I do NOT want to question that approach, but I’ve had this thought lately: if hell were real, and Jesus was to sacrifice Himself for us, would He not have to spend eternity in hell? To really ‘take our place’ He would have to suffer eternally? Not for a few hours or days, or even for a lifetime, but the whole enchilada?
It would be an argument against an ECT that was tied into a common portrayal of penal substitution, yes. It’s the hilarious category mistake of “God is eternal, therefore sin deserves eternal punishment”… as if that a) makes any sense, or b) even works as a maths equation, as you point out; infinity - infinity = zero. Or infinity. Not three days.
A short story. I was asked to sing at a dear friend’s funeral this last weekend. A pastor called and said that I could ride with them. There were two Southern Baptist pastors officiating over this funeral. Come to find out that we were all riding in the same car I love these guys but My beliefs are way way way different from theirs. My wife even said “I don’t think you should do it” in reference to my riding with them, her knowing how I tend to mix it up as they say.
So long story short, I went through Hell with these guys. My ideology verses my not wanting to cause problems. So I kept my yap shut.
I have a good friend that studies cosmology. According to him, the consensus among mathematicians is that ‘infinity’ does not have any mathematics!
Consensus now is that:
infinity minus infinity = infinity
infinity + infinity = infinity
infinity x infinity = infinity
But that is just an aside. C.S. Lewis once made the point that there is no such thing as the ‘sum total of all the suffering in the world’, claiming that the greatest amount of suffering is what any human being can personally suffer. Pain does not ‘add up’.
So I THINK that the man Jesus Christ suffered as much as a man possibly can, but is that the point? There have been prisoners of war that are tortured
for literally months, let alone a few hours. They suffered more than Jesus - but is that the point?
He did suffer, his entire life, and in his death - ‘for’ mankind - not as a penal substitute. (UH-oh ) - but for our benefit. I’m not at all certain that he went to Hell and was tortured there in our stead.
Infinity or ∞ is used in modern mathematics for the solution of many practical and theoretical problems, such as in calculus and set theory, and the idea also is used in physics and the other sciences. Christ isn’t bound by our dimensions. He’s trans dimensional. He could have experienced infinite pain and suffering in it’s intensity for only a few hours. It’s the same thing.
There is also emotional and spiritual pain and physical pain can have non-physical causes. In the paradox of the Father separating Himself from the Son “My God, my God why have you forsaken me” Christ experienced the spiritual and emotional pain of eternal separation.
There was a separation because Jesus said “Why have you forsaken me?” We know this is true because right before Jesus died He said “Father into Your hands I commit my Spirit”. The spirit of Christ was reunited with the Father upon His death.
Dave, it is true that “infinity” does not have any mathematics in the sense that “infinity” is NOT a number. So there is no consensus concerning the “equations” you wrote above since equations require numbers and “infinity” is not a number.
Having said that, infinity still has its place in mathematics. The adjective “infinite” is used to describe some numerical sets. For example, the set of whole numbers is infinite:
The set of rational numbers is also infinite. They consist of the whole numbers listed above plus all the fractions in between. Yet there are the same number of elements in the whole numbers as in the rationals. That can be proved because it is possible to set up a one-to-one relationship between the wholes and the rationals. That infinite number has been given the name “aleph sub zero,” that is, the Hebrew letter [size=130]ℵ[/size] with a zero subscript.
I cannot make the iota subscript, and so I will rewrite your “infinity” equations using simply “aleph.” Just pretend that it it aleph sub zero:
[size=130]ℵ[/size]-[size=130]ℵ[/size]=[size=130]ℵ[/size] Example: the rationals minus the wholes is an infinite set of numbers.
[size=130]ℵ[/size]+[size=130]ℵ[/size]=[size=130]ℵ[/size] Example: the set of even wholes plus the set of odd wholes= the set of wholes.
[size=130]ℵ[/size]X[size=130]ℵ[/size] is an infinite set. But I cannot give you an example.
But here is the amazing thing. The set of REAL numbers is made up of all the rationals plus many other numbers such as π and the square root of 2 and ALL numbers represented by infinite non-repeating decimal numerals. And it has been proved mathematically that the number of elements in THIS set is GREATER than the number of elements in the whole numbers or the rational numbers. This number is known as “aleph sub one.” Thus there exists a “greater infinity” than infinity itself!
How these two levels of “infinity” can be applied to God or infinite time spent with God in heaven or the supposed infinite time unrepentant sinners spend in hell, I leave with you.
Jesus was fully human throughout His life in this world. He divested Himself of His divine attributes and retained only His identity as the Son of God.
Words in brackets mine.
So as a true human being, Jesus had human feelings. He FELT forsaken, and so He cried out those words to His Father. God would never forsake His beloved Son. Again, God HEARD His cries and saved Him from (or out of) death.
Heb 5:7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.
You can have something contingent and infinite (New heavens and earth). What you can’t have is something that is necessary and created. Necessary existence explains it’s own existence. The universe could be infinite and contingent upon God who is necessary. There is a possible world where the universe is eternal and there is a world like ours where it has a beginning. Therefore, something can be eternal and contingent. Christ is trans dimensional. Divine and human.
Example: Non-physical thoughts cause emotional pain. Non-physical God created and influences the physical realm. Faith in God heals anxiety, shame, bitterness, pride and this in turn helps us heal physically. Holistic health focuses on the “whole person” not just the physical. The holistic concept in medical practice focuses on the complete person, physically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually, in the management and prevention of disease