Tag Archives: retribution

But the Problem of “Infernalism”

by David W. Opderbeck, Ph.D. As I noted in my first post, David Hart’s moral objection to what he calls “infernalism” is important but raises questions about the nature of epistemic and theological authority. In this post, I’ll highlight what … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, David B. Hart | Tagged , , , , , , | 20 Comments

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

Posted in Book Reviews, Eschatology | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

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

Posted in Book Reviews, Eschatology | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 108 Comments

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

Posted in Book Reviews, Eschatology | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 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

Posted in Eschatology, Inklings & Company | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

The Father, Justice, and the Hermeneutic of Love

When we confess that God is just, what is it that we mean? Perhaps we mean that God rewards good acts and punishes evil acts, either in this life or the next, in the exact propor­tion they deserve. Let us … Continue reading

Posted in Bible, Inklings & Company | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

How to Subvert Divine Justice and Turn Everybody’s Lives Upside Down

Deep in the Christian heart lies the conviction that the God whom they worship is holy, just, and righteous. He rewards the good and punishes the wicked. “Surely,” someone might remark, “this is the most plausible way to read the … Continue reading

Posted in Bible, Isaac the Syrian | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments