What Primitive Baptist Universalists (PBUs) Believe


#15

I too would like clarification, on N.T. Wright - as a full preterist… For one thing, look at the article at bit.ly/2F0qyKs:

Or from this article at bit.ly/2Bier96

And unless NTW changed this theological stance…he still maintains, what I call - a P-Zombie view of the unredeemed at youtu.be/vggzqXzEvZ0


#16

There’s one view that the dead are raised back to consciousness again on judgement day to give an account of themselves to God, be corrected & judged. Thereafter those not found in the book of life are cast into the lake of fire to die a second death (with no consciousness again) until they are raised immortal when death is simultaneously abolished. See, for example:

home.earthlink.net/~btodd1/asinadam.html
concordant.org/expositions/death … -is-death/

Another position is those in the lake of fire are conscious, being tormented & corrected. The lake of fire & second death are variously interpreted. Such as referring to spiritual death, the death of the fallen nature, the old man, the flesh. Some view the lake of fire itself as a reference to Love Omnipotent Who the Scriptures describe as a consuming fire, a refining fire & a laundry soap or bleach (e.g. Mal.3:2).


#17

Jason, with regards to this… ““the death”, which elsewhere in the scriptures” — to what texts of Scripture do you refer?

Technically… NT Wright, like another brilliant scholar Andrew Perriman, is a PARTIAL prêterist, and in fact prefers to steer away from the prêterist moniker.


#18

No, although I do agree that cruelly torturing people is cruel. (Intentionally inconveniencing people is not necessarily cruel, but the intensity on that inconvenience can get hard to bear and different people have different levels of tolerance for various inconveniences. That doesn’t mean it’s torture, which has a moral denunciation behind it. Reality isn’t always convenient, and is sometimes highly inconvenient. That doesn’t mean reality is torture.)

It goes back to the description of the fire as “the fire the eonian”. There is only one unquenchable eonian fire, which salts everyone so that they have peace in their hearts toward one another: that’s God, more specifically the Holy Spirit. Trying to read something less than God for, and as, that consuming fire, is worse than irrelevant.

On the first question, the context of my remark was about a theoretical attempt by an annihilationist at getting around problems with 1 Cor 15 by taking a very extreme view of preterism, so that what Paul’s talking about in 1 Cor 15 has (somehow) totally happened already with the fall of the Temple in 70 (or, as I qualified, something like that, but that’s the typical terminus in full preterism theories). Once someone goes that far however, in denying that anything about what Paul or any other Biblical authority thinks is going to happen in his future applies past 70, then any evidence apparently for annihilation would be readable the same way as already fulfilled in 70.

Remember, the context was a challenge on 1 Cor 15 itself being supposedly decisive evidence for annihilation over universal salvation. On my theoretical anni rebuttal to get around other problems by appeal to an extreme preterism that would read 1 Cor 15 (or the relevant parts of it for our discussion) as already fulfilled in 70, by exactly the same token 1 Cor 15 could not be considered any evidence for annihilationism.

It’s a question of technical grounds. A lot of the scriptural evidence appealed to by annihilationists is simply nullified (I might say abolished :mrgreen: ) as testimony for annihilation on a full preterist interpretation of the same evidence. Regardless of what that leaves over for an annihilationist case, an anni who treats 1 Cor 15 that way will (as I said) be stuck trying to get annihilation to still follow from 1 Cor 15. If they burn that bridge for me to appeal to as something to happen in our future, they burn the same bridge for them to appeal to as something to happen in our future.

On NT Wright only being a partial preterist instead of a “full” preterist, well, yes, obviously one of the criticisms against people who claim to be full preterists is that when it comes down to the wire they’re often only partial preterists after all. :wink: Just like the rest of us whom they tend to denigrate for only being partial preterists. But then we go back to challenges on why various judgment texts ought to ONLY BE READ AS FULLY PRETERMITTED ALREADY and yet other texts are supposedly referring to things still to happen in our future. Those of us who grit our teeth at the advances of the quasi-full preterists tend to think their grounds for arguing only fulfillment in 70 for one class of material could be just as easily applied to other classes of material still to happen in the future of the various Biblical authorities. Which, we think, would quickly lead to nonsense, or at best a gutting of Christian hope for salvation from our sins.

At any rate I’m very well aware that NTW doesn’t actually take his mere preterism line (so to speak) over to other Biblical promises about the future. He restricts it to judgment texts as a rule. But then he’s left without judgment texts as any ground for his annihilationism. Which, okay, he could be a philosophical annilihilationist instead; but then he doesn’t get to present annihilationism as the best Biblical option (and criticize non-annis for not being Biblical enough thereby): he has abolished the Biblical evidence for his annihilationism behind his preteristic reading of judgment and punishment texts.

