just a quick addition to this debate.
John 17: 3
Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent
Jesus here defines “eternal life” as a qualitative thing…it doesn’t say “Now this is eternal life: that they may live forever with you” etc. the definition is qualitative. so perhaps the word should’ve been translated as “boundless?” or “abundant?”
afterall, Jesus came to give us life, and that more abundantly.
crikey, all that and no reference to the probable use of aionios in that passage
i don’t see a massive issue between “life everlasting” being parallel to “punishment everlasting” since the word for “everlasting” is in doubt.
taking into account that God wills for none to perish, and that God does not cast anyone aside forever (Lamentations 3:31), it seems more in keeping with His character to read the text like this.
“Then they will go away to lasting punishment (which we know from the whole Bible is not permanent), but the righteous to lasting life (which we know has no decay and no death…so this becomes everlasting when fitted into the rest of the Bible).”
there really is no massive conflict. as to “ethereal” versus “eternal”…i’d be quite capable of blaming Calvin for alot of evil, and happy to do so, but didn’t the Catholic church predate him with notions of ECT?
also, the Catholic church was capable of throwing its weight around for a long time before and during and after this period, simply because what the Pope said goes. that doesn’t count as a “majority” positon, it counts as tyranny. and we can see that such tyranny had many real material goals in this world.
honestly, the more i consider this issue, the more i am convinced of God’s ability to save EVERYONE, and His desire to do so. i still have reservations, but they are being slowly cast aside.
every other school of thought i’ve considered fell woefully short and was peppered with logical inconsistencies.