Things I Think…

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112 Responses

  1. Dread says:

    Ha!!

    The cannabis prophylactic!

    That’s got no chance of hijacking the love of God thread.

    🤷🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️

  2. pstrmike says:

    I read the article on the Oregon State study this morning. I wonder if those compounds are present in most over the counter CBD products?

  3. Michael says:

    pstrmike,

    I’m confused on that point as well…trying to find out because I’ll have a case here the morning after I do.
    In any case, the “science” here is clear…

  4. Michael says:

    Dread,

    I should have put it in a separate article, but I’m pressed for time and brain function…

  5. Em says:

    IF the hemp used is not mind altering, it just may be useful.
    That said, we have a store keeper up here dying of cancer and pot is his drug of choice!
    Question is, how does one confront a pothead with Eternity? ? ? Yes, I do believe rejecting Jesus’ sacrifice dooms one to a place called Lake of Fire!

  6. Michael says:

    If God would condemn someone dying with cancer for using a natural pain remedy, he would be a wicked god…thankfully, He doesn’t…

    I know many…and I mean many…devout believers who use marijuana instead of pharmaceuticals…

  7. Rick says:

    Love your thoughts regarding the indescribably fierce love of God in Christ revealed through His Holy Spirit! Thank you!

  8. Rick says:

    This is why I read here…your presence online has spoken words of life to many…

  9. Michael says:

    Rick,

    Thank you…it’s a weakness in me that I needed to hear that this morning…thank you.

  10. Officerhoppy says:

    To me, to appreciate the great love of God, like a diamond it needs to be placed against the black velvet backdrop of his righteousness and judgment. We don’t like to talk about that too much—it’s an unpleasant conversation. But to truly appreciate God’s love, Christ’s coming to earth, His death and resurrection, we need to incorporate into our “love” sermons, the wrath of a righteous god upon unrighteousness. From my perspective, wide talk a lot about the love of God and not enough of our state apart from that love. But that’s me…

    I expect some blow back from this statement. It may be out of step with some of your thinking.

  11. josh hamrick says:

    I have friends who have daily smoked weed for the last 2 and a half decades,

    None of them have had covid.

    Just saying.

  12. pstrmike says:

    I have several friends who’s MD has told them to use marijuana for pain, nausea control, anxiety, and one friend who has neurological issues that have been so severe, that his medical team (at a major university) experimented and found that pot has been the only thing that helps him function. Buzz or no buzz, it’s a helpful medicinal.

  13. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    It is out of step with my thinking, because I believe it is out of step with the biblical narrative.

    Christians love to put qualifiers on the mission of Christ…which was to save the world, not condemn it and to begin the re-creation process…for God so loved the world…

    Yes, there will be justice, yes, there will be wrath…but now we are to major on the grace and love of God…

  14. Officerhoppy says:

    Michael
    “ Yes, there will be justice, yes, there will be wrath…but now we are to major on the grace and love of God…”

    Without a doubt that is true. All I am saying is without the backdrop of justice, righteousness and wrath, the meaning of the love of God is minimized.

    Now I am not talking about a turn or burn message or of people walking down the street with a sandwich sign that says repent! Just that the message of justice, righteousness and wrath need to be incorporated into the message of God’s amazing grace.

    Does that mak my statement more palatable?

  15. Em says:

    “Yes there will be justice, there will be wrath.. but for now we [human beings] are to major on the grace and love of God…”
    Yes, that is true, Michael. Only God, Himself, is qualified to judge! But…
    We should incorporate discernment into our love… INHO. 🙆

  16. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy

    Nope.

    It just means you’re steeped in the evangelical narrative that it’s all about heaven and hell and a wrath filled God just waiting to fry people who piss him off.

    The very fact that we can’t say “God loves you”…full stop…means we’re missing the wonder of it all.

    Is there nuance and complexity in all of this?

    Of course, there is…but the way people recoil and qualify from statements about the love and goodness of God means we’re missing the point…

  17. josh hamrick says:

    Brennan Manning was really good on this subject.

