David B. Hart on Creatio ex Nihilo and Apokatastasis

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13 Responses to David B. Hart on Creatio ex Nihilo and Apokatastasis

  1. Stunning. Thank you for sharing. Have there been any remote estimates on when DBH’s translation of the New Testament might be finished? He’s been working on it publicly for something like four years, yes?

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  2. 407kwac says:

    Wow! Thank you for posting this. Is the paper online anywhere? When was this talk given?

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  3. Nicholas says:

    This is great. I’d never thought before about the damage that eternal torment does to our theological language. If a good God is also complicit in condemning human beings to endless Hell, then we must torture our words to get this to work. “Good” for God must be something of a very different species than “good” for humans, since clearly any human eternally tormenting another human would be considered very evil indeed. But then as “good” for God loses its connection to human concepts, and therefore its meaning for us, so do all other theological terms, Hart argues.

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  4. Stephen says:

    Beautiful! So great to hear a theologian of his stature proffer apokatastasis as a real and may I say nexessary aspect of Christian theology. May this be the start of a much bigger discussion on the biblical, theological and even Traditional merits
    of this doctrine which finally presents God as not only not a
    tyrant but actually as just in the real biblical meaning of that word. I imagine that Dr. Hart’s position will shake up many. So be it.

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  5. Stephen says:

    PS. Can’t wait for his translation and subsequent book. It seems his health must be better if he was attending a conference. May God grant him many years!

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  6. Eric McCarty says:

    I put the last 2 or 3 minutes into text form and posted to Facebook. Hopefully without too much error.

    “If all are not saved, if God creates souls He knows to be destined for eternal misery, what, then, is the proper predicate to apply to God’s moral nature? Well, why debate semantics. Maybe every analogy fails. What is not debatable, it seems to me, is that if God does so create in himself, it is not possible for us, meaningfully, to call Him good as such and creation cannot be a meaningfully moral act. It is from one vantage, an act of predilective love, and from another logically necessary vantage, a tragic act of provincial malevolence and, so, this doctrine cannot be true. I don’t think it can be simultaneously true that God is all good, that God creates from nothingness freely and that it is possible, or definite, that certain souls will suffer eternal loss of God. And this, I have to say, is the final moral meaning in the doctrine of Creatio ex Nihilo, at least if we truly believe that our language about God’s goodness and the theological grammar to which it belongs are not empty, that the God of retribution that has been proclaimed by so much of Christianity really is not and cannot possibly be the God of self-outpouring love revealed in Christ. If God is the creator of all, He is the savior of all without fail. He brings to Himself all He has made, including all rational wills, and only thus returns to Himself in all that goes forth from Him. If He is not the savior of all, the kingdom is only a dream, creation is something considerably worse than a nightmare. But, again, it is not so. God saw that it was good and in the ages so shall we.”

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    • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

      Thank you.

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      • Cathy Thienes says:

        Yes, Eric, thank you so much for this transcription of the final paragraph. It is simply amazing. It would be so wonderful to see a full transcription starting from about 18 minutes into the speech for us plebes who can hardly follow the introductory remarks. 🙂

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    • D. B. Hart says:

      That’s “prudential” malevolence, not “provincial.” The text will appear in the Radical Orthodoxy Journal, since I just told the editor that he can publish it.

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  7. John Nichols says:

    Is there a transcript of this paper anywhere available for .pdf download?

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  8. Archpriest Dr Lawrence Cross says:

    So what is new? So thought Origen, St Gregory of Nyssa and Anselm of Canterbury. Not bad company for DBH.
    Archpriest Lawrence Cross

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    • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

      Fr Lawrence, welcome to EO.

      I am surprised to see St Anselm linked with St Gregory and Origen on apokatastasis. Could you elaborate for us please.

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