Sharktacos on Hell

23 07 2007

Sharktacos does not disappoint.

This is a wonderfully crafted paper on the most uncomfortable of all topics: Hell.

While he doesn’t get into a lot of what Hell is (which is a fun debate in and of itself), he does speak a lot toward how Christians (specifically Evangelicals) have a warped view of God in relation to Hell and how we ultimately fail to faithfully represent the Gospel to the world in our typical presentations of the Gospel.

While I think a very good case can be made that Hell’s ultimate purpose (without getting into my ideas about what Hell fundamentally is) isn’t retribution against sinful people, but reconciliatory and restorative justice, in true Gospel fashion, bringing the lost and broken back into a healing, full, vibrant Koinonia with God, each other, and creation (which, ironically, is a fairly Jewish conception of Hell, and is one not a few of the ancient Fathers speculated upon), Sharktacos doesn’t get into any of that here, nor do I claim to know what his exact position on such a concept might be.

A large part of me feels something like this:

The fires of Hell burn everlasting, because the fires of God’s love are everlasting; the fires of Hell burn everlasting because they everlastingly restoratively usher sinners into reconciliation with God.

But Shark doesn’t get into any that, and I’m fairly confident that my somewhat unconventional (but not all that heterodox) views on the topic will probably garner some criticism from a few people, assuming anyone’s reading this blog yet. 🙂

However Shark does get pretty deep into the topic of Divine Justice not as retribution, but as restoration. Or as Martin Luther said,

I began to understand that this verse [in Romans] the justice of God is that by which the just person lives by a gift of God, that is by faith. I began to understand that this verse means that the justice of God is revealed through the Gospel, but it is a passive justice, i.e. that by which the merciful God justifies us by faith, as it is written: ‘The just person lives by faith.’ All at once I felt as I had been born again and entered into paradise itself through open gates.” – Luther’s Tower Experience

What is Divine Justice if it does not ultimately flow from the very God unveiled before us, naked, in the Crucified Jesus?

-Jon

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