Not too long ago, prompted by one of these messages by Greg Boyd, I went through all the bits of the bible that have been connected with the idea of hell.
I read Rob Bell’s Love Wins a few weeks ago.
Then some Francis Chan books were available for free on Amazon, so I downloaded and read Erasing Hell.
Over the last five days Two Friars and a Fool have posted 95 Tweets Against Hell
It has been interesting.
Boyd endorses annihilation rather than eternal torment. Bell says there is always hope because the good news really is good. Chan paints a reasoned, thoughtful but shocking picture of God and asks us to answer not whether we want to believe in a God that sends most of us to eternal conscious torment but whether we can believe in such a God. The Friars unleash everything they can lay their hands on to combat the idea of hell. They organised their assault weapons into three categories, ethical, theological, biblical.
Every one of these resources is worth getting your hands on, especially the scriptures, especially if you untranslate as you read.
Now here’s my opinion: hell is a very interesting subject to think and read and speculate about, but the bible seems to recommend that far more important is the way we spend our lives working for God’s Kingdom now. People have argued for centuries about who are the sheep and who are the goats of Matthew 25 and what happens to them after the judgement, but everyone agrees, in principle at least, that the things the sheep do are good things. What if we did the sheep things and left the sorting to God?
(There is a reason why we don’t, but that is a subject for another post.)