And I’ve seen him go pretty far before in reading judgment texts as “fully” preteristic. He’s the person I have in mind chiefly for reading Satan as the one we ought to fear instead of human threats, for having the authority and the power to throw people into Gehenna and to destroy the soul as well as the body in Gehenna. That isn’t even supernaturalistic theism anymore, much less trinitarian theism (which he’s nominally supposed to be affirming and supporting). At best that’s some kind of God / Anti-God cosmological dualism. :imp: But it doesn’t matter on his reading because that text is supposed (by its reference to Gehenna punishment) to refer to a judgment fully completed already with the fall of Jerusalem in 70. So why bring Satan into it at all?! Because obviously a fully preteristic reading of that particular Gehenna warning can’t possibly account for language about never minding those who can only kill the body and after that have neither the authority nor the power to do anything more – which is all that could possibly have happened at the fall of Jerusalem in 70. Consequently he looped into a schizophrenic reading of the text: God can’t be the One Who has the power and authority to kill the soul as well as the body in Gehenna, because that would undermine his preteristic reading of other judgment warnings as already fully fulfilled. What’s left over? {cue Church Lady meme here} {and throwing out supernaturalistic theism for some kind of ultimate Satanism}

Granted, that was… gosh, twenty years ago now, twenty-five? Maybe he’s more consistent somehow today. But if one Gehenna reading doesn’t fit his insistence on Gehenna being fully preteristic, then that calls into major question his whole preterism plan about the judgment texts, which (once upon a time anyway) hinged solidly on nerfing the Gehenna warnings as being only about a historical human event to come (the fall of Jerusalem) which naturally got described (before and/or after the event) in florid poetic Ancient Near Middle-Eastern fashions. He can only be more consistent today if he’s more consistently partial in his preterism today: the judgment texts as well as the other future texts can’t be sequestered off by themselves as fully fulfilled already. Which in principle is what the rest of us partial preterists already believed: some prophecies have been fully fulfilled, others have been partially fulfilled, some of the partial fulfillments will be fulfilled more fully later, and so on. But then we don’t denigrate other partial preterists for only being partial preterists like ourselves. :unamused:


#19

Jason:

To say that the intentional infliction of prolonged excruciating pain is not torture is mental gymnastics. I find it hard to believe that deep down you don’t think it’d be cruel to cause someone the physical pain of being burned.


#20

Disciplinary training =/= torture.

Healing with inconvenient temporary side effects =/= torture.

Being made aware of God’s omnipresence =/= torture.

There are massive conceptual differences between any and all of those, and torture. Even though any of them might involve someone feeling like they’re on fire for various reasons, and for a prolonged period of time.

Being saved from freezing to death might experientially seem like torture due to the stabbing needles of pain involved in waking up the body as the nerves are restored, but “torture” is very far from what’s actually happening. Someone who resents what’s happening might willingly misinterpret it, conveniently, as torture, too.

Being still a ‘ghost’ in the far-too-real redeemed world might experientially seem like torture to the ghost (borrowing from Lewis’ somewhat unfortunate The Great Divorce), but that’s also very far from what’s actually happening.


#21

Jason

This is intellectually dishonest. If a group of people were to bind someone and then remove his finger nails, it would be torture even if the group was doing it to get the person to say he was sorry. Likewise, burning a person’s body would be torture even if the person inflicting it was doing it to break his victim’s will. To call inflicting that kind of pain on someone “torture” is simply calling a spade a spade.


#22

This is the crux qaz, If we believe God is Love, then we may well believe that God is totally capable of fixing all sin through Christ and the idea of post mortem ‘correction’ is BS. I work in a long term nursing facility… If the suffering some of these residents go through leads to a afterlife of suffering or of what some want to call correction, That may be a God some may not want to serve. So maybe some of these idialogs that think that some how God will some how massage the bad out of folks can explain the suffering and pain these folks go through.

And are they going to go through it again depending on their place with God?


#23

Speaking of which… I guess that’s one way to describe the whole PU (poo) rationale. :laughing:


#24

I don’t really think of it like that though maybe I’m wrong–or maybe it depends on the person. I’m sure the “torture” as you guys want to call it isn’t at all the same for someone who intentionally murders millions of people in torturous ways as it would be for a little old lady who cheated on her taxes so she could buy bread.

MM, I think what those folks you care for (and their families) go through is hell in itself.

Qaz, I don’t think God tortures people (at all) and certainly not to ‘break their will’. I do think that the unloving acts we’ve committed will BE the “torture.” Maybe because we’ll experience what it’s like to have those things done to us, or maybe because we’ll be given a full understanding of what it was like to be that powerless person we were hurting. I honestly do not think there is ANY fire involved whatsoever, nor that burning people physically (or even pseudo-physically) would be likely to help them repent (unless they had physically burned other people for fun–as some people actually HAVE done).

