Salvation 2.0: Part 3.14: David Bentley Hart’s “God, Creation, and Evil,” Part 7

grace5The fate of the Jews

Now, I suppose I should address whether the Jews are a special case. And the great theologians differ. But I think we can lay a few principles down pretty clearly, even if we can’t answer every question with certainty.

First, Paul goes out of his way to specify that, after Pentecost, the Jews will be saved by faith in Jesus or not at all. That’s the point of his great missionary midrash on Deu 30 in Rom 10 — Continue reading

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Salvation 2.0: Part 3.13: David Bentley Hart’s “God, Creation, and Evil,” Part 6

grace5Justice vs. forgiveness

Ah, but there is a problem with Wright’s thesis. The saved — Christians — will have the opportunity to forgive those who’ve sinned against them, thereby releasing themselves from the hold that the sin of others has over them. I entirely agree. But what of the lost?

Well, the lost will cease to exist. They will be destroyed and, to the extent God’s perfect justice so requires, they will be punished for their own sins. And they will be vindicated, in that those who’ve sinned against them will suffer the same fate — except, of course, for the saved. But the saved who’ve sinned against others — all of us — will be forgiven by God but at the price of being made fully aware of the awful price that our sins have cost God — especially Jesus on the cross. (I both look forward to and dread that day!) I mean, we can’t become truly in God’s image and not be fully aware of the cost of the cross. Continue reading

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Email Issues

email downI have over 1400 email subscribers, and I’ve received four or five messages that emails aren’t getting through and about that many confirming that email is working.

Of course, people who gave up on the site due to email failure never got the email asking how their email is doing. So it’s hard to know what to do …

Here’s the plan —

  1. I’m contacting my ISP consultant (my nephew) to see if he can find a problem on this end. He’s cleaned up a lot of problems that built up over the years, but fixing someone else’s code is never easy.
  2. If you’ve contacted me by any means regarding not getting email, I’ve checked what I know how to check. You’re correctly in the email database.
  3. Please check your junk mail/spam filter. With all the references to “hell” and “damnation” lately, I wouldn’t be surprised if One In Jesus has been trapped as spam. Most software has a place to enter a safe list or “white list” of sites you trust. Enter While you’re at it, also enter (The difference is the “s” after “http”.)
  4. You might prefer to read One In Jesus using an RSS reader, such as Feedly. Click on the link, set up a free account (no reason to pay for the pro version that I can find), and then add One In Jesus as a site you wish to follow. You can do this through the search feature or by clicking the Add Content button.
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BibleWebApp: Multimedia Bible study website

biblewebappYet another Internet Bible study resource is available for free, the BibleWebApp. It requires an Internet connection, and although it’s a webpage, it works like a smartphone app.

On a smart phone, you use it through your browser, but it works very nicely. Most phones let you bookmark the site so that it becomes accessible just like an app.

It defaults to three windows: the text in English (you pick translation), the text in Greek, and a results window, showing word search results or the result of a looking up a word in Hebrew or Greek.

Very simple. Very cool. Very free. Continue reading

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Salvation 2.0: Part 3.12: David Bentley Hart’s “God, Creation, and Evil,” Part 5

grace5N. T. Wright on God’s solution for evil

I read N. T. Wright’s Evil and the Justice of God a few years ago, and I was disappointed. I just didn’t find the answers very satisfying.

After all, I’m a chronic-pain suffering person. I don’t know pain nearly as many around the world do. I mean, there are many who would justifiably envy my situation, bad back and all. But I do know pain.

But I was still hoping for a magic cure. But there’s no magic in Christianity. And it took me some time to see the profundity of what Wright says. Continue reading

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Is Email Down?

email downI’ve had a couple of readers email me complaining that they are no longer receiving emails from One In Jesus. I need to know if this is a problem from my end or local to those readers.

If you’re an email subscriber, you should have received at least one email per day from One In Jesus. Have you received daily emails during this last week?

(Of course, if you don’t get my emails, you won’t get this request, meaning that no response at all means nothing. Technology can be so frustrating. But at least maybe I can confirm that some are receiving emails. Maybe.)

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Scot McKnight on Heaven

The Heaven PromiseFrom Scot McKnight as the Jesus Creed blog: Top Ten Ideas about Heaven.

This based on McKnight’s new book The Heaven Promise — which I’ve not yet read but certainly will. But I’ve gotten this far:

In the theocentric heaven, the focus and unending characteristic is praise of God. The kingdom-centric heaven focuses on the new heavens and the new earth, where God’s people will live with one another after the pattern of life God intended for them. Here’s a chart of these two views:

Theocentric                          Kingdom-Centric
God                                             God and God’s people
Glory of God                             God’s perfect society
Mode of life: worship              Worship and fellowship
Atmosphere: holiness             Justice and peace
Gathered for worship              Social engagement
Family eliminated                    Family perfected
Fellowship diminished            Fellowship emphasized
Location: heaven up there      New heavens, new earth
Spiritual existence                    Embodied existence

McKnight, Scot (2015-10-06). The Heaven Promise: Engaging the Bible’s Truth About Life to Come (Kindle Locations 295-304). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. Continue reading

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Salvation 2.0: Part 3.11: David Bentley Hart’s “God, Creation, and Evil,” Part 4

grace5The fate of those without God before the Resurrection of Jesus

This may be overkill, but the question few people address in these sorts of discussions is the fate of Gentiles before the resurrection. Some of these people were doubtlessly good people (as humans perceive good). Some were just as evil as Hitler. There were great atrocities committed in ancient times, but some good things were accomplished as well.

And this leads to the obscure but important doctrine of the patience (or forbearance) of God — his decision to wait on us to repent rather than being done with us. It doesn’t seem that important of a doctrine until you view it through the lens of the covenants. Continue reading

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Wineskins: May We Judge as Jesus Judged?

WineskinsbannerI’ve posted an article at Wineskins: “May We Judge as Jesus Judged.”

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Salvation 2.0: Part 3.10: David Bentley Hart’s “God, Creation, and Evil,” Part 3

grace5When I first advised Richard Beck that I’d be critiquing Hart’s article, he asked me
this —

As far as any advice I’d offer you as [you] take on that task is to give your readers a clear and specific answer to how conditionalism handles something like the Holocaust. Specifically, I’d like to see Fudge or you give an clear and unambiguous answer as to where those six-million Jews stand in relation to eternity. Are they in 1) in hell, 2) annihilated (or dead forever) or 3) eventually saved?

I’m not sure I understand the question. I mean, I understand the words, but not why this is supposed to be a particular challenge. But evidently it’s a standard argument in the Universal Reconciliation (UR) debate, as NT Wright addresses it in defending his own view of theodicy (how to reconcile a good God with evil in the Creation). The point seems to be that it’s unthinkable to declare that the Holocaust victims went to hell; therefore, we must accept UR. Not so fast my friend! Continue reading

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