I’m reading Hope Beyond Hell and thought I would share how I’m responding to it along the way. I apologize that my quotes from the source don’t have page numbers attached to them; I’m reading via my kindle app and it just doesn’t have that information. But I heard you can read it free online somewhere, so a simple “find on page” should allow you to find whatever quote you’re looking for easily enough. Anyway, here’s what I have so far…
The verse in context is speaking about Israel. I’m not sure we can apply it to all man, although God certainly does love all.
It’s right if God says it right.
Unless it is part of his character to do that
Maybe for some, but true believers will love him and his salvation for them
Unless that is ultimately part of his will
Once again, unless it is ultimately part of his will
Not at all. Christ fully accomplished salvation for the elect
Unless our conscience is tainted by our sin. Would be interested in scriptures to back this one up
Universalism seems to take away some of the urgency for evangelism
Which is what the Bible seems to instruct us to do
Unless we rest in God’s sovereignty
Yeah, but that might not be right of me
Does he have any research to back this up? It seems to me that the doctrine is still widely held.
I’m not sure that this verse (Isaiah 29:13) is teaching that the fear being taught is what removes a person’s heart far from God.
Yes, but the question is, is that right of me? And, will my affections be changed, perfected, when I am glorified?
In the sense that we can’t obtain righteousness through works. We can never be good enough.
I’d argue that they didn’t understand or follow the letter either, though.
Yet every tree adds to the forest. Therefore each tree is magnificent if I understood it correctly in the context of the forest.
I’m don’t think the Bible ever instructs us to judge things merely by our heart, but rather by the Scripture. The heart is deceitful above all things.
Not necessarily. The Septuagint is not an inspired translation. When it translated aion for olam, it might simply have been the closest word the translator could find, but not an exact equivalent.
This one kind of does make sense, actually.
Once again, makes a little sense, although “world” definitely seems like a better translation.
Again, could make sense.
Could make sense.
Words have a range of meaning. Just because it obviously is limited in many of these verses, doesn’t mean that it can’t mean “eternal” in other verses and contexts.
If that’s true, how would the Scripture express something that is literally eternal?
So that leaves one-fifth which could be unlimited in duration. That’s a lot!
Wait, I thought you just quoted someone who basically said it could mean “eternal” one-fifth of the time. Don’t discount that fifth. It’s significant.
And many more reputable translations translate them “eternal” and not “age.” Context determines the meaning in each case.
I’m not sure we can really say that. They both come from the same word, so they must be related somehow.
This is a really good point.
Ok, so “the ages of the ages,” when applied to God, can mean eternity. But how would the biblical writers talk about eternity in regards to man?
Really? According to the Perseus Greek Word Study Tool, there are at least 590 uses of this word in various ancient documents. I would be very impressed if every single one of those uses had remedial punishment in view. Would be a very long, but beneficial study that would pretty much make the whole case for universal reconciliation. Looking at just the first use of the word in Antiquities of the Jews, by Josephus, it says, talking about Cain, “he did not accept of his punishment (kolasin) in order to amendment, but to increase his wickedness; for he only aimed to procure every thing that was for his own bodily pleasure, though it obliged him to be injurious to his neighbors.” Just from one extra-biblical use of the word, I’m not sure we can really say whether this use is meant to be remedial or not. Was God’s punishment of Cain meant to be corrective? And if so, did Josephus know that it was meant to be corrective? According to Josephus, it ultimately wasn’t corrective. But it still could have been its purpose (or Josephus could have just been wrong about how Cain ended up living). It looks like this word study could turn into a huge guessing game. Oh well, it would have been a good study.
Kolasis isn’t in this verse, but I don’t think that’s what he was saying.
No question there. But the question is, does all harsh punishment serve a redemptive purpose?
The case hasn’t quite been made. Someone needs to go through those 590 uses of kolasis first, and determine that every single one of them has remedial punishment in view.
It would be interesting to look some of these uses up, and compare them with the biblical uses.
Why not? If it’s within the word’s range of meanings, as demonstrated by Platonic philosophy, then I need just a little more evidence that it can’t mean eternal in the Bible.
Please keep in mind that as I’m making this comments along the way, some of what I write are simply my gut level first impressions. I’m also (kind of) being just a bit more critical of the book than I really ought to be, trying to tear it up as much as possible to see what’s left standing. So far, I’m actually quite impressed.