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Old 06-24-2010, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Florida
5,965 posts, read 5,579,781 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phazelwood View Post
Actually Universalism was never appealing to me for years, the people who attacked me and left me for dead would be suited just fine for eternal torment as I felt that is what they deserved. I still feel that way, but what happens to them is not my call and I know that Gods mercy and grace is far above what I am capable of giving.

The truth is that I had made God into my image in order to justify how I feel about someone. I still hate certain people and many would say it is a mistake to admit that because it opens the door for people to make arguments based on such an admission.

But I am who I am, who I hate is irrelevant when it comes to what God will do for them.

The "unpardonable sin" has nothing to do with eternal damnation, it is about paying the penalty, forgiveness does not get you out of blasphemy, paying the penalty does.
I so appreciate your candor! And it is wise for you to realize that your negative feelings toward your enemies do not affect how God will treat them.

Heartsong
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Germany
1,647 posts, read 1,712,214 times
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Quote:
The bottom line here is that the concept of eternal punishment is just as difficult for reason to accept as is the doctrine of grace and Christ's substitutionary atonement. Yet you choose to reject the former and accept the latter.
but infinite grace is in line with God's character (love, mercy) as described in the bible (also in the Old Testament, where there is no allusion to everlasting torment), as nobody deserves eternal life, nobody would suffer loss if Hitler or Nero will gain eternal life - I do not consider this unreasonable, in my opinion wickedness is kind of a punishment in itself, so even the most wicked men are victims in need for mercy

infinite punishment on the other hand is contrary to love and mercy

therefore I see no logical flaw in my point of view

Quote:
So, if you're going to judge by human reason what is a just punishment for sin, then you should be willing to go by human reason also when it comes to grace. Yet you don't do that.
I have never determined what is a just punishment for sin, maybe Hitler will be punished 12 months, maybe for millenia, I do not know which punishment he or any body else deserves but in my conviction the bible does not teach endless punishment.

I don't have this conviction due to my reasonsing for it would be foolish to betray myself if the bible would affirm the endlessness of future punishment, therefore I considered all the facts very carefully and found peace in this issue.

We "universalists" have the disadvantage to have to oppose a 1500 year old tradition and the majority view, as the bible is at least ambigous there is no way around also to appeal to common reason

Last edited by svenM; 06-24-2010 at 02:53 PM..
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
2,031 posts, read 2,690,915 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jremy View Post
Perhaps in intensity, as Scripture supports that (Luke 12:47-48); but the Bible makes no distinction in duration.

They don't all have antithetical meanings to what men consider. Since we are talking about the doings of a supreme being whose thoughts are not ours, though, we need to be willing to allow for mystery, for some disconnect between how we think and how God thinks. To expect to understand God in all that he does is to want to be God himself.

But let's go with your approach for a minute, just for the sake of argument. You even mentioned this in your OP. We would not naturally expect a notoriously "evil" person such as Adolf Hitler, Nero, Ted Bundy, Jack the Ripper, etc., to be given entrance into eternal bliss, without having to pay for their crimes, based on our reasoning alone. Even in our current society, criminals have to pay their debt to society, after which they can go free. But Christianity says that even the foulest offender can go completely free of condemnation simply by believing in Christ. Our natural reasoning tells us that this is horribly unfair and unjust. Why should they not have to suffer for their sins and instead gain the benefit of having Christ suffer for them? They are getting "off the hook" completely! They don't have to pay one bit of punishment for their sins if they trust in Christ. And if you don't think that the idea of grace goes against our natural way of thinking, go out and share the gospel with people and talk of that grace, and tell them that even people like Adolf Hitler could end up in heaven and not have to pay for their injustices, and see if you don't get this very response!

So, if you're going to judge by human reason what is a just punishment for sin, then you should be willing to go by human reason also when it comes to grace. Yet you don't do that. You accept the concept that God's grace will bring even the worst people in history into heaven--all because someone else paid the price for their sins.

The bottom line here is that the concept of eternal punishment is just as difficult for reason to accept as is the doctrine of grace and Christ's substitutionary atonement. Yet you choose to reject the former and accept the latter.
I wish I could rep you again!!
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:59 PM
 
702 posts, read 813,015 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svenM View Post
but infinite grace is in line with God's character (love, mercy)
And infinite justice is not??????????