  18. Michael says:

    josh,

    Yes, he was…highly recommend him…

  19. Kevin H says:

    For God so loved the world that he sent hemp to save us from the pandemic. Or something like that. 🙂

  20. Officerhoppy says:

    Michael
    We’ll, we can disagree and God will still love us and we can still be brothers

  21. Dread says:

    Cannabis cures all —- makes you oblivious to your troubles

    Would Jesus have made the best cannabis

    WWJD Dread

  22. Michael says:

    The reading skills here leave something to be desired.
    If you read the study…THC…which is the part of cannabis that makes you high…actually works against the therapeutic effects of the compounds that do work against Covid.

    My cats and I both take CBD…and the cat owner likes a good rum and a shot of Crown now and again…but that’s ok…

  23. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    Of course…

  24. Dread says:

    Clarity is a levity inhibitor — we need the latter

  25. Em says:

    Michael @ 11:18
    That IS the point. … 😇

  26. Nathan Priddis says:

    There was research on this in SoCal, way back in the late 70’s.

    https://youtu.be/_v39JQZ_tyw

  27. Nancy Holmes says:

    As a result of my terrible twenties, I became suicidal and called up my mom to say goodbye. She said that she loved me and I told her that it wasn’t enough. Then she said “God still loves you,” and I said “He does?” She didn’t say anything about His awful judgment or my unworthiness–she just told me about His love and THAT is what saved me from killing myself–I believed her about God’s love. On my next birthday, I will be 80 and I am still trying to comprehend this unfathomable love that He has for me and all of His creation. I am so thankful that I believed her report of Him and thus was able to rear my son and live these many years following Him.

  28. Alex says:

    I like these thoughts.  Here are some of my own on the subject.  I hope they align with yours:

    –  The greatest of these is love.  I’m not sure we take the time to experience what that really means, let alone what it feels like, as a way of life for ourselves.   Because Love hurts.

    –  It is far harder and takes more effort to love than it does to not-love.  We are short-cut-lovers and we like to take the easier road of comparing, contrasting, judging, measuring, dualing and dueling, than we do to love… because loving well is hard. Because Love is hard work.

    –  Most of us have not been loved well.  We don’t know what it feels like, except perhaps in bits and pieces.  And even then, many of us have devised ways to not let love actually have its way with us.  It makes us so very vulnerable.  We don’t like that.  Much easier to jump into our heads and ‘learn’ or ‘teach’ or ‘organize our systems’. Because Love makes us feel fragile and vulnerable.

    – We talk about love so often as if it were merely a concept.  Of course, we hide that from ourselves and say it isn’t so, but if we look closely, it is often so.  Love can be so powerful, so all-encompassing,  so defensive-breaking that love can be scary.  I do believe that most Americans are afraid of agape love – we are good lip-servers.  Because Love is scary.

    – Love doesn’t sell.  At least not the forms of love we most often see in so many churches and amongst so many Christians.   It is easier to sell fear and judgment and rules and ‘our way distinctives’ because that is what Americans relate to.   Love makes us suspicious.

    Our Christian God offers to repair our love-lacking.  God offers us God’s transformational love. That’s a scary proposition.   It’s a real dying-to-ourselves.  It means we come to God with nothing, over and over and over… and we will learn, if we do that, that God’s love, offered to us, is not the soft love that many of us imagine ‘love’ to be.  We will likely be shocked.  And many of our concepts will be challenged and found to be so very wanting.  Our ideas about God will reduce to less that we know and more that is a mystery that we can’t explain and don’t actually understand.. but somehow that is ‘realer than real’ and truer to who/how God is.    

    To personalize this because I am not a preacher:

    I need/want to know and experience more of this love of God.  Not just the salvific love but the love that utterly transforms me, that makes me brand new from the inside out, that demands all of me and that provides all I need for that. 

    How do I become like a little child and give up the adult defenses of my own wounding and step into and live out of *this* love, into the Kingdom?   My prayer.  I believe that the greatest of these is love.  And I know so little about that.

  29. Michael says:

    Alex,

    That was awesome!

    Well done…and thank you!

  30. Michael says:

    Nancy,

    I’m glad you believed it too…

  31. Corby says:

    Watch out. #3 makes you sound like a Universalist. 🙂

  32. IMHO, some of the best recent writings on comprehending love come from Paul Miller. His books A LOVING LIFE (which works through Ruth) and LOVE WALKED AMONG US (drawn from the Gospels) are really challenging…in a good way!

