Hell

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ann kept reminding me recently that there aren't any coincidences when it comes to God. Lately, I have been wondering about stuff that is happening to me. This is one example, it happened several times already: that is before I read the book-I-am-attempting-to-complete-before-the-month-is-over-but-unsuccessfully, there is almost always a precursor event or discussion over the topic.

Someone was just telling me about a pastor who boldly preached about hell in a wake service. When I was told of the context of the event, I understood why he was compelled to do so. And today, when I got back to where I stopped, the title of the chapter was, "Hell".

Kreeft and Tacelli handled the chapter extremely well and I was stuck to the chapter soaking in all they had to say about the dreaded subject.

And I like this paragraph: one of the issues at stake in the Doctrine of Hell, which I feel applies also to the other doctrines.

"If we drop hell because it is unbearable to us, that presupposes the principle that we can change whatever doctrines we find unbearable or unacceptable; in other words, that doctrine is negotiable. Christianity then becomes a human ideology, not a divine revelation; a set of humanly chosen ideas and ideals rather than propositional data. There is then nothing new or surprising to learn. Doctrine becomes a nose of wax to be twisted into any shape we choose. Try this principle out in any other branch of knowledge and see whether it makes a difference." (Handbook of Christian Apologetics, Kreeft & Tacelli, 1994, p.283).

I find that most Christians I meet these days take doctrines and even Scripture as "wax to be twisted into any shape we choose". Some of us just could not accept the cold hard truth of God. God is not lovey-dovey but his love and justice comes together.

From my encounter with people, I find that amongst the most "dangerous" words to start a sentence when discussing about Scripture is "I think ..." as well as "To me ...". As much as we are called to "think over", "consider", and "reflect" on the Word of God (2 Tim 2:7), we need to be careful that we do it wisely and let the Lord reveal his Word to us rather than us digging into the words figuring out or even imagining what we think they mean.

Paul continues to say in 2 Tim 4:3, "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions".

But having said this, I have also come to the stage where I find myself asking if I am missing something. I hear people saying that they have prayed to the Lord and that is what was revealed to them, but it just does not sit right with me. Am I missing something here?

Oh! how great is our responsibility in the studying, understanding and the applying of God's word.

pearlie

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7 comment(s)

  1. interestingly, theologians or doctrine-informed people like to expound on hell, but biblical scholars find hell, nothing much to talk about...

    my observation.

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  2. Been thinking a lot lately, haven't you? Recent posts seems coded ... :P

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  3. Hi guys,
    I apologise for the delay -- I've been very quiet for awhile :)

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  4. 不肖生 Sceptics,
    Well, that IS the issue, because there is nothing much biblically we can learn about hell, the theologians have to do it well so that it will be well covered when we need to handle it apologetically. Which is why even Kreeft have to explain why the chapter on it is considerably longer than the rest.

    And I think Bob's link would be worth a watch, I'm waiting for it to upload now :)

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  5. Bob,
    Thanks for the link! Yes I do agree with him as well. I believe that hell would be a place where the presence of God will no longer be there. For now, even though some do not believe, God is still present. But there will come a time when he will no longer be around for the unbelievers because of their conscious decision. I shudder at the thought of a world without light or hope or love.

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