A Response to MorningStar

I was pleased as I began to listen and Chris spoke of God’s justice in a way that seemed more Biblically and intuitively (“Judge for yourselves what is right”) sound – God’s heart is to set things to right. But then came (at least for me) my disappointment: You brought forward the old Anselmian assumptions about our sin being an infinite offense to God and therefore deserving infinite (eternal) punishment.

The tragedy (at bottom) here is the most unfortunate mistranslation of one little word, “aionios”, (mis-)translated “eternal” (e.g. in Matthew 25). This word does NOT simply mean “eternal” – its root meaning is “age” (simply look it up in, e.g., Strong’s or Young’s concordance). Augustine (who did not know Greek) went with the Latin mistranslation (aeternalis) – and the rest is tragic history as he influenced Luther and Calvin more than any other (on this and other misguided “Reformed” theological understandings).

But the greater theological tragedy is that what is missed lies at the very core of the Great Mystery that is the Gospel – that is Christ: God’s ONE purpose (hidden for the ages) is to unite “all things” under the headship of Christ (Ephesians 1) – and to reconcile ALL things through Him (Col. 1). Then will come the day when “God will be all in all” (1 Cor.15) – and “every knee will bow and every tongue confess/swear allegiance: Jesus is Lord!”.

There IS a hell – and it is a place of perfect justice – and restorative punishment (“kolasis” Mt.25). How could it be anything else seeing that God, in His very essence IS Love? And that Love IS “a consuming fire”?

You quoted Romans 3:23 just as I was taught it all my 66 years of life: “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God…” – But one day I read it for myself – to discover that Paul goes on to immediately say, “and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

If we let Paul simply “say what he says” (see especially Romans 5) – we will fully agree with his astounding words (in 1 Tim. 4:10), “We have set our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially [see 2 Timothy 4:13] of those who believe. Command and teach these things.”

This is why the Gospel IS Good News – not merely a good opportunity!
Richest blessings on you and your ministry!

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