If PU (another inconvenient abbreviation for you to chuckle at, Davo :wink: ) is true, then I think that most people, and especially the people we worry about–the ordinary people who just went along living life the best they knew how but not being perfect, will repent immediately merely at the experience of the presence of the holiness of God and of His holy love toward not only them, but also toward anyone they may have hurt during their lives. THAT is their fire. I suspect that for the majority of people it will be sufficient.

For others–cruel people who enjoyed hurting others and lording it over others, using their power (whether great or small) to make others their victims, it may be that their experience of post-mortem correction will be more traumatic. Or if not traumatic, then certainly longer–at least from their own pov. It isn’t a matter of getting anyone to “cry uncle.” That wouldn’t work at all. It’s a matter of getting people to realize the hurt they’ve caused and teaching them to have compassion toward other people. It is in very truth a matter of HEALING them from their sinfulness–not by force–that wouldn’t work–rather by giving them an understanding of why it is wrong to commit the cruel acts they committed during life, and thus inducing (sooner or later) a genuine repentance and reformation in them.

As Jesus said in one of His parables, for the one who sinned not knowing it was wrong, few stripes. For the one sinning who DID know it was wrong, many stripes. This latter person, in the parable, was abusing his fellow servants, so we do know what sort of sins Jesus was talking about. We’re not talking about forgetting to say your prayers. We’re talking about an uncaring attitude and even active abuse toward one’s fellow human beings. God isn’t going to take away people’s ability to choose, but He WILL give people full information as to the results and the costs of those choices. That may involve a certain degree of “inconvenience” as Jason puts it–but no more than is needed in order to HEAL the person of his inequities.


#25

Well said, Cindy.

Your comments recall some things i’ve read re the Eastern Orthodox (2nd largest) Church view on the afterlife.


#26

I think this is the aspect that troubles me the most but I do think God chastises the non-elect and unregenerate; I’m just not exactly sure how it works yet. I think one of my problems is scripture seems at least on the book of Hebrews to identify chastisement as something reserved for those who have already come to faith. Then again, it does not specifically say so. But, it would make more sense, in my opinion, if it is reserved only for the elect because then you don’t have someone essentially pulling another person by the neck attempting to make them repent, because the regenerate already want to repent wheras the unregenerate don’t. It seems hard to say that God can enact fatherly discipline on those who are unregenerate because they are not, in the apprehensive sense, children of God.


#27

Removing fingernails to get someone to say they’re sorry does not equal any of the examples I gave above (including other examples you didn’t quote, presumably because then the equviocation attempt would be too obvious).

Trying to equivocate fingernail pulling to force a confession, with saving someone from dying of hypothermia, is what’s “intellectually dishonest”.


#28

Strictly speaking Heb 12 says the discipline is given to those whom the Father intends to inherit. That doesn’t necessarily mean they have come to the faith already. But most of what the Hebraist has to say about punitive discipline (including later in Heb 12), is aimed at backsliding Christians, who aren’t in fact being faithful but who are being intentionally treacherous instead.

The upshot is that whomever God disciplines, God intends to inherit.


#29

Thank you, brother.


#30

Jason:

The pain of having one’s flesh on fire would be at least as awful as having fingernails removed. You seem to think the fact that physically burning a person would be done as “disciplinary training” would preclude it from being torture. That’s incorrect. Burning a person to break his will to rebel would be a textbook example of torture.

en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torture

plato.stanford.edu/entries/torture/

If you don’t think intentionally burning a person alive is torture then you are using an ad hoc definition of torture that you’ve made up.


#31

God doesn’t torture people. His very essence is LOVE (1 John 4:8,16).

The fire of God’s LOVE is immense joy to those who submit to God, but intense pain to those who resist Him.


#32

Paidion, Jason doesn’t think God burns people in the afterlife with literal, physical fire. He just thinks that if God were to, it wouldn’t be torture. I say it would be.


#33

God so loved/loves the world (Jn.3:16).

Alexander, here are some Scriptures related to chastening or correction:

“Whom the Lord loves, He corrects” (Prov. 3:12)

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. (Rev.3:19)

Deuteronomy 8:5
"Thus you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.

Hebrews 12:6
For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastises everyone He receives as a son."

Psalm 39:11 "With reproofs You chasten a man for iniquity; You consume as a moth what is precious to him; Surely every man is a mere breath. Selah.

Psalm 94:10 He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?

Proverbs 15:10 There is severe discipline for him who forsakes the way; whoever hates reproof will die.

And when He comes, He will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment (Jn.16:8)


#34

Neither do I. “Fire” is a figurative term for God’s LOVE. Nevertheless, those who resist that LOVE will experience it as pain.

The Orthodox Church holds that everyone ends up in the presence of God after death, and that His children experience Him as Heaven, and those who rebel against Him experience Him as Hell.