The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Problems Of Evil And Miracles

The punishment is just as Edwards shows. Therefore, it’s not torture. One must go by metaphysics as well as scripture. Not scripture alone.

It is not just, and Edwards did not show it.
I agree we need more than scripture, in some ways, but when we start denying the truth about God based on our metaphysics, we have left that good old glory road!

The argument of Edwards is airtight. Our metaphysics and our Bible must line up. Your view is wishful thinking. It contradicts reality.

If we are free to choose our own premises, then naturally we can provide an ‘airtight’ syllogism of some sort. But that does not make the conclusion valid.
For deduction to work and yield valid results, the premises must be true.
He did not get his premises from truth, but from speculation.
I honor your choice to follow his lead, but I do not honor the man’s so-called metaphysics.

The premises are true. You just don’t like the way it makes you feel.

And Michael, you have no way of knowing how I feel. Perhaps Edwards Himself felt ‘good’ about writing what he did - it has no bearing.
But let’s not quibble any longer - people will make up their own minds, and you and I will I hope continue in willing the best for one another.

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Edwards believed in eternal conscious torment:

“The God that holds you over the pit of Hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect, over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked; his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times so abominable in his eyes as the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours.

…It is everlasting wrath. It would be dreadful to suffer this fierceness and wrath of Almighty God one moment; but you must suffer it to all eternity. There will be no end to this exquisite horrible misery.”

—From “Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God,” by Jonathan Edwards, 1741.


“There is no fear in love, but perfect love [that is, God] casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” 1 John 4:18.

“For God did so love the world, that His Son – the only begotten – He gave, that every one who is believing in him may not perish, but may have life age-during. For God did not send His Son to the world that he may judge the world, but that the world may be saved through him.” John 3:16-17, YLT.

God is love (not “loving”), and so all are predestined to salvation—

-Who will have ALL men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1 Tim. 2:4.

-The living God, who is the Savior of ALL people, and especially of those who believe. 1 Tim. 4:10.

-For as in Adam all die, so in Christ ALL will be made alive. 1 Cor. 15:22.

Our God is a consuming fire of love (Heb. 12:29, 1 John 4:8, 16). So, I believe that the lake of fire is temporary (“aionios”), purgative, and remedial, and that the folks who are sent there from Hades (Rev. 20:13-15) will be “sinners in the hands of a loving God.”

Yes Edwards believed that hell was everlasting in duration. But as I pointed out above, the sum total remains the same if those in hell suffer an infinite degree for a finite period of time rather than a finite degree for infinite time. It’s an infinite degree of suffering for days upon days. Thus those in hell suffer infinite punishment are annihilated or experience death and then are resurrected or restored. Here is all three views in one. Given those in hell have new bodies in a trans dimensional reality they are able to experience an infinite degree of suffering for a finite time.

Romans 3:18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

“Sinners In the Hands of a Loving God”:

Deuteronomy 9:8

"Even at Horeb you provoked the LORD to wrath, and the LORD was so angry with you that He would have destroyed you.

Exodus 15:7

"And in the greatness of Your excellence You overthrow those who rise up against You; You send forth Your burning anger, and it consumes them as chaff.

Exodus 32:10-11

“Now then let Me alone, that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them; and I will make of you a great nation.” Then Moses entreated the LORD his God, and said, "O LORD, why does Your anger burn against Your people whom You have brought out from the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?

Numbers 11:1-2

Now the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of the LORD; and when the LORD heard it, His anger was kindled, and the fire of the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. The people therefore cried out to Moses, and Moses prayed to the LORD and the fire died out.

Job 4:9

"By the breath of God they perish, And by the blast of His anger they come to an end.

Isaiah 13:5

They are coming from a far country, From the farthest horizons, The LORD and His instruments of indignation, To destroy the whole land.

Jeremiah 32:29

"The Chaldeans who are fighting against this city will enter and set this city on fire and burn it, with the houses where people have offered incense to Baal on their roofs and poured out drink offerings to other gods to provoke Me to anger.

Lamentations 2:2

The Lord has swallowed up; He has not spared All the habitations of Jacob In His wrath He has thrown down The strongholds of the daughter of Judah; He has brought them down to the ground; He has profaned the kingdom and its princes.

Numbers 32:13

"So the LORD’S anger burned against Israel, and He made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until the entire generation of those who had done evil in the sight of the LORD was destroyed.

2 Kings 13:3

So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and He gave them continually into the hand of Hazael king of Aram, and into the hand of Ben-hadad the son of Hazael.

Isaiah 51:20

Your sons have fainted, They lie helpless at the head of every street, Like an antelope in a net, Full of the wrath of the LORD, The rebuke of your God.

Ezekiel 7:8

'Now I will shortly pour out My wrath on you and spend My anger against you; judge you according to your ways and bring on you all your abominations.

Habakkuk 3:12

In indignation You marched through the earth; In anger You trampled the nations.

Matthew 21:12-13

And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER’; but you are making it a ROBBERS’ DEN.”

Isaiah 13:9

Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, Cruel, with fury and burning anger, To make the land a desolation; And He will exterminate its sinners from it.

Daniel 8:19

He said, "Behold, I am going to let you know what will occur at the final period of the indignation, for it pertains to the appointed time of the end.

Matthew 3:7

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Romans 2:5

But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

Jeremiah 7:29

‘Cut off your hair and cast it away, And take up a lamentation on the bare heights; For the LORD has rejected and forsaken The generation of His wrath.’

