Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I do enjoy a theological discussion, especially when those dialogues challenge my preconceived notions about God or the Bible. I think it is fair to say that most people have an idea of Hell being a place of eternal damnation with the weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth. I know I grew up with a near-weekly dose of Baptist-conjuring of eternal torment for those of us saved who even thought about the sinful gyrations of the woman's bosom. It was a constant barrage of how full of sin, sin, sin we are. And we were going to pay unless we were in a state of constant repentance.

I grew up believing that Hell was not only a real place, but one where the Devil was the cause of all our ills, problems, misgivings, and shortcomings.

My life journey has taken beyond the confounds of that mission church and given me opportunities to see how others view and love God, which I find to be a cool thing. I have also come to a place which my childhood pastor called "air-conditional Hell". That is to say, I am now very open to the idea that Hell may not be what so many of the world's Christians think it is.

This week I read a local blogger talking about this very thing and I found it so interesting. Write From Karen makes a compelling and well thought out argument why Hell is not the place that mainstream Christians think it is. She makes her point better than I could, so I'll just point you her way; however, I will say I agree with much of what she sees on this point. Karen manages to leave out how fictional literature (Milton's Paradise Lost and Dante's Inferno) have managed to unduly infiltrate mainstream views of Hell. I do think While Write From Karen assigns entirely too much power to the Devil.

I enjoyed her article and have struck up conversations about Hell with some trusted friends. Have fun and feel free to talk about your beliefs here, just be nice about it. If you are in a mind to read more about different views, you might try reading this article, too.

Just for clarification, my views in this area are still developing and I don't have a firm grasp on what I believe, but I'm definitely moving away from my childhood teachings.


Busplunge said...

"The hell you say!"

word verification: parott

Complaint Department Manager said...

"Jesus Christ!"

word verification: moles

Busplunge said...

It's the word verification game, animal style!

word verficiation: innagaddadavida

Jack said...

Dear Iron Butterfly,

Rock that drum solo.