  33. Michael says:

    Corby,

    I’m ok with that… 🙂

  34. bob1 says:

    That said, we have a store keeper up here dying of cancer and pot is his drug of choice!
    Question is, how does one confront a pothead with Eternity? ?

    ???? Pothead?

    Labels are for soup cans.

    Why not tell him/her that the God Who created them loves them dearly and also created these substances and that they can help people flourish? Especially someone dealing with the pain of cancer.

  35. Alex says:

    Michael, my new friend.
    Thank you for doing what you can to walk with me in these times. I need to post an update but I don’t have the words. Sometimes all I can do is breathe and try to surrender.
    Alex

  36. Michael says:

    Alex,

    It’s an honor…

  37. Nathan Priddis says:

    I think this applies. And, of all things, its from Proverbs 31. Somehow I doubt this makes it into any Proberbs 31 Woman description.

    …”Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.”..

  38. When my son was going through chemo, we threw everything at him to relieve the pain and distress he was going through. Our medicine cabinet grew exponentially as the weeks went by. He wasn’t going anywhere, and he wasn’t going to be driving, so the fact that some of the drugs zoned him out didn’t matter.

  39. Bob Sweat says:

    The Furious Love of God by Manning is a great book!

  40. Dread says:

    Universalism is the natural path of much Christian reconstruction these days. I understand the appeal. To remember being lost with visceral clarity is to refuse to stop announcing his love.

    That’s the test for me. When your gospel has no clarion call, no urgent persuasion, no sense of necessity then I cannot trust it.

    But the threat of hell as a foundation of that call is equal evidence of deficiency.

    It is the centrality of Christ and his cross and the faith that announcing him to the world is resurrection life for all creation that compels.

    We must have a Gospel. Without it we are pundits and panderers.

  41. Officerhoppy says:

    I’m not suggesting we don’t talk about or focus on the love of God. All I am saying is it shimmers when we view it the backdrop of the depth of our depravity

    I came to Christ out of a void in my life. As I continued to grow and mature, I began to understand what his love meant and what I was actually rescued from. It was way more than just filling the void.

    Paul said, “I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ…” (Ephesians 3:17,18 NIV)

    Why does Paul ask God to help the saints grasp the love of Christ? I think it’s to appreciate more fully, the incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.

    God’s vast love will never be totally understood. I’ve lived under that love for 53 years and I am just now beginning to understand it.

    That’s Jesus in my story

  42. Dread says:

    Officer

    That’s arresting

    Thank you!

  43. Officerhoppy says:

    “But the threat of hell as a foundation of that call is equal evidence of deficiency.”

    But denying it, or mitigating it— isn’t that also deficiency?

    Not to challenge you, but I am curious you understanding of the meaning of gospel—what is it in your definition?

    I ask because I may have it wrong

  44. Officerhoppy says:

    “Arresting”

    Good one Dread! 🙂

  45. Michael says:

    “It is the centrality of Christ and his cross and the faith that announcing him to the world is resurrection life for all creation that compels.”

    We agree on something…

  46. Dread says:

    The Gospel is the announcement of the revelation of Christ who alone is our source and our destination. Good news is always the birth of a child. This child is the king his coming is the kingdom. Apprehending the kingdom is the church in the world.

    He is resurrection and new creation. In him the powers are brought to heel and the principalities are subdued. His kingdom’s increase is the mystery of history.

  47. Michael says:

    Universalism is as varied as Protestantism…some forms have a coherent, biblical base.

    But that would require reading some books and not just this blog…

  48. Officerhoppy says:

    Dread
    “ his coming is the kingdom. Apprehending the kingdom is the church in the world.”

    I can’t disagree but I don’t know that I totally understand the depth and breadth of that statement.

    If you have the time maybe you could unpack that more. If not, I understand

  49. Dread says:

    Michael

    Your writing sparked the convo— my response was un-reactionary. Preaching Christ savior of all — of necessity raises the question whether all are saved. Paul writes often as if anticipating such questions

    It doesn’t demand book length answers. But it demands response.