Deuteronomy 31:17

"Then My anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide My face from them, and they will be consumed, and many evils and troubles will come upon them; so that they will say in that day, ‘Is it not because our God is not among us that these evils have come upon us?’

2 Kings 17:18

So the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them from His sight; none was left except the tribe of Judah.

2 Kings 23:25-27

Before him there was no king like him who turned to the LORD with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him. However, the LORD did not turn from the fierceness of His great wrath with which His anger burned against Judah, because of all the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked Him. The LORD said, “I will remove Judah also from My sight, as I have removed Israel And I will cast off Jerusalem, this city which I have chosen, and the temple of which I said, ‘My name shall be there.’”

Psalm 78:59

When God heard, He was filled with wrath And greatly abhorred Israel;

Psalm 89:38

But You have cast off and rejected, You have been full of wrath against Your anointed.

Lamentations 2:6-7

And He has violently treated His tabernacle like a garden booth; He has destroyed His appointed meeting place The LORD has caused to be forgotten The appointed feast and sabbath in Zion, And He has despised king and priest In the indignation of His anger. The Lord has rejected His altar, He has abandoned His sanctuary; He has delivered into the hand of the enemy The walls of her palaces They have made a noise in the house of the LORD As in the day of an appointed feast.


That topic was already addressed above.

Can you now post the many hundreds of verses, stories & accounts in the Scriptures re God’s love, kindness, mercy, compassion, pity, goodness, grace, joy, blessings, precious promises, patience, long suffering, faithfulness, salvation, deliverance, healing, resurrection, peace, etc. I think you won’t since then you’ld have to quote about half of the Bible.

The point is that God has a holy hatred against His enemies. He’s loving, patient and kind to them on earth wanting them to repent. But they refuse. On judgment day His holy hatred will destroy them in His fierce anger. But the pattern of scripture is judgment followed by resurrection or restoration. They will be in the hands of a loving God but first they are sinners in the hands of an angry God. Any other view is wishful thinking. It’s nothing but an attempt to do away with God’s wrath. This is because of a lack of humility and an exaltation of self with self-esteem. They demote God and glorify themselves.

Hollytree, you wrote:

Moreover God hates certain people. He will shift from love to hate.

Love is not a feeling. Love is action. God’s love is expressed in doing what is good for people. Yet God’s love may include love feelings.

God hates sin, but does not hate people. Never did Jesus suggest that God hates anyone. Though the word “hate” occurs 35 times in the New Testament, in NONE of those occurrences is it stated that God hates anyone. In each one that expresses hatred of people, it is PEOPLE who do the hating (unless the beast in Revelation who hates the prostitute is not a person—although I suspect that he is).

Let’s understand that God IS pure LOVE. Hate is neither His essence nor one of His characteristics.

Yes, I know that you can find passages in the OT that declare that God hates certain people.
But in those days the full revelation of who God is was not yet given. Jesus, the Son of God revealed His Father as He truly is.

In Romans 9 it speaks of the destruction of the wicked under God’s wrath and even uses the word hate to describe those destroyed. Nowhere does it say God only hates the sin but not the sinner. The parallel is with those prepared for destruction. Just as God hated Esau and destroyed them:

6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, 7 and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. 9 For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” 10 And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of thim who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.
19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump done vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

This isn’t hyperbole meaning loved less for the passage that Paul is quoting from tells us that He destroyed Esau:

Malachi 1:3 - “And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.”

As Romans tells us He will do the same to those who are prepared for destruction. He therefore hates them as they will experience His wrath.

Commentaries here disagree with your assessment:

They disagree with the scripture I provided then.

Nowhere does the Bible state God will love the sinner but hate the sin in the lake of fire. He hates both when He destroys His enemies in the fire:

Leviticus 20:23 - “And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.”

Leviticus 26:30 - “And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you.”

Deuteronomy 32:19 - “And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters.”

Psalm 5:5 - “The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.”

Psalm 5:6 - “Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.”

Psalm 10:3 - “For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.”

Psalm 11:5 - “The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.”

Psalm 53:5 - “There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them.”

Psalm 73:20 - “As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.”

Psalm 78:59 - “When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel:”

Psalm 106:40 - “Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance.”

Proverbs 6:16-19 - “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

Proverbs 22:14 - “The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein.”

Lamentations 2:6 - “And he hath violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden: he hath destroyed his places of the assembly: the LORD hath caused the solemn feasts and sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion, and hath despised in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest.”

Hosea 9:15 - “All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters.”

Zechariah 11:8 - “Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul loathed them, and their soul also abhorred me.”

Malachi 1:3 - “And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.”

Romans 9:13 - “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.”

No, they disagree with your assessment, i.e. your interpretation. Did you even read them?

They say that God loved less then it contradicts the whole of scripture that I provided showing that God not only hates sin but sinners. Even if it means loved less this is only a love after they have been destroyed under His hatred and wrath. God loves some and not others or God loves some more than others and not everybody equally.

God loves the part of man He made in His own image & likeness. God hates the fallen nature, the old man, the flesh, the sinful self. This hatred works for the good of the man He loves in order to save him from himself.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…(Jn.3:16a). IOW God loved everyone, even His enemies, all mankind, including “all workers of iniquity” whose evil nature He hates. Why? Because it separates man from God & the blessings He has for him.