Quote:
as described in the bible (also in the Old Testament, where there is no allusion to everlasting torment), as nobody deserves eternal life, nobody would suffer loss if Hitler or Nero will gain eternal life
Is the question really whether someone suffers loss? Your OP argued against eternal punishment on the basis that it is unfair. On that same basis, eternal life must be unfair because we are getting what we don't deserve.

God's justice is infinite, as are his grace and love. You do not have the right to simply pick and choose which attributes of God to emphasize and which ones to de-emphasize. But that is exactly what you're doing: You're claiming that God's justice is not infinite (since the punishment, according to you, will not be eternal) but in practically the same breath you also claim that his love is infinite and life is eternal. Huh?
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Old 06-24-2010, 03:09 PM
 
702 posts, read 813,015 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svenM View Post
I have never determined what is a just punishment for sin
Oh yes you did. Yes you did. Your first post was a rejection of eternal punishment based entirely on your personal concept of justice. That is really just saying that eternal punishment is not just. You reasoned that eternal punishment could not be true/just simply because you felt that it didn't fit the crime. That is your personal concept of justice. You don't think that sin is so bad that it deserves eternal punishment. Your perception, your feelings, your reasoning. Not God's. We need to think God's thoughts after him, not our own thoughts in spite of him.

Quote:
We "universalists" have the disadvantage to have to oppose a 1500 year old tradition and the majority view,
Your disadvantage is far weightier than that. You have to argue against divine revelation itself. More than that, you have to wrench verses from their contexts, ignore the full range of meanings given for words in Greek lexicons, ignore centuries of lexical scholarship, and embrace linguistic fallacies. Now you probably don't do all of those; I'm speaking generally of what I've encountered on this board on the whole.
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Old 06-24-2010, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Germany
1,647 posts, read 1,712,214 times
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Quote:
and infinite justice is not??????????
do you equate justice with torture/torment? - obviously we have a different understanding of justice

Quote:
Is the question really whether someone suffers loss? Your OP argued against eternal punishment on the basis that it is unfair. On that same basis, eternal life must be unfair because we are getting what we don't deserve.
does a spoiled little child deserve a present? - is it unfair to give it a present?

does a spoiled little child deserve to be beaten half to death? - would it be unfair to beat it half to death?

you see in both cases the child does not deserve what it gets while it's only unfair in one case (ok, maybe somebody might say the child would deserve to be beaten half to death)

Quote:
You have to argue against divine revelation itself. More than that, you have to wrench verses from their contexts, ignore the full range of meanings given for words in Greek lexicons, ignore centuries of lexical scholarship, and embrace linguistic fallacies. Now you probably don't do all of those; I'm speaking generally of what I've encountered on this board on the whole.
this is your personal opinion now, but I would be interested to see scholarly objections concerning my conclusion about "eternity" linked above

Quote:
Oh yes you did. Yes you did. Your first post was a rejection of eternal punishment based entirely on your personal concept of justice. That is really just saying that eternal punishment is not just.
this was merely my introduction, I have seperated my personal opinion from scriptural arguments, read it carefully, further I backed up my personal opinion with Scripture

this is what I wrote with reference to the pseudophilsophical claim sometimes heard that justice demands endless hell, again read carefully, I have never said "eternal punishment cannot be true because I do not like it"

This should refute all arguments that divine justice makes the existence of an endless hell necessary to serve up justice for victims of violence
because in many cases the victims would share the doom of the perpetrators. What’s worse that an abused girl has to spend eternity in hell with her tormentor - or that she has to spend eternity in paradise with him after they are reconciled both with God and each other?

refering to a claim like this:
Quote:
Spoken honestly, I get sick at the thought that an abused girl has to spend eternity in paradise with her tormentor. Even if he regrets bitterly, would God not have to totally turn her, that she would be anywise able to pardon him?
do not misrepresent my position

Last edited by svenM; 06-24-2010 at 03:28 PM..
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Old 06-24-2010, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Vermont
10,098 posts, read 10,644,114 times
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The original posts is not an appeal to emotion. It is an appeal to the readers to use their own moral judgment.

This is not the reason that atheists do not believe in god.