    We cannot easily ascertain what the LORD will do — we can however trust his mercy.

    I for one think it possible to reject his goodness and mercy but being wrong won’t offend me

    What offends me is weak presentations of his glorious power and almighty love. I think we agree there as well.

  50. Dread says:

    Officer

    There is a frustration on this blog with the church. That frustration would be assuaged if we spent more time focused upon Christ and his kingdom intrusion into the world of mankind rather than our impositions of his will as we perceive it.

    The church must present him in majesty glory and mercy by incarnating his holy love. Christ’s kingdom challenges — no shakes to the undoing — all other kingdoms. Thus history appears to be pandemonium. It is not. History is his kindness and mercy breaking the power of darkness.

    For us it means joining him in his suffering. We prefer the chariot to the chains. I certainly do.

  51. Michael says:

    “What offends me is weak presentations of his glorious power and almighty love. I think we agree there as well.”

    Absolutely.

    My other predilections are not stuff I argue over…the tradition opposes me and maybe it should.

    My point was that it is a study on to itself…which if undertaken may surprise and challenge the tradition.

  52. Officerhoppy says:

    Dread
    Is there a simpler answer to why Jesus came and what he accomplished on the cross and the resurrection?

    Thanks

  53. Em says:

    FWIW
    I think that the often quoted John 3:16,17 answer Officerhoppy’s question
    Dunno, though, do? 🙆
    God keep

  54. Dread says:

    Hoppy

    In the resurrection Jesus is the firstborn manifestation of new creation. He took on corruptible flesh suffered an ignominious death defeated dark powers by destroying death and the grave. His ascended life is the proof of the restoration of all things.

    That he could not be destroyed is the promise of his power to renew everything.

    He will do for all creation what he did in conquest of pain and sorrow.

    The Gospel announcement includes the restoration of God’s good creation to his original intent.

  55. Dread says:

    The church lived ‘in the Spirit’ which is his very life. Thus the church can endure, suffer, and love as he did. The church can share his life. The church can become one with him. The church is Jesus in the flesh.

    The church has not and cannot fail.

  56. Dread says:

    *lives

  57. Michael says:

    Well done, Dread…

  58. Officerhoppy says:

    Dread
    Thanks my friend. Do you see humans as ever living never dying people? What is the ultimate destiny of those ho fail to receive the forgiveness offered by Christ?

    Pretty basic question

  59. Dread says:

    Hoppy

    There are four basic options
    1 — ultimate redemption
    2 — eternal conscious torment
    3 — remedial punishment
    4 — ultimate annihilation

    No view is irrefutable — I think #4 is true to the language of scripture, the mortal nature of humanity, and the goodness and severity of God

  60. Michael says:

    3, followed by 1…
    Jesus did a great job…

  61. Dread says:

    The doctrine of hell as eternal conscious torment was far too central to 20th century evangelicalism. It is as if we think the Spirit cannot make Christ appealing without fear.

    The references to hell are few and most often seem to reference Israel’s impending judgment for refusing the time of their visitation.

    I allow myself to listen to those who assert the medieval hell but they fail to convince.

    Michael’s view offers me no distress. He may well be correct.

    Michael is this a Protestant purgatory?

  62. Michael says:

    Dread,

    In a sense…it’s actually drawn from the writings of Orthodox fathers and word studies.

    Fire is for purification in these writings…and that fiery purification leads to a new world where Christ will be all and all and every knee shall bow celebrating Christ as Lord.

    I have grossly oversimplified that matter…but you get the drift…

  63. Officerhoppy says:

    We’ll, you’ve given me things to think about and research further. So, you prefer annihilation over eternal conscience torment?

  64. Michael says:

    I will hasten to say I believe in punishment in the afterlife…the justice of God demands it…but Gods punishments are always remedial and not retributive.

  65. Dread says:

    Yes Michael

    It’s simplicity is its clarity. I hear it from my Orthodox friends.

    Methinks Augustine would dissent. I don’t know a view otherwise.

  66. Michael says:

    Augustine did dissent…but I dissent with him on other matters too…

  67. BrideofChrist says:

    Nancy Holmes, What a beautiful story! I wss very, very touched by it. Thank you for sharing it !

