Dan Kimball is blogging about Hell, as well as one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes. You can read his remarks, together with what will probably end up as a long string of comments here.
Long-time readers know from my past posts that I don’t come down at quite the same place as Kimball. I think that, whatever the images of the ghenna/garbage dump are attempting to portray, they seem to be saying that those who abuse power in opposition to God’s kingdom will not get to live within it. Its not about “zapping” every person who doesn’t profess Christianity, but the process of defeating opposition to God’s reign in the world. I’m also hopeful that some texts (particularly in Paul) really do hint at ultimate universal salvation, as some claim.
In spite of our differences, however, I admire Kimball, because he’s willing to confront the issue head-on. As I’ve said before, my biggest problem is not what people think about God’s judgment and hell, but that Christians just don’t talk about it. Its as if we have no language, no viable theology to describe it or – worse yet – its as if its a big embarrasment that we’d like to ignore.
Christians can’t hide from this issue forever. Everyone – including those who quietly hold traditional, fire-and-brimstone positions – need to follow Dan’s example, and openly discuss this subject.