Article III: Of the going down of Christ into hell

7 Responses

  1. Ethan says:

    As far as I can understand Christian doctrine, which apparently isn’t all that well, the sin that warrants condemnation is prideful refusal to be made perfect in the likeness of God.

    As I hear it, the overwhelming majority of us will be judged guilty. And if we actually refuse to be perfect when it’s offered, and to live in right relationship, I don’t see that it’s difficult to square that with a loving God at all. It’s just kind of math. Any number of other numbers multiplied by one zero will still be zero.

  2. Bob Chapman says:

    It is easy to call a God of double predestination an abomination. That is, God wills some people to Heaven; God wills some people to Hell. What part of John 3.16 does anyone who supports double predestination not understand? (I’m looking at you, John Calvin and John Piper.)

    That said, how would it be “love” for God to force anyone to spend eternity with God who does not want the gift? God created us to share a relationship of love, not to rape the unwilling.

    And, I agree 100% that it is above the pay grade of any human to determine who has given that final rejection. There is comfort in that any Heaven that could admit Adolf Hitler could also admit me.

    All my hope on God is founded, my rock and my salvation, through the action of Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit.

  3. JCF says:

    I find “Hell” (as the Gehenna/Lake of Fire/Gnashing of Teeth place) to be an entirely human creation (our fallen desire to see REVENGE! on our enemies), which loses nothing of its humanness, by being projected upon God in the Bible.

    Sorry, Scott, but there it is: I don’t believe in Hell. I find a god that could countenance a place of eternal torment of his creation (and don’t buy the “we condemn ourselves there” argument either) unworthy of worship.

    I know you haven’t gotten to the Articles about the Bible yet—but the Bible CONTAINS “all things necessary to salvation”. It doesn’t mean that every word, phrase or passage is (ahem) the “God’s Honest Truth.”

    Hell is one such human LIE, inserted into (the Mouth of God via) the text.

  4. Gary Goldacker says:

    This is the phrase that almost kept me from becoming an Episcopalian in college (having been raised a Methodist!) But thanks to a great priest (Jack Harris)who told me not to worry about some things, here I am. Thanks for a great explanation, even if I had to wait nearly 50 years to get it!

  5. Peter Ould says:

    Loving this series Scott and *genuinely* looking forward to how you handle 17 and 18…


  6. Bob Chapman says:

    @JCF, are you looking for a partner in love or a parent?

    Yes, the Father in the parable of the Prodigal Son did take the son back–with rejoicing. A loving parent always hopes for a child’s return. This is one metaphor for God’s love for us. But, it isn’t the only one.

    Another analogy is that of the bridegroom. I have trouble seeing how someone sleeping in another’s bed will be welcomed backed when the bridegroom returns. Or, what it would mean if the returning Bridegroom forces his way into another marriage chamber to claim a bride sleeping with another groom. There is a lack of love in such situations.

    While, there is value in thinking about God as a parent, God is more than a parent to us.

  7. Bob Chapman says:

    @Peter, I’m not a theologian nor do I play one on Sunday morning, but the answer to #17 might be in the absence of a mention of “double predestination” in this article.

    In addition, St. Clive of Oxbridge answered problems with #18 in his last book of the Chronicles of Narnia Series, The Last Battle.