  68. Dread says:

    Officer

    Yes

    Michael

    Understood

  69. Michael says:

    There is a scholarly two volume set from Ramelli that I offer for further inquiry…”A Larger Hope”…

  70. Eric says:

    In the full paper, the authors say not to go trying any old cannabis product hoping it’ll protect/treat you. That probably should have been highlighted in media reporting.

  71. Officerhoppy says:

    Thanks for the dialogue. If there is no eternal punishment, what satisfaction (not the best word) do the wronged have? Romans 12 seems to say leave wrath and punishment for injustice to God…” Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.”

    Isn’t the implication that God is just and as a just God he will repay the wrongs and injustices done against us?

    If no hell—what ever that looks like—how will God repay wrongs?

  72. Michael says:

    I affirm hell…I don’t affirm eternal. Hell as a place of purification.

  73. Dread says:

    Officer

    If I am correct cessation of existence will requite.

    If Michael is correct then the purifying fire of God’s eternal love will cleanse.

    No one gets away without judgment.

  74. Dread says:

    Hoppy

    Above all things. The supremacy and glory of Jesus as preeminent in all creation is the revelation for which Paul prayed.

    Religion will suffocate and drain you. Knowing Jesus is breath and life. Rest there.

  75. Michael says:

    Who goes to heaven?
    All who “believe’… including some of the most low down, lowlife, vermin I’ve ever had the misfortune to know or know of.
    That’s grace.

    Who goes to hell?

    Unbelievers…including all the billions of people who never heard the name of Jesus in their lives.

    That is…Justice?

    Also condemned are all those who the church convinced that Jesus was dangerous and warped them spiritually and emotionally beyond repair.

    People who were best friends and heroes of mine for the character and depth of their lives…but weren’t convinced about Christianity.

    Heretics…many who were just seeking understanding in a broken world.

    I suppose it’s possible…but I’m hoping to live in a remote section of the new earth if true…

  76. Officerhoppy says:

    Dread
    “ Religion will suffocate and drain you. Knowing Jesus is breath and life.”

    Knowing Jesus is life”. I believe that in him is life for sure. But Peter says he descended into hell. We affirm that Jesus “descended into hell”. Where hell is we don’t know for sure but the questions remain; Why did he have to go there? What did he do when he got there?

    Jesus spoke of it many times. He referred to it as eternal fire” (Matt. 25:41) and “eternal punishment” (Matt. 25:46). In Matthew 25:46, the same word—eternal—is used to describe eternal life for the righteous and the eternal punishment of hell for the unrighteous. As I read the jesus of the Bible he believed and taught that, hell will be eternal.

    Am I wrong on that?

  77. Michael says:

    Matthew 25:31–46 is the classic text, as far as establishing the eternality of hell goes. Jesus sets two fates in parallel: “eternal life” (zōēn aiōnion) and “eternal punishment” (kolasin aiōnion) (25:46). If the “eternal life” is everlasting, then, it is argued, so is the “eternal punishment.” “Eternal” cannot mean one thing when applied to life and another when applied to punishment. Case closed. Or is it?

    The question is, What does aiōnios mean in this context? Does it mean “everlasting”? The translation of aiōnios has been the subject of numerous studies in recent years, but there seems to be a strong case for maintaining that it means “pertaining to an age” and often refers not just to any age but to “the age to come” (cf. Heb 6:2; 9:12). Thus “eternal life” may be better translated as “the life of the age to come” and “eternal punishment” as “the punishment of the age to come.”34 But if this is so, then it is no longer obvious that the punishment is everlasting. True, the age to come is everlasting, but that does not necessitate that the punishment of the age to come lasts for the duration of that age, simply that it occurs during that age and is appropriate for that age. Some reply that if the punishment of the age to come is not everlasting, then neither is the life of the age to come. The reasoning here is clearly fallacious, for one cannot infer from the claim that the punishment of the age to come is not everlasting that the life of the age to come is not everlasting. Chris Marshall claims that “the point is not that the fire will burn forever, or the punishment extend forever, or that the life continue forever, but rather that all three will serve to establish the rule of God.”35 This text does not clarify the duration of either the punishment or the life, but texts like 1 Corinthians 15:42–44 clearly establish the indestructible nature of resurrection life.

