Saturday, March 19, 2005

Constantine and Hell

This blog has some good quality discussion papers on the movie Constantine, and he's just posted some really good thoughts on heaven and hell-a hot topic for debate at VETAMORPHUS yesterday!

It was a great discussion, we were all able to respectfully hear each other's differences of opinion, and I know I was challenged a great deal in my own thinking on the matter.

As I have mentioned briefly in previous comments, heaven and hell do not in any way shape my theology, nor my understanding of mission and passion for evangelism. The reason I love sharing with people about Jesus and His Kingdom isn't so that I can save their eternal souls, its because I have experienced the Kigdom here on earth, and I believe that a relationship with Jesus (a concept that still needs a little more unpacking) is the ultimate fulfillment of life here on earth.

God's Kingdom (that which is never fully explained by Jesus-only alluded to in stories) is something worth fighting for whilst on earth. A place where people live as Jesus did is surely something worth pushing for here and now. At the end of the day, we don't know anything about what happens after we die, those of us who believe in the Bible will say it gives us some pretty good ideas-which are totally up for interpretation too, but we just don't know.

These are still very under developed thoughts, and its something I'm still shaping my theology and understanding of, but thats pretty much where I stand at the moment.


John Dekker said...

Heaven and hell do not in any way shape my theology, nor my understanding of mission and passion for evangelism.

Well, it seems that you are quite at odds with Jesus on this matter. He's always going on about hell. And Paul views the promise of heaven as a central part of the gospel - "if it is only in this life that we have hope, we're are the most miserable people around".

Rather, I don't think the future hope that we have in Christ shapes our theology nearly enough.

Digger said...

Hmm, interesting. Jesus does actually mention hell a little more than I first realised. Point taken.

I'd be interested to read a little more on how Jesus' and the gospel writers' worldview may have affected their understanding of an afterlife.

I guess my views come partly as a reaction to people I've seen in the past who in my opinion focus too heavily on the future. I think too much of a focus can lead people to be too flippant with the present, to not acknowledge God's presence with us now. I've seen too many people focus solely on somebodys eternal destiny, without actually caring for the person here and now.

Regardless of their reality, I still stand by the fact that I abhor their use as an evangelistic tool.