THE VALIDATION OF HELL AS A POSTULATE
The issue of a loving God who created an eternal Hell and then condemns the “crown jewel” of His creation to Hell’s unthinkable terminative extremities of torment is a most troubling and perplexing question that has haunted theologians of the Judeo-Christian variety for multi-millennia. For many who live outside the containment walls of Christianity, this is the mea culpa place of rejecting the Judeo-Christian concept of God. How it is possible for a being of His magnitude exist as the self-proclaimed revelation of love, yet condemn people mercilessly to eternal punishment, in a seemingly capricious manner?
This is the crux of the debate between biblical traditionalists and Universal Reconsiliationists. Universal Reconsiliationists insists the proposition is a surd, a nonsensical paradox that produces an irresolvable dilemma that negates the possibility of God’s existence as a maxim, or it reduces God’s goodness to a substandard measurable quantity at a minimum. Biblical Traditionalists defends the standard Western Christian position, attempting to remove the argument from the nature of God’s character, thereby placing it into the understanding of freewill rejection of relational comportment between man and God. I hope to build a case for the justice of God as a method of enacting punishment for disobedience to the grace presented as the only basis for reconciliation to occur within Scripture.
In the act of equivocating, a distinction between individual sins and the more significant expressions of lifelong infractions, I hold that the self-perpetuating rebellion of humanity justifies the extent of the punishment. Utilizing syllogistic rhetoric, straw men presentations are erected before being systematically dismantled. A significant challenge arises when Paul’s understanding of grace attributed to non-initiates to faith’s message in Romans 2:14-16 is considered. For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.
Some, like William Lane Craig, teach that Paul assigned a secondary pathway to grace’s salvific power to the field of natural theology’s effect of the conscience of those who have never heard the Good News of Jesus. Paul’s teaching about uses these argumentative functions to attack the objection of Hell’s reality and those who have yet to listen to the Gospel’s message of redemption. Does this constitute an action that justice facilitates, or is a more sinister event being enacted in the offing?
Following the trail that leads to Natural theology’s logical conclusions, a defense can be made for a modified universal application of salvific grace, as represented to those who have died in sin without having the opportunity to repent and trust in Christ Jesus’ redemptive work. Craig asserts that people in this classification will be judged not on the merits of Christ, but rather on the benefits of the self-revelation of God in nature and God in law. This is a hermeneutically troubling and potentially unsound representation that places the Natural view of theology’s revelation squarely outside the sensible application of implicational validity, in my opinion.
Instead, Natural theology takes on the more significant burden of explicating revelatory power. The problem with this view is not in logic or assumption. Graciousness motivates the typical response of its proponents. The difficulty lies within the lack of evidentiary theorems contained in Scripture. They simply do not exist. Thus, an extra-biblical theory must be formulated to account for the need to placate this hard expression of the reality of sins devastating effects.
A more plausible utilization of natural implication would be to possibly draw referential inferences for illustrative convenience rather than establishing non-verifiable signatures. The natural occurrence of cancer and its treatment for the advancement of life for the holistic survivability of the sensate unit may be better utilization of physical tools for comprehension. Simply because a cancerous growth is removed/treated/destroyed does not mean one hates their body or is unjust in treating that which is cancerous in such a callous manner. Although the cancerous tissue belongs to the individuals proportioned essence, to allow cancer to remain would be disastrous.
This same argument could be made for the mad scramble to find a cure for the AIDS virus. To ignore the disease would mean the spreading of the infection that is oscillatory to life’s existence. Love of self allows the harsh removal and treatment to preserve existence. This probably is a better explanation of the supposed conflict between a God of love and Hell’s reality. The spread of sin must be effectively dealt with for the betterment of the individual and the creation that individuals live within corporately.