The Evangelical Universalist Forum

The Biblical Basis For Purgatory And An Infinitely Heinous Punishment


#182

I guess I have to be open to the possibility that someone could commit the blasphemy of the Spirit today.

Dave,

I haven’t looked into that one. I’ll have to look into it before I say anything.


#183

IMO paradise is heaven. It’s the same place Jesus said in John that he was going to prepare.


#184

“Jesus clearly spoke of purgatory.”
“I must abandon purgatory”.

“I still believe that only those alive at the time of Jesus could have blasphemed the Spirit.”
“I have to be open to the possibility that someone could commit the blasphemy of the Spirit today.”

Hollytree, I sincerely admire you and anyone with the ability to acknowledge that views his tradition insists are clear, are actually questionable. Props to you!


#185

Yea Bob. When I see problems with my view I change it. I also have a problem with my interpretation of the universalist texts now. At the moment I’m going to have to go along with the Orthodox Christian Universalism as outlined by Robin Parry in 4 Views on hell. I’ve started reading his book "The Evangelical Universalist.

In scripture, divine judgment serves various ends. It has, as the tradition rightly points out, a retributive aspect. Someone is punished because they deserve to be. It is not hard to find this instinct in Scripture. But we err if we think that retribution exhausts what Biblical justice and punishment are about. Biblical justice is about putting wrong things right. As such, while retribution may possibly be a necessary condition of justice, it cannot be a sufficient condition, because retribution cannot undo the harms done and put right the wrongs. The primary end of God’s justice, with respect to creation, is not punishment, but salvation. And punishment itself is not merely suffering inflicted as a deserved consequence for wrong deeds. Punishment also functions as a deterrent…Furthermore it is also a corrective for those being punished…And these different purposes of punishment need not be mutually exclusive. God’s punishment of Israel say, can be SIMULTAEOUSLY RETRIBUTIVE AND RESTORATIVE ~~ Robin Parry in Four Views on Hell pages 113-114


#186

Parry has a healthy view of justice. A healthy view of love and justice includes the retributive. Love and justice protect. Punishment is essentially a defense of the honor of the victim.

A couple of quotes from the book:

We have argued that the central purpose of punishment is to restore dignity, self-respect, and honor to the victim, by demonstrating that society does not passively acquiesce in the crime but is willing to risk even life and limb in response to it on behalf of the victim. The goal of defending the honor of the victims seems to be morally unobjectionable even to critics of punishment, and it seems to be more reasonable to expect that retributive motive will always be with us - or as Sharon Krause argues, that we need to preserve the motivation to defend one’s honor, a motive on which our liberties depend. Indeed, we have argued that virtually every current theory of punishment has an underlying retributive motive. ~~ page 190

The case for the essential continuity and even identity of revenge and retributive punishment is overwhelming, The two words are dictionary synonyms and are more or less interchangeable; if the revenger demands “retribution” we would not have any doubt about what he meant (nor would we ever think that he was referring to an entirely different conceptual system of punishment). As Zaibert points out, when in the Bible God says “Vengeance is Mine,” it is clear that He means retributive punishment, not sadistic pleasure. Both the revenger and the punisher aim at “justice” ~~ page 106


#187

That’s neat! I found Parry especially helpful in proposing a Biblically grounded view of universalism that reflects traditional understandings of justice and the place of retribution in God’s plan. And his second edition included even more helpful wrestling with key texts. I appreciated his argument that ‘punishment’ can be both retributive and restorative.


#188

Is this going to be another book? That people can buy?_


#189

So your view is that there is punishment… So that as I understand you, Christ did NOT do away with punishment or restoration?


#190

Bob - I too appreciate the perspective Parry brings to the subject.
The ‘restoration’ that the Father works in us is something I utterly hope for - being thankful at the same time, for sins forgiven, which Christ took care of. I think we’re on the same page there.


#191

You are skirting the position, my/and others position is that Christ DID do the things he said he would do. And you all are denying that blood, you want to some how deflect the idea that you should well acknowledge what Christ has done, but can’t do it.

There is shame here. Shame on you guys waiting for something that has already happened. You are all smart enough to figure this out.

:frowning_face:


#192

I was responding to Bob.


#193

Exactly. Parry’s view is that God continues to pursue us with judgment, discipline and restoration, and as you know I am sympathetic that this approach to universalism most easily correlates with how Scripture is widely understood in the evangelical tradition.

Yes, Parry’s 2nd edition of the “The EU” has been for sale for a couple of years, and should be the one sent if the book is ordered now e.g. on amazon.

Chad, I’d appreciate it if you’d omit the “shame on you” comments each time someone reflects a hermeneutic that is different from yours. It adds nothing to the substance of the exegetical challenges at issue, and substituting ad hominem rhetoric for trying to understand why brothers read it differently and engaging the merits only leaves the impression that this is easier than presenting a persuasive argument.


#194

Well, Bob, a few years ago I would have said, ‘you know, he is right’ :frowning_face:

But I have embraced the culture :laughing: halleluiah!

But I have to ask why 'shame on you rattles your cage?’


#195

Hey, Chad. If I were to lead, this contingent of zombies - to your house - would it “rattle your cage”? I got’s to know.


#196

Harry would need a bigger gun.:wink:


#197

I don’t see that I was “rattled.” The reason I stated for presenting substance instead of just belittling Dave, was “It adds nothing to the substance of the exegetical challenges at issue, and substituting ad hominem rhetoric for trying to understand why brothers read it differently and engaging the merits, only leaves the impression that this is easier than presenting a persuasive argument.” In short, it is boring.


#198

I like it.