Tag Archives: hell

‘That All Shall Be Saved’: An Introductory Review

Four years ago David Bentley Hart announced on Eclectic Orthodoxy that he subscribes to the doctrine of apokatastasis and hoped to write a book on the subject. I do not know if this was the first time he had ever … Continue reading

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The Doxastic Problem: If you really, really believe in hell, you may already be in it

I have saved the best for last. Okay, that’s a tad inaccurate. I imagine that most readers of Sinners in the Presence of a Loving God will find the chapters devoted to the divine pres­ence model of hell to be the … Continue reading

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Divine Presence and the River of Fire

The title of Zachary Manis’s book Sinners in the Presence of a Loving God succinctly summarizes his constructive proposal. He calls it the divine presence model: “the eternal suffering of hell is not the result of any divine act that … Continue reading

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Despairing into Gehenna: Manis, Kierkegaard, and the Choice Model

For over fifteen hundred years, the dominant Christian understanding of hell has been one of everlasting punishment. Zachary Manis summarizes the traditional position (particu­larly as taught in the Western Church): “The purpose of hell is retribution: one’s consign­ment to hell … Continue reading

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Book Review: ‘Sinners in the Presence of a Loving God’

Hell will always be a compelling topic for Christian preachers, theologians, philoso­phers, and believers everywhere. Preachers love it, because it dramatically raises the homiletical stakes—congregants are guaranteed to sit up and take notice. Theologians love it, because it provides a … Continue reading

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The Hell of Self and the Redemption of the Outer Darkness

In his unspoken sermons George MacDonald takes up the task of redefining our inherited notions of justice and punishment. The principle of retribution, he avers, is an unfit vehicle for the proclamation of the gospel. The lex talionis must be jettisoned. … Continue reading

Posted in Eschatology, Inklings & Company | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

The True Grit of God’s Justice

Is God bound to punish sin? George MacDonald’s answer is no. If the answer were yes, then forgiveness would be impossible. Justice and mercy would find themselves opposed to each other, generating a schism within the Godhead. But we know that … Continue reading

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