manifest some wonderful outcome, a matter of immense and ineffable compassion on the part of the glorious Creator, with respect to the ordering of this difficult matter of Gehenna’s torment: out of it the wealth of His love and power and wisdom will become known all the more—and so will the insistent might of the waves of His goodness
__________________
I believe, O Lord, and I confess, that You are truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief...
~ Ryan Isaac




Last edited by IsaactheSyrian; 02-10-2017 at 12:59 PM.
IsaactheSyrian is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-10-2017, 12:54 PM   #9
Illegal Immigrant
 
Austinn's Avatar
 

Joined: Mar 2014
Location: VA
Posts: 409
Quote:
Originally Posted by IsaactheSyrian
This is my understanding (and, as I understand it, the dominant Eastern Orthodox understanding) of Hell. From Greek Orthodox theologian George Metallinos, I am one, however, who sincerely hopes (along with my patron saint, Isaac the Syrian) for a universal salvation. I don't see punishment-for-the-sake-of-punishment as consistent with the character of God revealed in Jesus Christ, who disciplines whom He loves for their salvation. Thus, for the damned, who have so dehumanized themselves by their sin, to be in the presence of the love of God, is to be burned by it. But I hope - perhaps, beyond the Church's canonical understanding - that exposure to that Love will save them. But that doesn't mean I want people to have to experience it, either way.
For me, Annihilationism is easier to justify by scripture than Universalism, and they both protect God's portrait as that of love. It seems (at least to human understanding) that a loving God would not damn a person to eternal punishment.
__________________
"He hath given me rest by his sorrow, and life by his death." ~John Bunyan
Austinn is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-10-2017, 12:59 PM   #10
Illegal Immigrant
 
Austinn's Avatar
 

Joined: Mar 2014
Location: VA
Posts: 409
And to answer your quote of St. Isaac, doesn't it seem that in order to have love there must be some form of hate? At least in my understanding, it seems that in order to love something completely, you must hate that which threatens it (loving wife and children so much to hate any man who threatens to kill your family for example).
I would say that the thing that threatens us as humans would be sin, thus God must hate sin in order to truly love us. If he hates sin, he cannot love the sinner.
This is only an observation. I may be wrong.
__________________
"He hath given me rest by his sorrow, and life by his death." ~John Bunyan
Austinn is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-10-2017, 01:23 PM   #11
Obnoxodox
 
IsaactheSyrian's Avatar
 

Joined: Apr 2002
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 8,859
paid
Quote:
Originally Posted by Austinn View Post
And to answer your quote of St. Isaac, doesn't it seem that in order to have love there must be some form of hate? At least in my understanding, it seems that in order to love something completely, you must hate that which threatens it (loving wife and children so much to hate any man who threatens to kill your family for example).
I would say that the thing that threatens us as humans would be sin, thus God must hate sin in order to truly love us. If he hates sin, he cannot love the sinner.
This is only an observation. I may be wrong.
He hates sin in the same way that a father hates the thing that is causing his child to become less than they are able to be. A good father does not ever hate their child themselves, but only in view of the thing that is destroying them.

So, I believe, it is with God. God's wrath towards us is only in view of that which we are permitting to cause us to become less human rather than more so (to wit: our sin).
__________________
I believe, O Lord, and I confess, that You are truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief...
~ Ryan Isaac



IsaactheSyrian is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-10-2017, 01:33 PM   #12
Gone
 
Ted Logan's Avatar
 

Joined: Nov 2002
Location: Chicago area
Posts: 9,167
I notice that nobody's actually citing the Bible (except in the quote from George Metallinos). Theological claims are not innocent matters and we should bear in mind the response of the Lord to Eliphaz and his friends:

7 After the LORD had spoken these words to Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite: "My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. 8 Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves. And my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly. For you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has." (Job 42:7-8 ESV)

The "separation from God" idea is a sort of riff on Isaiah 59:2, but it's a really strange way to take that verse:

but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. (Isaiah 59:2 ESV)

The question needs to be asked, Who is the Lord speaking to, and in what context? We should also ask what kind of separation is intended.

To the first, the audience is national Israel in the time of the divided kingdom. The context is Israel's recalcitrant rebellion expressed in idolatry, false religiosity, and rampant injustice. The looming threat is the conquest of Assyria.

The result of Israel's sin is seen vividly in verses 9-13:

9 Therefore justice is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us; we hope for light, and behold, darkness, and for brightness, but we walk in gloom. 10 We grope for the wall like the blind; we grope like those who have no eyes; we stumble at noon as in the twilight, among those in full vigor we are like dead men. 11 We all growl like bears; we moan and moan like doves; we hope for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us. 12 For our transgressions are multiplied before you, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and we know our iniquities: 13 transgressing, and denying the LORD, and turning back from following our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart lying words. (Isaiah 59:9-13 ESV)

This helps us understand the separation intended: The sin itself is a kind of fleeing from God. They have rejected the salvation offered to them because they reject the One in whom that salvation comes. They long for the blessing of the light, but not the Light Himself. In other words, "Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God" should be taken at face value - in this life, in 740 BC, the Israelites were separated from God in the midst of the land of Israel. This should be seen in consonance with the later visions of Ezekiel, wherein Ezekiel witnesses the glory of God departing the Temple (Ezekiel 10). The separation mentioned here is this-worldly. More than that, it's also clearly symbolic language (I hesitate to use the word metaphor), since God was delivering a message to Israel, which requires a less-than-complete separation, and since the explanation in verses 9-13 is also so laden with symbol. This makes it hard to justify calling the NT depictions of Hell symbolic of separation from God, since separation from God is also used symblically.

