Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Brian McLaren�s Inferno: the provocative church leader explains his view of hell

Leadership Blog: Out of Ur: Brian McLaren�s Inferno: the provocative church leader explains his view of hell

Surprise surprise, I'm linking to a few more Brian McLaren articles. This one isn't anything really groundbreaking for those who may have read some of his stuff before, or asked a few questions about heaven and hell. Also, a little quote from Tony Campolo, whose ideas on this are a little more new to me

Here's a couple snippets:
No, I am not embracing a traditional universalist position, but I am trying to raise the question, When God created the universe, did he have two purposes in mind—one being to create some people who would forever enjoy blessing and mercy, and another to create a group who would forever suffer torment, torture, and punishment? What is our view of God? A God who plans torture? A God who has an essential, eternal quality of hatred? Is God love, or is God love and hate?

Tony [Campolo] and I might disagree on the details, but I think we are both trying to find an alternative to both traditional Universalism and the narrow, exclusivist understanding of hell [that unless you explicitly accept and follow Jesus, you are excluded from eternal life with God and destined for hell].

Tony is presenting the inclusivist alternative. The fact is, many people who claim to be exclusivists are actually inclusivists and they don’t know it. For example, if you ask them if they believe all babies who die before or shortly after birth go to hell, they’ll say no, that children who die before the age of accountability are included in Christ’s saving work. They’ll say the same for people who are mentally incompetent, and so on. So really, strict exclusivists are rather rare.

We obsess on “who’s in” and “who’s out.” Jesus, however, seems to be asking the question, “How canthe kingdom of God more fully come on earth as it is in heaven, and how should disciples of the kingdom live to enter and welcome the kingdom?”

And from Campolo:
What I think we can say is, and this is where I get into trouble, I’m not so sure that when this life is over that all possibilities for salvation are over. I read in Ephesians 4:9-10 a passage that can be interpreted to describe a Jesus who descends into “the depths below the earth” to bring captives up to God. I read in 1 Peter 3:19 about a Jesus who goes to preach to those in the prison house of death, and I believe these Scriptures show Jesus doing something for people after they are dead, as we understand death. This reveals Jesus to be the “hound of heaven.”

Interesting stuff. The comments have drawn the usual amount of thanks and criticism.

5 comments:

ylmurph said...

I love Brian and Tony...sometimes I think they're a little off, but they sure challenge the system...and we could use a little HEALTHY debate
good stuff

owl said...

John 14:6b "(Jesus said) .. no-one comes to the Father but by Me". As followers of Christ, let's have HIS words be our guide.
For me, TC is getting further out there, and his missus even further. I can't agree with them on a range of issues. Whilst we don't have to commit intellectual suicide, getting too cerebral is a long way from the 'child-like faith' the Lord spoke of.

billy westwood said...
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