    MacDonald, Gregory. The Evangelical Universalist . Cascade Books, an imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition.

  78. Officerhoppy says:

    Thanks Michael. I will need to check this out further.

  79. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    I’m not stating dogma…just exploring possibilities.
    Explore as you will…

  80. Nonnie says:

    Nancy Holmes, Thank you for your testimony of love and LIFE. God bless your mama for reminding you of the love of God in Christ. HE can take care of the discipline, wrath, and whatever else He needs to use to conform us into His image….but I will always tell others of His love and let the Holy Spirit convict and teach. I will continue to declare His love. Thank you for confirming that! Officer Hoppy, I am encouraged rightly to read your last few posts. Am i sensing that you are feeling a hug and embrace by the love of God today?

  81. Steve says:

    Speaking of eternity. Rev 4:8 gives us a peek. I think this eternity is a forever eternity. “And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”

  82. Officerhoppy says:

    Michael
    Got it!

  83. Dread says:

    Hoppy

    Great question

    I’ll come back to it but the reality is that Jesus plundered the place of the dead not that he suffered there —

    Descended into hades not Gehenna — English translation is careless

    Michael gave you the eternal part but my piece on that is his his judgements in Matthew are largely temporal judgements on covenant Israel for their broken covenant.

    But let me come back to it

  84. Dread says:

    The plundering of hell is Jesus extending his victory into the place of the dead — there can be no realm beyond his glory. There is no realm into which he does not enter to gather his people and bring them safely to himself.

    You can find much on the plundering of hell if you search.

  85. Duane Arnold says:

    “Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free. He has destroyed it by enduring it. He destroyed Hell when he descended into it. He put it into an uproar even as it tasted of his flesh.”

    John Chrysostom

  86. Steve says:

    Duane, I thought Satan will eventually be put in Hell forever where he deserves to go. I don’t see Hell destroyed. How about the son of perdition (Judas) or the Antichrist? Surely, you should be afraid if you are an antichrist, no? I get it “no fear” for those in Christ but I don’t see where that includes everyone.

  87. Duane Arnold says:

    Steve

    I understand, but on the other hand, how do we come to that place where “God is all in all”, that is where there is no reality outside of God? That was the position of Origen, Maximos the Confessor and Chrysostom… I see some sort of universalism as a hope, but not a certainty. There is a reason that it is called speculative theology…

  88. Steve says:

    Thanks Duane, I do believe there will be a time when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. It is speculative how those that reject Christ can do this though. Maybe they do it because they finally can no longer sin and suppress the truth. But will it be too late? It seems to me Jesus didn’t give us warnings about hell for no reason at all.

  89. Duane Arnold says:

    Steve

    Often those warnings are set in the context of parables and the language, as has been pointed out above, is more nuanced than it might appear on first reading…

  90. Michael says:

    “Michael gave you the eternal part but my piece on that is his his judgements in Matthew are largely temporal judgements on covenant Israel for their broken covenant.”

    I concur…

  91. Michael says:

    “You can find much on the plundering of hell if you search.”

    Usually called the “harrowing of hell”…Orthodox icons of this are very informative…

  92. Em says:

    Questionn…..
    Lake of fire and he’ll – synonymous terms? ? ?

  93. Em says:

    I did not put that apostrophe in there Hell, not he’ll … Grrr

  94. Michael says:

    Nope,

    “Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
    (Revelation 20:14–15 ESV)

    Of course, we are probably dealing with highly metaphorical language here…

  95. Em says:

    Thank you, Michael….
    Hope, but still doubting that it is a matphor….
    Hoping because of some dear family members, including my mother…..

  96. Michael says:

    Em,

    I think we have reasons for hope…

  97. Muff Potter says:

    Dread on 12jan22 @ 5:02 pm,
    “I allow myself to listen to those who assert the medieval hell but they fail to convince.”

    I’ve listened for years, to every Bible ‘teacher’ from Papa Chuck to Voddie Baucham and it still doesn’t make sense that God would create and maintain a monument to the hatred and cruelty of the devil.

