Responding to - academicatheism. Topic - Hell
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” - Matthew 10:28
Hell is not a real place. - academicatheism
“The horrors of hell are such that they cause us instinctively to recoil in disbelief and doubt; yet, there are compelling reasons that should cause us to erase such doubt from our minds. First, Christ, the Creator of the cosmos, clearly communicated hell’s irrevocable reality. In fact, He spent more time talking about hell than He did about heaven. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5–7), He explicitly warned His followers more than a half-dozen times about the dangers that lead to hell. In the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24–25), He repeatedly told His followers of the judgment to come. In His famous story of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16), He graphically portrayed the finality of eternal torment in hell.” - Hank Hanegraaff
Hell is a plagiarized concept with no corollary in Judaism. The Jews have Sheol, which despite Christian tradition, isn’t hell-like at all. Hell most likely derives, in part, from the Narakas of ancient Buddhism and the Hades of the ancient Greeks. The latter is even more likely given that your religion is the result of Judaic and Hellenic syncretism. - academicatheism
This idea that Christianity is a conglomerate of several other religions has long been refuted. Can we please leave ‘Zeitgeist’ where it dwells, refuted and debunked.
There is no separation between Old and New Testaments. It is not two separate religions, it is one continuous story laying foundation upon foundation.
“The doctrine of hell does not stand alone as a kind of ancient Christian horror story. Rather, hell is inseparable from three other interrelated biblical truths: human sin, God’s holiness, and the cross of Christ.” - Douglas Groothuis
- “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. Daniel 12:2”
- But your dead will live, LORD; their bodies will rise– let those who dwell in the dust wake up and shout for joy– your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead. Isaiah 26:19
- “And they will go out and look on the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; the worms that eat them will not die, the fire that burns them will not be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind.” Isaiah 66:24
Jesus asked what a person’s life would be worth if he or she were to gain the whole world but forfeit his or her very soul (Matt.16:26). Hell is the loss of the soul, a reality so terrible that Scripture uses a variety of ways to describe it. The graphic reports of hell in Scripture — such as the abyss (Rev. 9:1-11), the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14), the blackest darkness (Jude 13), the weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 25:30) — disclose the stark reality of eternal separation from God. - Douglas Groothuis
If you haven’t studied the history of your own religion, please refrain from posting this stupidity on the atheism tag. - academicatheism
Is atheism so fragile that it cannot defend itself?
You’re quoting a simpleton apologist who quoted another simpleton apologist. - academicatheism
“When you throw mud at someone else, you not only get your hands dirty, but you lose ground.” - Ravi Zacharias (Insult by academicatheism #1)
Neither of them consulted the historical development of Christianity, its doctrines, and metaphysics. They therefore cannot be trusted. - academicatheism
Baseless accusation said about any Christian apologists one chooses to quote. Including the likes of Douglas Groothuis, Francis Schaeffer, Hank Hanegraaff, Ravi Zacharias, C.S. Lewis….etc.
“When you throw mud at someone else, you not only get your hands dirty, but you lose ground.” - Ravi Zacharias (Insult by academicatheism #2)
In any event, the fact that you revel in believing in a place where non-believers and non-Christians will burn forever is repulsive. You have to be sick to want this place to exist. - academicatheism
Francis Schaeffer said, the doctrine of hell must be taught “with tears.” Even God says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9).
"Only by understanding hell can we grasp the immensity of God’s love. God’s love took His Son to the hell of the cross for our sake. This is a costly love, a bloody love, that has no parallel in any of the world’s religions. Although other religions (particularly Islam) threaten hell, none offer the sure deliverance from it that Christianity offers through the sacrificial love of God Himself.” - Douglas Groothuis
So we Christians are despised and rejected of men, called simpleton’s and daft by mockers for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that those who are perishing may find everlasting life,
‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. ‘Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgement, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.’
