The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Luke 15's pigsty a type of redemptive hell?


Not sure if we’ve ever talked about this but…

We are all very familiar with the story of the Prodigal son in Luke 15. (entire chapter is wonderful of course.) Def. of “prodigal” = wasteful/extravagant – Traditionally, the term prodigal is of course applied to the son; wasteful of his father’s wealth and of his own inheritance…

But of course the irony is that the Father is also “prodigal” in HIS extravagance in love!! (Note: love is not to be dispensed with a sparing hand…)

The son of course doesn’t “get” this; and so he leaves the extravagance of his fathers household. He operates however, from within a delusion. And, in time, his wastefulness bares it’s fruit: he is destitute, alone, and must scavenge to live. This, it seems, may well be his “hell”…

And in this condition, which has been described as him being “dead”, he “comes to his senses”.

Fast forward…

In time, maybe the “end of time” (as it were) we have held that free minds have the option to reject the Extravagance of the Father. He “lets them go” as per Romans…

I’m wondering if He lets them go to… the pigsty of Luke 15… Yes, it’s a place of our own choosing… BUT it’s a place where we WILL “come to our senses” and, vision of the warmth and welcome of our Fathers house growing ever more compelling inside of us, (Welcome Holy Spirit!!) we come to the place where we stifle our (false) pride, and, full of excuses and explanations (yet even now not really grasping the Fathers Grace) we come home. If only for a hot meal, a bed, and an escape from the incessant squeal of those damn pigs!!

But it is enough; hell, it’s prototype the pigsty, has “forced” us to “come to our senses".

And, the Father is waiting… As He always has been…

What do you think??
Luke 15 pigpen as prototype of redemptive hell??


Works for me. Now it would be cool if you found interpretations like this in the church Fathers

Irregardless of my opinions as to what Jesus may have been trying to say to His immediate audience, this is a GREAT insight. I think you may well be right (whether the hell is in this age or the age(s) to come).

Yes! I agree with this, Bob. I’ve used the analogy many times, though maybe not here. I like the way you flesh it out.

Sometimes we need the pig sty to teach us what is really “good” and “evil” – so that we will choose good and return to our Father’s house!

Thanks for sharing,

Yes. I agree too Bob. :slight_smile:
My wife and I often come back to this parable and also Romans 1 as a helpful picture of what it is like to be lost and under God’s wrath, and yet still loved by God - whether in this life or in the age to come.

I think you have a point here. However I feel that in the resurrection we will all have the clarity of thought and freedom from mental baggage that will ensure that all of us do accept God.

Imagine a couple of characters, one arguing that they are in reality, the other that they are in a video game. The debate moves back and forth, but the sudden appearance of the words GAME OVER tend to settle the matter.

Yep, I’ve been promoting the parable of the prodigal as a metaphor for post-mortem salvation for a while. :slight_smile: I wouldn’t lean on it for that, but the terms being used (dead and destroyed/lost) sure point that way.

I love it Bob, thanks for sharing. And I think the parable is named wrong; it should be the parable of the Faithful Father who loves his children regardless of the sin and bad attitudes in their lives, whether that be selfish selfrighteousness as in the older brother or selfish selflove in the younger brother. What a beautiful picture of unending and unfailing love! Love does not fail!

For a while I’ve seen Paul’s first part of Romans a discourse on this parable. God the Father turned him over to a reprobate mind.