Nevertheless, the belief of many theists is that your god, if he existed, can with pleasure or equanimity (or even, if you wish, with great sadness) condemn even one, much less billions, of humans to unimaginable suffering for eternity. If this were true, one would have to agree that this god is the most evil monster imaginable, and not the god of all love and morality, as you claim.

Use your moral judgment. If you have the ability to reason morally you know that what I say is true. If you do not, then how can anyone be held to account for his acts?

Last edited by jackmccullough; 06-24-2010 at 03:35 PM.. Reason: correct typo
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Old 06-24-2010, 03:36 PM
 
702 posts, read 813,015 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svenM View Post
do you equate with justice with torture/torment? - obviously we have a different understanding of justice
Indeed we do! We also seem to have a different concept of sin. The two are inseparable.

Quote:
does a spoiled little child deserve a present? - is it unfair to give it a present?

does a spoiled little child deserve to be beaten half to death? - would it be unfair to beat it half to death?
you see in both cases the child does not deserve what it gets while it's only unfair in one case (ok, maybe somebody might say the child would deserve to be beaten half to death)[/quote]

This confirms what I suspected: You don't see sin for how bad it really is. To you, it's comparable to the bad behavior of a spoiled child. No wonder you think eternal punishment is unjust. You don't see the exceeding sinfulness of sin.

Quote:
this is your personal opinion now, but I would be interested to see scholarly objections concerning my conclusion about "eternity" linked above
We've discussed that issue over and over again on this board, and quite frankly, because we have, I don't see how it will profit us now. It has been proven that the word translated "eternal" can mean "everlasting" in certain contexts. It has also been shown that the phrase "to the ages of the ages" also means "forever and ever." Thus, the context must show its meaning. But I'll go back and look at that link; I just can't do it right now. But I took a quick look at it, and already I see a problem in the opening thesis: "To build a doctrine as eternal punishment on such an ambiguous term, demands an authoritative definition what eternity is and what eternal precisely means; the bible does not provide such definition, but warns of the vain philosophy of men:" The Bible actually does provide a definition through the context in which the word is used. The only way you can say that the Bible does not provide a definition is if you ignore the context. But more later...
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Old 06-24-2010, 03:41 PM
 
6,221 posts, read 6,415,429 times
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Of course infinite torment as punishment is unjust. How could it not be.

Perfect justice would be:
1. restoration of the victim
2. punishment of the perpetrator to ultimately achieve correction. The punishment rendered would be appropriate to the severity of the crime. ie. many stripes or few stripes.
3. reconciliation of both the victim and the perpetrator

Now man's less than adequate justice system strives to do these things, but is not able to achieve these things perfectly (or at all). However God is able to achieve these things.
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Old 06-24-2010, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Germany
1,647 posts, read 1,712,214 times
Reputation: 845
Quote:
To you, it's comparable to the bad behavior of a spoiled child. No wonder you think eternal punishment is unjust. You don't see the exceeding sinfulness of sin.
it was just an allegory to show the logical flaw of your argument, scripture says the wages of sin is death, not endless conscious torment, how do you deal with this?

Quote:
It has been proven that the word translated "eternal" can mean "everlasting" in certain contexts.
"can" not "must", even if I would agree with this, it weakens your point, not mine, it would be at least no decisive argument for any side, also see here and a more scientific approach here

Quote:
It has also been shown that the phrase "to the ages of the ages" also means "forever and ever." Thus, the context must show its meaning.
I still dispute this, see here (as a pdf file)

Quote:
But I'll go back and look at that link; I just can't do it right now. But I took a quick look at it, and already I see a problem in the opening thesis: "To build a doctrine as eternal punishment on such an ambiguous term, demands an authoritative definition what eternity is and what eternal precisely means; the bible does not provide such definition, but warns of the vain philosophy of men:" The Bible actually does provide a definition through the context in which the word is used. The only way you can say that the Bible does not provide a definition is if you ignore the context. But more later...
take the time you need, I suggest however to continue this particular topic in the thread there, this is a different topic, I think I have provided a reasonable biblical definion of aión there which is no Platonic eternity.

Ich geh jetzt schlafen, gute Nacht (23:00 Uhr hier)

Last edited by svenM; 06-24-2010 at 03:58 PM..
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