In light of the flurry of postings on the topic of hell and damnation at a popular Orthodox website, I thought it appropriate to repost this article that I wrote almost two years ago. And you might want to also read the subsequent articles in this series.
Last night I was reading a tract titled Juridical Justification Theology by Dr Kharalambos Anstall and Fr Michael Azkoul. The authors express what has now become recognized as the Orthodox understanding of perdition:
It can be truly said that the God of love is eternally present to answer our knock on His door for help. We know that He forgives all–and that His mercy is boundless. He utterly respects our personhood and does not force Himself upon us. Thus He plays no part in the infliction of punishment, most especially not eternal punishment. In the final analysis of Orthodox theology, damnation consists entirely in the voluntary rejection of God by us. We have the Gospel, the Prophets, the Apostles, the Martyrs, the Fathers, and the Mystical Body of Christ (the Church) with which we can choose to associate or from which we can elect to walk away. The choice of…
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