December 31, 2015 Edward Feser on whether Christians and Muslims worship the same God. Share Get link Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Other Apps 60 comments
Some Christians would claim the child is 'in' as well because they are under the age of accountability. I have never quite been able to figure out what that is and how one can argue that from scripture.
I can no longer accept the doctrine of eternal conscious torment. I have friends who tell me that without it, God would not be just...but I can't find a scrape of justice in an eternal punishment for a temporal crime, or worse still a crime of ignorance or omission. If there is any form of punishment, I can't believe it is permanent, because the nature of God revealed to us in Christ and throughout the Bible, is a redemptive one. His actions have always provided room for redemption. Any disciplines have always had the purpose of redemption.
Just my thoughts. I will follow this discussion with interest.
Christians have traditionally said that people are condemned to hell for sin.
Consider this analogy.
A patient has a fatal disease.
The doctor offers a cure (Christ).
The patient does not take the cure.
The patient dies.
What killed the patient was the disease not their failure to take the cure.
The girl's sin — that disease which kills her — is not "not being a Christian"; it is . . . whatever her sins are.
So the picture sets out the situation as perceived in classical theolgy in a somewhat misleading way.
Nevertheless, what we still feel very uncomfortable about is the suggestion that Stalin's disease has the same results as the girl's disease when one seems to us to be far more terrble than the other. That, I think, is where the issue really lies.
Still, I've always found it strange how often those Christians who object most heatedly to the thought that, say, Hitler might suffer less than everlasting conscious torment, seemingly out of concern for justice for the victims, turn out to themselves hold views on which very many of Hitler's *victims* also suffer everlasting conscious torment.
I see at least three problems with it: (1) is neglects original sin which has enormous importance across Christian traditions; (2) it says nothing of the varying degrees of punishment experienced in hell; (3) Robin's point above is probably the biggest one.
The title is pretty bad too since it says nothing about what sin actually is. So the graphic doesn't explain Christian hamartiology at all. Oh well.