You have to be daft to believe in it without thinking twice. - academicatheism
“When you throw mud at someone else, you not only get your hands dirty, but you lose ground.” - Ravi Zacharias (Insults by academicatheism #3)
What crime, for example, merits eternal punishment? An all-wise, all-good deity will come up with a measure proportionate to the crime. Even fallible human punishments attempt to do this. You do not, for instance, receive a sentence of twenty-five to life for petty robbery. Steal $10 from your neighbors table and you won’t find yourself in a cell for a quarter century. Such a punishment would run counter to the notion of justice. - academicatheism
“Lawbreakers deserve punishment. But is hell too extreme? The great American theologian Jonathan Edwards took this question up in his essay, “The Justice of God in the Damnation of Sinners.” Edwards argued that because God is “a Being of infinite greatness, majesty, and glory,” He is therefore “infinitely honorable” and worthy of absolute obedience. “Sin against God, being a violation of infinite obligations, must be a crime infinitely heinous, and deserving of infinite punishment.”
Edwards’s much maligned but solidly biblical sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” presses home the point that without Christ we have no grounds for confidence and every reason to fear hell. God, who is angry with sin, could justifiably send the unrepentant sinner to hell at any moment. Jesus Himself warned, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10:28).” - Douglas Groothuis
But what you’re speaking of is perfect justice. Why would perfect justice punish you eternally for temporary disobedience? It’s the hallmark of vanity and pride. “You lived forty, sixty, eighty years and never obeyed me—you never gave precedence to my will; for this reason, depart from me, I never knew you—go ye now and partake of eternal damnation.” - academicatheism
“In a relativistic culture, the very concept of sin must be elucidated and defended vigorously. If morality is relative to each person, then there is no higher moral standard one can meet or break. But as C. S. Lewis argued in Mere Christianity and The Abolition of Man, the idea of an objective moral law is inescapable. When we are snubbed or exploited, we call out for justice. When we encounter people of grit and grace, we praise them as moral examples. Our conscience is more than mere instinct or social conditioning. Yet because there is often a great gap between our ideals and actions, we suffer guilt and regret. Despite our denials and excuses, our consciences dog us throughout our days.
Christianity explains the global stain of human guilt by placing it in a theological framework that both sharpens its sting and makes relief possible. Sin is a moral condition that offends the holy God and removes us from His approval.” - Douglas Groothuis
Even Hitler didn’t warrant eternal punishment for his vicious war crimes. A billion years? Perhaps. Five billion? Maybe. Leave it to an omniscient consciousness to come to that decision.- academicatheism
“Finally, common sense regarding justice dictates that there must be a hell. Without hell, the wrongs of Hitler’s Holocaust would never be righted. Justice would be impugned if, after slaughtering six million Jews, Hitler merely died in the arms of his mistress with no eternal consequences. The ancients knew better than to think such a thing. David knew that it might seem for a time as though the wicked prosper despite their evil deeds, but in the end justice will be served. We may wish to think that no one will go to hell, but common sense regarding justice precludes that possibility.” - Hank Hanegraaff
What such a being wouldn’t decide is eternal punishment for temporal infractions. By simple extrapolation from what humans have developed in their systems of law, this is the most reasonable conclusion. - academicatheism
Here is exactly the point Ravi Zacharias was stating as affirmed by the very words of academicatheist (above bold), “That truth, by the way, is why even the horror of hell is more the outcome of a heart that seeks to disown God and play God.
So while displaying their utter hatred for God and the rejection of hell academicatheism has only confirmed the both. Even their argument for a moral law in an amoral universe betrays their beliefs in atheism,
"Let me narrate an interaction I had with a student at the University of Nottingham in England. As soon as I finished one of my lectures, he shot up from his seat and blurted out rather angrily, "There is to much evil in this world; therefore, there cannot be a God.” I asked him to remain standing and answer a few questions for me. I said, “If there is such a thing as evil, aren’t you assuming there is such a thing as good?” He paused, reflected, and said, “I guess so.” “If there is such a thing as good,” I countered, you must affirm a moral law on the basis of which to differentiate between good and evil.“
I reminded him of the debate between the philosopher Frederick Copleston and the atheist Bertrand Russell. At one point in the debate, Copleston said, "Mr. Russell, you do believe in good and bad, don’t you?” Russell answered, “Yes I do.” “How do you differentiate between them?” challenged Copleston. Russell shrugged his shoulders as he was wont to do in philosophical dead ends for him and said, “The same way I differentiate between yellow and blue.” Copleston graciously responded and said, “But Mr. Russell, you differentiate between yellow and blue by seeing, don’t you? How do you differentiate between good and bad?” Russell, with all of his genius still within reach, gave the most vapid answer he could have given: “On the basis of feeling-what else?” I must confess, Mr. Copleston was a kindlier gentleman than many others. The appropriate “logical kill” for the moment would have been, Mr. Russell, in some cultures the love their neighbors; in others they eat them, both on the basis of feeling. Do you have any preference?“
So I returned to my questioning student in Nottingham: "When you say there is evil, aren’t you admitting there is good? When you accept the existence of goodness, you must affirm a moral law on the basis of which to differentiate between good and evil. But when admit to a moral law, you must posit a moral lawgiver. That, however, is who you are trying to disprove and not prove. For if there is no moral lawgiver, there is no moral law. If there is no moral law, there is no good. If there is no good, there is no evil. What then is your question?”
