Author Topic: Researchers confirm: Hell Matters!  (Read 1115 times)

Dadoo

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Researchers confirm: Hell Matters!
« on: August 12, 2012, 07:18:31 AM »
http://reason.com/blog/2012/08/10/belief-in-hell-makes-people-act-better-h

Yes, friends, we now have proof: People who believe in the existence of Hell are more likely to be law abiding than people who merely believe in heaven and God's graciousness. The implications of this are obviously . . . well . . . oh, make up our own mind.

Anyway, what was God thinking giving the church the power to storm the gates of Hell? Does God not care about civil obedience? The nerve!

Well, anyway, read it lighthearted, read it with pompous indignation, read it as merely a weird Sunday morning reading find, which I consider it, but argue. Yes, argue! Let there be digital jousting and posturing! It is, after all, what makes this medium so great to read. Unless you believe in Hell, of course. Then you probably will choose to abstain in civil deference. So if you are not posting, we know what you are . . .  :)
« Last Edit: August 12, 2012, 07:45:13 AM by Dadoo »
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Researchers confirm: Hell Matters!
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2012, 10:52:51 AM »
Which "hell"?

There's sheol in the Hebrew Bible -- the place of the dead.
There's hades in the Greek NT -- the place of the dead.
There's gehenna a literal place in the Hebrew Bible, the Valley of Hinnom and a place of punishment in the NT.


What about comparing other religions that have retributive justice/punishment as part of their teachings. Do adherents with those beliefs act more morally than those with a more grace/forgiveness centered understanding of a god(s)?
« Last Edit: August 12, 2012, 10:55:15 AM by Brian Stoffregen »
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Researchers confirm: Hell Matters!
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2012, 01:06:04 PM »
Which "hell"?


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Dadoo

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Re: Researchers confirm: Hell Matters!
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2012, 07:21:40 AM »
Which "hell"?

There's sheol in the Hebrew Bible -- the place of the dead.
There's hades in the Greek NT -- the place of the dead.
There's gehenna a literal place in the Hebrew Bible, the Valley of Hinnom and a place of punishment in the NT.


What about comparing other religions that have retributive justice/punishment as part of their teachings. Do adherents with those beliefs act more morally than those with a more grace/forgiveness centered understanding of a god(s)?

I think it is talking about the hell where sophomores answer questions in 1st semester philosophy class without ever actually reading the text or the question . . . Oh, wait, no, that is ALPB. Sorry.

No they are talking about divine retribution, divine punishment for wrongdoing in life, even when it is unobserved by other earthly powers.

Peter Kruse

Diversity and tolerance are very complex concepts. Rigid conformity is needed to ensure their full realization. - Mike Adams

James Gustafson

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Re: Researchers confirm: Hell Matters!
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2012, 07:47:20 AM »
After reading the article, I'm inclined to wonder if the same sort of thing happens in churches that focus on the divine mercy.   Does apathy towards tradition and orthodox understandings set in when one decides that divine punishment is not a matter to be contended with?  In other words, do the liberal mainline churches feel free to allow previously taboo behaviors simply because they don't really believe in hell anyway?

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Researchers confirm: Hell Matters!
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2012, 11:36:17 AM »
Which "hell"?

There's sheol in the Hebrew Bible -- the place of the dead.
There's hades in the Greek NT -- the place of the dead.
There's gehenna a literal place in the Hebrew Bible, the Valley of Hinnom and a place of punishment in the NT.


What about comparing other religions that have retributive justice/punishment as part of their teachings. Do adherents with those beliefs act more morally than those with a more grace/forgiveness centered understanding of a god(s)?

I think it is talking about the hell where sophomores answer questions in 1st semester philosophy class without ever actually reading the text or the question . . . Oh, wait, no, that is ALPB. Sorry.

No they are talking about divine retribution, divine punishment for wrongdoing in life, even when it is unobserved by other earthly powers.


Yup, and divine retribution is not part of the historical understanding of sheol nor Hades, both of which have been translated "hell" in different versions.
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Researchers confirm: Hell Matters!
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2012, 11:41:19 AM »
After reading the article, I'm inclined to wonder if the same sort of thing happens in churches that focus on the divine mercy.   Does apathy towards tradition and orthodox understandings set in when one decides that divine punishment is not a matter to be contended with?  In other words, do the liberal mainline churches feel free to allow previously taboo behaviors simply because they don't really believe in hell anyway?


I remember reading a brief article by Martin Marty years ago in Christian Century. He argued that almost no one really believes in hell. If they did, they would be much more fervent in trying to protect people from burning forever. Most of us have felt the pain of a match burning our fingers. If we believed that people would be suffering the pain of skin burning over their whole bodies for an eternity, Marty argued, we'd be doing a whole lot more to try and protect people from such suffering -- especially our friends and family. Since he doesn't see this happening even among many of the punishment-in-hell denominations, he concludes that they don't really believe in hell.


I've argued elsewhere (and fairly frequently) that our actions proclaim our faith louder than our words.
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

James Gustafson

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Re: Researchers confirm: Hell Matters!
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2012, 12:42:38 PM »
After reading the article, I'm inclined to wonder if the same sort of thing happens in churches that focus on the divine mercy.   Does apathy towards tradition and orthodox understandings set in when one decides that divine punishment is not a matter to be contended with?  In other words, do the liberal mainline churches feel free to allow previously taboo behaviors simply because they don't really believe in hell anyway?


I remember reading a brief article by Martin Marty years ago in Christian Century. He argued that almost no one really believes in hell. If they did, they would be much more fervent in trying to protect people from burning forever. Most of us have felt the pain of a match burning our fingers. If we believed that people would be suffering the pain of skin burning over their whole bodies for an eternity, Marty argued, we'd be doing a whole lot more to try and protect people from such suffering -- especially our friends and family. Since he doesn't see this happening even among many of the punishment-in-hell denominations, he concludes that they don't really believe in hell.


I've argued elsewhere (and fairly frequently) that our actions proclaim our faith louder than our words.

At this particular discussion, proclaiming our faith isn't the objective.  Was Jonah proclaiming his faith when he went to Nineveh?  No, he was forced (finally) to simply go and proclaim the words the Lord instructed him to say, even, likely in his case, when he believed it wouldn't work and perhaps didn't even want it to work personally.  It seems he didn't want the Assyrians to be warned.

Or, John the Baptist, did he set out to simply proclaim his own faith?  I think not, he set our to prepare the way of the Lord whether the people listened or not, declaring his faith was not the objective.

Or, Peter after Pentecost, was he simply trying to proclaim his faith to the people?  No, he wasn't worried about his own faith, he was worried that other people need to be told, with words, what was going on.

Sometimes it's not about us, but what He does and wants done.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2012, 12:44:30 PM by James Gustafson »