NT Wright doubts the traditional view of Hell

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by evangelist6589, Oct 25, 2014.

  1. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    Was reading the book SURPRISED BY HOPE and in his chapter PURGATORY, PARADISE, AND HELL he casts doubt on the traditional view of Hell and says that the word Hell that most believe comes from medieval imagery over from what the early Christian writers said. That would be true if most read Dante's Inferno literally, however what baffles me is this line.

    The point is that when Jesus was warning his hearers about Gehenna he was not as a general rule, telling them that unless they repented in this life they would burn in the next one (176).

    He goes on to doubt the validity of Luke 16 and refers to it as a "parable" taken from stock imagery from ancient Judaism, and he also says in reference to Luke 13:3 that Jesus was warning his hearers of the coming judgment on Jerusalem in AD 70 by Commander Titus as that was the primary meaning he had in mind. While this may be true it is not WRONG to use Luke 13:3 to warn people of the burning Hell that awaits them if they do not repent.

    Reading this guy he knows his stuff and is more of a NT Scholar than Mac and Sproul combined. However others scholar at his level such as DA Carson do not agree with him. I am also reading a book called SIGHS FROM HELL by John Bunyan and he uses some very harsh language in reference to Hell and to that of sinners. I will not repeat his language on this board for fear of an infraction. I may not even repeat his language when I am out witnessing, but no doubt Bunyan takes the scripture literally.

    So what say you? Is NT Wright correct, or is Bunyan correct on what the Bible teaches on Hell? I am all for the traditional view and believe NT Wright is wrong on a number of issues, so its no wonder people like Rob Bell would endorse this book.
     
    #1 evangelist6589, Oct 25, 2014
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  2. quantumfaith

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  3. JonC

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    I think we need to remember that "traditional" often means a more contemporary (in regards to Christianity as a whole) acceptance. But if you continue with the chapter, your conclusion may not be the same. While NT Wright views the example as a parable, this does not mean it is an orthodox view. Many have been on one side or the other here. Personally, I don't view it as parable but factual narrative. That doesn't mean, of course, that I'm right.

    I remember Tim Keller saying that he believes Hell, with the imagery of fire and worms, to be a metaphor. If we stop there, we may be tempted to cry 'heretic." Of course if we continue, he clarifies that he views it as a metaphor for something much more worse than fire and worms.

    I do like that Wright points out those condemned are no longer "human" as they will no longer bear the image of God (where as man is created in His image). They will not receive pitty. I have never thought of that before.
     
  4. evangelist6589

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    I just read bits and pieces of the chapter. You get me interested and please do not suggest I buy a book on the topic. But if I did I may consider one of the following. What is the best?

    Whatever Happened to Hell? (John Blanchard Classic Series)
    Hell on Trial: The Case for Eternal Punishment
    Four Views on Hell
     
  5. JamesL

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    If you're pulling verses out of context to make your case, then it is most certainly wrong, because you're going to end up making up pieces to fit that erroneous context
     
  6. JonC

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    Actually I was thinking of the one you were reading. 4 views was good also.
     
  7. Yeshua1

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    he holds though that death of jesus was by being punished by Rome, NOT by God directly as the sin bearer, that he cannot hold to a "primitive" view that sees the father willing to punish Jesus for our sins personally, so how can he have a view of hell be traditional if he misses up that fundemental truth of the cross?

    Does he hold they cease to exist then?
     
  8. JonC

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    I don't know...I, apparently like you from previous discussion, have not read enough of Wright to form an opinion on his view of Hell.

    Does Wright hold that the lost cease to exist? If that is the question, I'll answer that it does not appear to me that is the case. He emphasized in the book Evangelist#### is reading that the lost will exist, but no longer possess the image of God. His view of Hell as a progression in this life as well as an eternal state reminds me in many ways of Tim Keller’s position.
    But, again, I have not exposed myself to enough of Wright’s works and viewpoints to form a legitimate opinion of their validity.
     
  9. evangelist6589

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    I don't think so. Luke 13:3 can be used for evangelism purposes.
     

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