We should also remember that the separation mentioned in Isaiah 59:1-2 is the precursor not for eternal separation, but for astonishing deliverance in verses 15-21:

15 Truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. The LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. 16 He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him. 17 He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head; he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak. 18 According to their deeds, so will he repay, wrath to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies; to the coastlands he will render repayment. 19 So they shall fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun; for he will come like a rushing stream, which the wind of the LORD drives. 20 "And a Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression," declares the LORD. 21 "And as for me, this is my covenant with them," says the LORD: "My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children's offspring," says the LORD, "from this time forth and forevermore." (Isaiah 59:15-21 ESV)

So we should bear in mind that this text is decidedly not talking about the eternal state of the unrepentant, but their state in the here-and-now, the state from which the Messiah delivers in the here-and-now through His death, resurrection, and ascension. Right now, sinners are separated from God and in need of the reunion that comes by faith:

remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:12-13 ESV)

This is not to say that the current plight of the Lost can't also serve as a type or pattern of event that has a future, eternal fulfillment. John's Gospel has a strong theology that the eternal state of the Lost is the ratification of their own current state - they stand condemned, and in refusing mercy remain condemned:

Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God." (John 3:18-21 ESV)

Additionally, Jesus elsewhere talks about Hell both as fire and torment, and also as darkness and being shut out:

I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 8:11-12 ESV)

The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. (Matthew 13:41-43 ESV)

"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. (Matthew 25:41 ESV)


Note that darkness and fire are both spoken of as outside the kingdom of heaven. They are cast, thrown, or ordered to depart. This strengthens the idea of separation from God in some sense.

Finally:

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name." 12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. (Revelation 14:9-12 ESV)

There are plenty of places in Scripture where we could go to see that the eternal judgment of hell is an experience of God's wrath towards sin. This is just one. I caution all to be careful not to construct a golden calf and call it Jesus by removing His office as Judge as well as Savior.

As for the original question, I think choosing between options 1 and 2 is like a vestige of medieval scholasticism, like asking how much souls weigh or how long it takes for an angel to get from one place to another. I can't imagine a possible reason why I would need to make a decision about whether or not actual fire from actual combustion will be present in hell or not. This is clearly symbolic language, but to say "therefore it can't also be literal" is like saying if I show you a picture of a guitar, I must own a mandolin.
__________________
broccolifish at SoundCloud - synthpop and chiptunes I've made

Give thanks to YHWH, for He is good!


Gone
Ted Logan is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-10-2017, 02:53 PM   #13
Old School
Administrator
 
Leboman's Avatar
 

Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Geezerville
Posts: 55,891
Quote:
Originally Posted by IsaactheSyrian View Post
Purgatory and Hell are two different things, in the Roman Catholic understanding.
I understand that.

I also understand that there are different beliefs concerning the nature of purgatory as well. It is my understanding that some believe souls in purgatory are subjected to pain in order to purify them. I admit that I know very little about the concept other than a few basics.
__________________
Nothing (Without You)
Granville Center Church of Christ Sermons
YouTube
My German is pre-industrial and mostly religious.
Leboman is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-10-2017, 03:24 PM   #14
Obnoxodox
 
IsaactheSyrian's Avatar
 

Joined: Apr 2002
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 8,859
paid
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leboman View Post
I understand that.

I also understand that there are different beliefs concerning the nature of purgatory as well. It is my understanding that some believe souls in purgatory are subjected to pain in order to purify them. I admit that I know very little about the concept other than a few basics.
Yes, but in the Roman Catholic understanding, purgatory is only for those who are being saved, not for those who are damned (i.e. who die in unbelief and/or a state of mortal sin).
__________________
I believe, O Lord, and I confess, that You are truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief...
~ Ryan Isaac



IsaactheSyrian is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-10-2017, 03:28 PM   #15
Old School
Administrator
 
Leboman's Avatar
 

Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Geezerville
Posts: 55,891
Quote:
Originally Posted by IsaactheSyrian View Post
Yes, but in the Roman Catholic understanding, purgatory is only for those who are being saved, not for those who are damned (i.e. who die in unbelief and/or a state of mortal sin).
True, but in at least one view of hell it is for the purpose of purifying people with the end result being the salvation of all. While not identical, it's similar in concept.
__________________
Nothing (Without You)
Granville Center Church of Christ Sermons
YouTube
My German is pre-industrial and mostly religious.
Leboman is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:32 PM.


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2