hell

Hell Is (For) Other People

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Judgment is a process, a refiner’s fire, not a permanent condition. If people can’t abide the idea of Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot gliding right through the Pearly Gates, they don’t have to worry. But no one should ever say “never” about anyone else’s chances. The theological and ethical point is to try to have the mind, and more importantly, the loving heart of God. 

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Beyond Retribution: Bin Laden’s Death in its Cosmic Context

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At the root of our desire for retribution is the wish that those who have wronged us feel the full weight of what they have done, suffering remorse proportionate in severity to the gravity of their crime. In short, we hunger for their redemption. And so, when the retributive impulse is finally satisfied, it naturally resolves itself into forgiveness. The darkness is lifted, because the evil—the dissociation from the good that inspired the crime—has been destroyed.

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My Lent: Ashes, Addiction, and the Reality of Hell (Pace Rob Bell)

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Those who are ready to send Rob Bell to the hell he purportedly denies have unwittingly confirmed the suspicion of skeptics who want nothing to do with a religion whose practitioners seem to relish every opportunity to squabble, berate, and condemn; who strike a contentious pose on every theological issue; and who have the profoundly mistaken idea that at the heart of the Christian gospel is the doctrine of karma rather than that of grace.

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