The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Church Fathers who speak of a metaphorical view of Hell


#1

In a Roman Catholic forum at forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=934212, someone said this:

And someone asked me this very same question.

Any of the Christian historians here have any ideas, about which Church Fathers spoke of a metaphorical view of Hell? And perhaps give a reference link or links?

It will save me, a bit of research.

Of course, a metaphorical view could also be seen, in any universalism, postmortem refinement process.


#2

Holy Fool, by “a metaphorical view of Hell”, do you mean “a view of Hell that does not include literal fires”?

I cannot imagine any of the eastern Church Fathers believing in literal fires.


#3

Yes, that is correct, Geoffrey.

What surprised me is that the “Calvinism in Disguise” site - Got Questions at:

Is hell literally a place of fire and brimstone?

Is talking about a symbolic, allegorical or metaphorical view of hell. Let me briefly quote, part of their answer:

So who originated the fire and brimstone model - in church history? That’s as important a question, as to whom - among the church fathers - supported a metaphorical view of hell.


#4

I would guess Tertullian, or the Apocalypse of Peter.

(BTW, I read that Tertullian has a unique Latin style. Supposedly, once one developes a taste for Tertullian’s Latin prose, all other Latin authors will seem rather thin. I would love to ask Reginald Foster his opinion on this.)


#5

Why do you quote that site?


#6

Because while they (i.e Got Questions) are Calvinists, they do look at a metaphorical view of hell. Which is something that some Protestant fundamentalists do not. And they also answer many biblical questions. And for some questions raised, their answers are a good starting point. I like their answering of various theological questions, even though I don’t always agree with them. But on this one, I do agree that all Biblical passages regarding hell - however we view it - are metaphorical.


#7

Before I came to this site I didn’t even know what a Calvinist WAS, nor that I (as I was raised Methodist) was an Arminian.
(Now of course, I’m both. :laughing: ) So, in case…if you don’t know, Kyle, do ask.