  98. Duane Arnold says:

    Taken to the extreme, an eternal heaven and a separate eternal hell present a good/evil dichotomy reminiscent of Manichaeism… That’s always been a problem for me…

  99. Dread says:

    It was J R W Stott who first moved the needle with me on hell. Then the SBC scholar E Earle Ellis. Many others since then. And recently my friends Brad Jersak and Malcolm Smith have aided me to see the earlier fathers and their views which are carried forward in Orthodoxy. Probably no issue has done more to change the minds of people in the face of so many “going straight to hell claims”

    The language of scripture is the witness and the Spirit our guide.

  100. Em says:

    I was exposed to John Stott in Intervarsity Christian Fellowship – have some things he wrote here somewhere…..
    While the concept of burning forever in Hell is unpalatable, I’ll have to wait for my entrance into Eternity to understand just what the Truth of it is I guess…..
    I remember a big black pastor in Los Angeles saying, “I don’t know what Helll is. I just know that I don’t want to go there!”
    God keep

  101. Officerhoppy says:

    We’ll, you’ve all given me things to think about—hopefully others too. Good discussion. I will research more fully and eventually draw my own conclusions on the subject.

  102. Nathan Priddis says:

    I was in the 4-5 age range when I began considering eternity/everlasting/etc.
    Immediately, there was a problem that emerged. How can something continue indefinitely? ..when we’ve been there ten thousand years we’ve no less days..
    This can’t be true. The song clearly states 10000 units have been expended. Therefore, is a subtraction of 10,000 from the total does not occur, the song is describing a psychosis. A dream world if you will.

    But ultimately, this is how we view the past life. It’s ethereal, and devoid of details, yet we don’t inquire as to what those details could be. It’s humorous now to think of Fundamentalist mentioning..dancing..actual dancing..on streets of gold. Or feasting, which clearly amounts to decadence.

    This is what happens when extreme boredom occurs to children sitting in pews. They may start listening, and worse, thinking about what they hear in Church.

    Only in middle age could I begin to view the concept of the Gordian Knot. The issue is some problems are so simple and obvious we can’t accept them as such.

    A human will create a false vision of eternity, because they have only experienced time, as an object with mass, in this World.

  103. Nathan Priddis says:

    Typo. Meant afterlife.

  104. Steve says:

    Duane, regarding the article, I feel that Augustine is being misrepresented in regards to creation. Augustine may not have been a literal 7 day creationist, but I doubt he would ever had embraced 14 billion years of evolution if he lived during Darwin’s or our time. I tend to think he probably was an instantaneous creationist with his development of ex-nilo ( something from nothing) creation theory. That’s kind of where I am at now. That is a 14 billion year difference between instantaneous and current evolutionary thought. 7 days is chump change with this in mind.

  105. Duane Arnold says:

    Steve

    As I said in another thread, Augustine held varied positions on the creation through the years…

  106. Nathan Priddis says:

    Steve. Darwin created his theory mid-century. It’s a waste to go back to him.

    Einstein gave us both Special and General Relativity. Each of these render the Young Earth/Old Earth debate obsolete. Null and void.

    Can something be 6 days old and 14 billion at the same time? Special Relativity said an absolute yes. Very yes.

  107. Linnea says:

    Nancy Holmes @ 11:43. Thank you for sharing your testimony of understanding God’s love many year’s ago, via your believing Mama.

    I agree with the other women on this blog–it is a powerful witness of God’s love. Thank you for sharing it.

  108. Nancy Holmes says:

    Thank you, Linnea, Bride of Christ and Nonnie

    Yes, surely the Lord spoke thru my mom at just the right time. I had been mentally convicted by “the wages of sin is death…” but had forgotten about the rest of the verse (or Satan obstructed my remembering) which says “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Being reassured that God still loved me in spite of my sins was indeed what I needed to hear.

  109. Michael says:

    I’m not going to allow random Covid links without context.

    There is much division and confusion over this issue…and I have serious questions about a host of things myself.

    However, random links are not helpful at anything but stirring up controversy.

  110. Derek says:

    Yeah, people don’t want to hear things that upset them and show a different story.

  111. Michael says:

    Derek,
    Obviously, people do because they are so many different “experts” and opinions.

    We have enough trouble here…I’m not importing more for sport.

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