David B. Hart on Origen and Universalism

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4 Responses to David B. Hart on Origen and Universalism

  1. Bernadette Roberts reminds us that God would have to first stustain you in existence so that you could suffer hell. Yet, God is not an ogre. God will be all in all.

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  2. B.Wooster says:

    Is there no hell?

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    • brian says:

      Our own world is witness to the reality of hell. No one denies it. The question is whether the eternity of hell is symmetrical to the eternity of theosis. Are heaven and hell metaphysically equal? Or perhaps one could take a cue from the privative nature of evil which is parasitical upon the good. The Good is fundamental and primary. Evidently, infernalists opt for what is now the standard interpretation. Christian universalists assert assymmetry; ultimately, hell is overcome by transformative love. The gospel properly received is nothing else. Otherwise, death and evil limit Christ’s victory and impugn the goodness of the Creator God who was not compelled to create, nor limited by inherent and irremediable flaws in the starting material. That is the logic of creatio ex nihilo and the joyous freedom of triune life that needs no other to “be a loving community of plenitude.” The eschaton is the revelation of God’s freely embraced design. It’s not really baffling. You don’t have to agree to understand the concept.

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      • JBG says:

        All the rungs of “hell” are right here and now on earth. We are in hell.

        At some point, suffering reaches a point where it utterly shatters a functional mind, producing a loss of rational capacities, paralysis of will, and a retreat into an impenetrable shell.

        The kind of suffering encountered right here on earth has been known to have these consequences. Obviously, this kind of mind-fracturing suffering cannot be co-opted to “reform” an individual.

        So, the idea that post-mortem suffering (should there be any at all) might be something akin the worst kind of suffering experienced on earth is still unthinkable. The worst kind of suffering on earth destroys freedom, destroys identity, destroys any center from which to act. It can serve no purpose.

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