There was a conspicuous pause that was broken when he said rather sheepishly, “What, the, am I asking you?” There’s the rub, I might add.
Now, I do not doubt for a moment that philosophers have tried to arrive at a moral law apart from the positing of God, but their efforts are either contradictory in their assumption or conclusions. I might say this is particularly true of David Hume. More on that later. I have gone to great lengths to use this illustration from the Copleston-Russell debate because your question, sir, was an echo of Russell’s philosophical attack upon theism. When someone said to him, “What will you do, Mr. Russell, if after you die you find out there is a God? What will you say to Him?” Russell said, “I will tell Him He just did not give me enough evidence.” Russell, in stating that, took a position diametrically opposed to scriptural teaching. The Scriptures teach that the problem with human unbelief is not the absence of evidence; rather, it is the suppression of it. “Nothing good can come,” said Professor Richard Weaver, “if the will is wrong. If the disposition is wrong, reason increases maleficence.” George MacDonald rightly argued that “to explain truth to him who loves it not is to give more plentiful material for misinterpretation.”
Let me summarize:
1. To justify the question, God must remain in the paradigm; without God, the question self-destructs.
2. God has created us in His image. Part of that image is the privilege of self-determination.
3. The greatest of all virtues is love.
4. God, in His love, has created us, and in response, love from us has to be a choice. Where there is no choice, it is coercion, which means it is not love. In the Christian message alone, love precedes life; in every other world-view, life precedes love. Therefore, in the Christian framework, love has a point of reference, God Himself.
5. God communicates to mankind in a variety of ways:
a. Reason (philosophical),
b. Experience (existential),
c. History (empirical),
d. Emotions (relational),
e. The Scriptures (propositional), and
f. Incarnation (personal). Take these six areas that are open to serious critical thinking, and you will find that the problem is not the absence of evidence; rather it’s the suppression of it. May I add that it was in this very school that Simon Greenleaf, professor of jurisprudence, said of the documents of the New Testament, “You may choose to say I do not believe it all, but you may not say there is not enough evidence.”
- Zacharias, Ravi K., “Can Man Live Without God” Word Publishing (1994)
Please note, however, that I am talking of our better rather than worse systems. God, if he were perfect, would far surpass the better of our systems. - academicatheism
Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.…(Isaiah 55:7-9)
Your beliefs lack even a scintilla of critical thinking. - academicatheism
”(T)he concept of choice demands that we believe in hell. Without hell, there is no choice. Without choice, heaven would not be heaven; heaven would be hell. The righteous would inherit a counterfeit heaven, and the unrighteous would be incarcerated in heaven against their wills, which would be a torture worse than hell. Imagine spending a lifetime voluntarily distanced from God only to find yourself involuntarily dragged into His loving presence for all eternity. The alternative to hell would be worse than hell itself in that humans made in the image of God would be stripped of freedom and forced to worship God against their will.“ - Hank Hanegraaff
“When you throw mud at someone else, you not only get your hands dirty, but you lose ground.” - Ravi Zacharias (Insult by academicatheism #4)
Keep your blatant idiocy to yourself. - academicatheism
“When you throw mud at someone else, you not only get your hands dirty, but you lose ground.” - Ravi Zacharias (Insult by academicatheism #5)
Lastly, I appreciate the input academicatheism has placed into this discussion :)