Author Topic: "There may be a hell, but it's probably empty"  (Read 2218 times)

JohannesKelpius

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Re: "There may be a hell, but it's probably empty"
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2019, 02:36:27 PM »
I believe that hell is indeed empty today.  Those who are destined for it are in Sheol. 

"Hell" and "Sheol" are synonyms.


Not quite. The Hebrew Sheol (שְׁאוֹל) is translated by the Greek Hades (ᾅδης) In Greek mythology it was originally the name of the god of the underworld, Hades. Then, like Sheol, it referred to the underworld: the place of the dead.

What do you think "Hell" meant to the Anglo-Saxon pagans?

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: "There may be a hell, but it's probably empty"
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2019, 02:46:00 PM »
I believe that hell is indeed empty today.  Those who are destined for it are in Sheol. 

"Hell" and "Sheol" are synonyms.


Not quite. The Hebrew Sheol (שְׁאוֹל) is translated by the Greek Hades (ᾅδης) In Greek mythology it was originally the name of the god of the underworld, Hades. Then, like Sheol, it referred to the underworld: the place of the dead.

What do you think "Hell" meant to the Anglo-Saxon pagans?


One would have to read Anglo-Saxon myths to know what they believed about the underworld - and whether or not it was seen as a place of punishment. Unfortunately, there is almost nothing known of those myths since they were not written down. The most complete description I found on the internet is http://www.carlanayland.org/essays/hel.htm

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Nurseken7

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Re: "There may be a hell, but it's probably empty"
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2019, 03:10:02 PM »
I agree with Rev Austin, calling people you don't  agree with apostates should be left to Muslims and other backwards thinkers. I listened to the whole recorded interview with Bishop Eaton and thought she was very thoughtful and I disregard everything the op said. In all the back and forth about hell/sheol/gehenna and who goes where what I see is no one addressing the question of what EVIDENCE is there that there is any hell/heaven to begin with? I asked one Chelan this question he said by the time you find out it will be too late. So, instead of answering the question he resorted to empty meaningless threats. Another Christian told me that's where faith comes in. I hope Christians will come up with better answers than these.

Mark Brown

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Re: "There may be a hell, but it's probably empty"
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2019, 03:31:14 PM »

"Hell" and "Sheol" are synonyms.

Not exactly. At least not in how we use those terms.  Hell is a place of punishment or judgement.  Akin to Jesus' term "gehenna".  Sheol could have that aspect, but sheol is also just "the pit" or "the abode of the dead" or even "with my fathers".  Psalm 9:17 captures the difference in that "The wicked shall return to Sheol, all the nations that forget God."  Holy Saturday, the creedal descended into hell, and the harrowing of hell following article 9 of the Formula all speak to the difference.  Sheol/Hell is closed for believers.  Today they are with Christ in paradise.

If Hell is strictly the place of punishment, then why would the Old Testament righteous have been there when Christ descended to it? The "descended into hell" of the creed is referring simply to the realm of the dead, like sheol or the Greek Hades. And the origin of the word "hell" in Germanic paganism supports this reading.  Hence the KJV repeatedly renders both sheol and Hades as "hell". Hellenistic Judaism had a view of the realm of the dead somewhat similar to the Greek idea, dividing it into various parts- Gehenna for the wicked, the bosom or vale of Abraham for the righteous.

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Apokatastasis is what you are referring to (and what RJN would have been referring to).  The thinking is very Neo-Platonic in that all of the many must eventually return to the one.  God which is the alpha/source, must also be the omega/end of all things.

The neo-Platonic idea, ascribed (possibly falsely) to Origen is one view, but the idea that all individual souls would dissolve into the One was not the apokatastasis held by, say, St. Gregory of Nyssa. And for many, universal reconciliation was simply a natural way of interpreting texts like, "all died in Adam, and all are made alive in Christ." A short but very worthwhile overview of the early church's varying conceptions is Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev's book Christ the Conqueror of Hell, which quotes a wide array of early church texts- patristic, apocryphal, hymnographic- relating to the harrowing of hell and how it relates to wider eschatological themes, and showing that there was a wide range of views among orthodox Christians, including a significant contingent assuming universalism.

As far as "hell" that is exactly what I said.  How we use "hell" is not the same as sheol, because for us "hell" is only a place of punishment.  It was not that way prior to Easter.  Which is what I said.

As far as apokatastasis, there are lots of modern scholars that take an extreme minority report and play it up.  Akin to all the Gnostic Gospel junk.  Orthodoxy is orthodoxy for a reason.  It was deemed by the vast majority of the church to be the correct reading.  And all will be made alive in Christ.  As the Athanasian Creed which we will confess this coming weeks says. "At his coming all people will rise again with their bodies and give an account concerning their own deeds.  And those who have done good will enter into eternal life, and those who have done evil into eternal fire."  And besides, to be Lutheran is to subscribe to the Augsburg Confession, which holds to that eternal fire.

