Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Love Wins 3
I am leading a small group through the major premises in Rob Bell's Book Love Wins, in the months that have followed there have been some answering books, the SBC reaffirmed that the conscious torment of Hell was indeed eternal. The profs at the Nazarene School had donors threaten to stop giving if Bell was allowed to rent space for a meeting. He has been given pejorative names in the game we love to play.
Christian History magazine had the good grace to dedicate a whole booklet to the development of the doctrine of hell and the current literature and studies available.
This is one of those cat out of the bag moments in Christian thought. The traditionalists are not going to be able to silence those who have seen a wider hope in scripture.
I agree that you cannot make a lock tight case for any view from scripture. There are inferences and connections that lead some to continue holding the traditional view, while others see annihilation or conditional immortality, and a growing number see ultimate reconciliation as the most consistent. I am glad to see this day.
To affirm that there is right and wrong and ways of living that hurt self and others, is not to argue against God's commitment to judge and to restore. I prefer, as I said tonite to be a single human unit of optimistic unconditional love in Christ. I believe that's how Paul laid out this wonderful new covenant, and while as an American I am thankful for a strong defense, I join those who look forward to the day when swords are beaten into plowshares, or some equally useful implement to feed and cloth humankind.