Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Brian McLaren and Tony Campolo on Hell, what's next?

Well at least Brian McLaren has said something we can put a finger on, yet he still does not back his assertions up with anything but conjecture from his own reasoning and he does still seem to leave himself enough wiggle room to claim he is not a heretic. There was a couple posts over at Christianity Today: Post 1, Post2 with regards to Tony Campolo and Brian Mclaren’s views on hell and trying to form a third view. McLaren actually admits to be closer to the idea of universalism than he does to those that believe in exclusivism. But once again McLaren seems to set up a dichotomy that instead of dealing with theological truth we just need to feed the hungry, care for the poor and so on. The problem is that we are to do both and not either/or. Simply because he sees the church doing a poor job dealing with social issues does not mean that the church is wrong on theological issues or should ignore them.

Tony Campolo in Part 1 shows that simply using scripture is not enough as scripture needs to be rightly divided. He uses two passages Ephesians 4:9-10 and 1 Peter 3:19 to conclude that there is a good chance that there is a second chance to go to heaven once one dies. He seems to ignore much of other scripture for passages that in his words “can be interpreted” to back up his assertion.

It is interesting that those that have aligned themselves with the so called Emerging Church side of things so often do exactly what they claim they are against. I hear that the church has become to consumer and individual oriented, and I agree with this, but their answers seem to simply cater to a different consumer a, I guess, more compassionate consumer. So in doing this they simply create theology that includes all so all can be included in what they see God calls them to do. This in the end leads to a lot of busy and compassionate people heading towards hell, a hell that does exist regardless of the machinations these two men try.

By the way it is not only men like McLaren and Campolo that desire to deal with hell in a less than biblical manner. I remember reading a quote by John Stott, I wish I could remember where so this is just from memory so check it out yourself, on hell. In the quote he admits to his view of annihilationism as not being founded so much on scriptures teaching on hell but on his views of God. I hear he may have restated this in some manner but now simply says he is not sure (If any one has a link to where this was done it would be great to have that).

Bottom line is that the doctrine of hell is discomforting to the world and it is meant to be that way. If we water it down or deny it we are not telling the truth to people and more importantly we are denying what God’s word actually says.

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