JohannesKelpius

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Re: "There may be a hell, but it's probably empty"
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2019, 04:16:09 PM »
As far as "hell" that is exactly what I said.  How we use "hell" is not the same as sheol, because for us "hell" is only a place of punishment.  It was not that way prior to Easter.  Which is what I said.

The division is considerably more ambiguous in Hellenistic Judaism and the church fathers. Again, the KJV frequently uses "hell" to translate "sheol." This is because, in the 17th century (and well after) hell was being used as a general term for the realm of the dead, as well as a specific term for a place of torment. And the idea that Christ left hell empty after despoiling it is indeed found in many old hymns still sung in the Eastern Orthodox church today.

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As far as apokatastasis, there are lots of modern scholars that take an extreme minority report and play it up.  Akin to all the Gnostic Gospel junk.  Orthodoxy is orthodoxy for a reason.  It was deemed by the vast majority of the church to be the correct reading.

It has nothing to do with Gnosticism. Universal reconciliation was in fact the "majority report" for a few centuries and it can be seen a large number of influential Christian texts and hymns. Not gnostics, not weirdo sects, but orthodox Christian literature. The "Athanasian creed" was in fact a Latin creed; St Athanasius himself was a big fan of Origen and taught apokatastasis.


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Re: "There may be a hell, but it's probably empty"
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2019, 05:51:10 PM »
I agree with Rev Austin, calling people you don't  agree with apostates should be left to Muslims and other backwards thinkers.

But what do you use to describe persons who truly are "apostate"? Merely disagreeing with them does not automatically make someone "apostate". But if someone truly is "apostate", wouldn't most Christians disagree with them on those points on which the apostate person is apostate?

Nurseken7

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Re: "There may be a hell, but it's probably empty"
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2019, 07:53:34 PM »
The word apostate refers to a person has left the religion he/she was a member of. I call a person I don't agree with a person I disagree with on topic (a) a person who says he is no longer Christian I call him a x Christian or former Christian. Accurate without the negative judgment in apostate. I a person is now a Jehovah witness I call him a j w or a Mormon I say he is l d s. I don't  consider it a problem if he not Christian anymore. If someone threatens me with hellfire for my views I would say "I will worry about he'll after u provide evidence hell/heaven exists" otherwise it's just sound and fury signifying nothing.

Terry W Culler

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Re: "There may be a hell, but it's probably empty"
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2019, 08:12:47 PM »
I believe that hell is indeed empty today.  Those who are destined for it are in Sheol. 

"Hell" and "Sheol" are synonyms.

In that respect, it is inane to say it is "empty" as long as people die.

But universal salvation is a legitimate Christian view that has significant ancient pedigree and the support of some of the great church fathers.


Hell and Sheol are not the same thing.  If they were then the prophet Samuel is in hell as is David who spoke of going down to Sheol.  Universal salvation might be a kind of Christian view but it flies in the face of the Lord's words about sheep and goats.  As far as I'm aware the principal Church Father arguing for universal salvation was Origin and that opinion was denounced by the Church as a whole.
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JohannesKelpius

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Re: "There may be a hell, but it's probably empty"
« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2019, 09:19:42 AM »
I believe that hell is indeed empty today.  Those who are destined for it are in Sheol. 

"Hell" and "Sheol" are synonyms.

In that respect, it is inane to say it is "empty" as long as people die.

But universal salvation is a legitimate Christian view that has significant ancient pedigree and the support of some of the great church fathers.


Hell and Sheol are not the same thing.

"Hell" is the usual KJV rendering of "sheol" and "hades," so some of the greatest masters of English prose would disagree.

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If they were then the prophet Samuel is in hell as is David who spoke of going down to Sheol.

Yep, that's where they and everyone else went until Christ broke them out.

 
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Universal salvation might be a kind of Christian view but it flies in the face of the Lord's words about sheep and goats. 

Eternal conscious torment might be a kind of Christian view but it flies in the face of the Lord's clear statements of coming to save all and Paul's teaching that "as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men."

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As far as I'm aware the principal Church Father arguing for universal salvation was Origin and that opinion was denounced by the Church as a whole.

Origen was hardly alone. Sts Athanasius, Gregory of Nyssa, Isaac of Syria, and many others agreed that all would ultimately be saved.

Universal salvation was not denounced by the Church as a whole. The closest thing would be Emperor Justinian's "Anathemas against Origen" associated with the Fifth Ecumenical Council- however, even assuming these anathemas are legitimately part of the council (they're not), they only denounce a very specific kind of universalism associated with a Platonic pre-existence of souls.