Thursday, May 11, 2006

salvation from what?

Well, the natural progression of my thought process, as drew so helpfully pointed out, it so to move on to the possiblity that Christ's death has redeemed all of humanity in the same way that Adam's sin condemned all humanity. This is another one of those ill-fated musings from the high school hallways that got me hammered. All this time I thought that it was a truly heretical thought, but I'm finding that there are a lot of reputable and learned humans who would readily defend this position. drew has a lot of very helpful information, more than I could possibly digest, as I have a little bit of an attention span issue. What I have read so far has been very enlightening and helpful on the subject.

Of the articles I have read, one has been a comprehensive exploration of the Bible's support of our conventional definition of hell. I am told there is none. I am looking for an article with convincing argument to the contrary, just for balance. The non-existence of a place of eternal torment certainly makes sense to me. I have never quite been able to reconcile the idea of hell and a God of love.

The Jehovah's Witnesses visit me almost every week, and I always enjoy our talks. When our conversation drifted to the subject of hell, they explained to me that they don't believe in it. They said that God only promises to give eternal life to the righteous. In order for there to be a hell in the modern understanding of the word, God would have to first give eternal life to the unrighteous, and then throw them into hell. It's inefficient, illogical, and I'm finding has no base in scripture.

All of this leads me to what feels like the next most logical question..... If there is no hell, what does universal salvation save us from?

I suppose that the answer to that question could be simply death. Is it possible that aside from Christ's sacrifice, the human soul upon leaving the human body would simply cease to exist? This would make sense to me, after all, the introduction of sin is what supposedly caused man to become capable of dying, although I had always thought of that (as I think a lot of people do) in a physical sense. It had never occurred to me that the soul could cease as well. Maybe this is a result of my upbringing, or maybe the instinctive knowledge that I have indeed been saved.

I meet few people these days who don't believe in the ongoing life of a soul after the death of its body. Perhaps these people also sense the salvation of Jesus, regardless of their specific religious or spiritual beliefs.

The other nagging thought in my head is the question of whether a soul can be destroyed. Energy can't be created or destroyed, it only changes forms. Is a soul like energy? As far as I can tell, this is not a biblical idea, but I would like to explore it. I sense a foreboding conclusion at the end of that line of logic, but I want to educate myself further on the idea before I start working myself into a lather. Any thoughts on the subject would be helpful.

1 Comments:

Anonymous drew said...

I wish I could give you a good certain answer, but I can't so I'll just post something I posted about soteriology (the study of salvation) some time back on a message board:

"I fall more into what I understand the Caponian view to be, that Christ took all of humanity up into himself in his life, death, and resurrection, and all have already been redeemed in him. However, those who cannot accept the good news (gospel) that all have been redeemed will spend their existence (for however long) in a state of torment until they can accept God's grace towards themselves and/or the rest of mankind and get "saved". This state is not a separate place from those who are already "saved" (those who do accept the gospel), just a different state of mind/being which I would call hell. So in a way, the only people in hell are those who do not believe that everyone will go to heaven, or at least that not everyone has already been redeemed. I think the big mistake is in thinking of heaven and hell as separate places rather than states of mind/being in the exact same locations (both here on earth and in the afterlife as I believe heaven and hell both begin right here in this life). Our job as Christians is to proclaim this glorious good news (gospel) that God has already redeemed us and all we have to do to experience it is believe it."

Oh, and good entry, by the way. Keep up the searching, and if there is any truth to be found out there hopefully we'll all find it.

May 13, 2006 9:15 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah mystery messiah