The Sinner, a fictional Christian character in search of answers on the nature of the last things in 20th and 21st century I created, seeks the nature of the rapture and the final state of righteous and unrighteous. This article concisely presented two different answers the Sinner will get from N. T. Wright in Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, The Resurrection, and The Mission of the Church (2008) with Guy P. Duffield and Nathaniel M. Van Cleave in Foundations of Pentecostal Theology (1983).
Interpreting 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 and 2 Thessalonians 2: 1-3, Duffield and Van Cleave adopted a face-value literal approach. They would inform the Sinner that on Christ Jesus’ second coming, she will raptured (1983: 527- 30), transported from earth to heaven, to be with Christ Jesus. Wright would strongly disagreed with Duffield and Van Cleave’s reading. Wright argued that there is no rapture because heaven is going to come here on earth. It is not the Sinner who is going to be with Christ, but Christ “com[ing] back to us” (2008: 124). Wright argued,
“When Paul speaks of ‘meeting the Lord in the air,’ the point is precisely not—as in the popular rapture theology that the saved believers would then stay up in the air somewhere, away from earth. The point is that, having gone out to meet their returning Lord, they will escort him royally into his domain, that is, back to the place they have come from” (2008: 133) Continue reading
Some of modern Christians shelter a delusion that the God’s anger, wrath and judgement is inconsistent with His love and goodness, and they have set to banish “these undesired attributes” from their thoughts and sadly also to their listeners, who can not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears as they accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions(2 Tim 4:3).
Coming to the second page of “What About the Flat Tire?” in Rob Bell’s Love Wins, A Book About Heaven, Hell and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, Bell pose a rhetoric questions:
Does God punish people for thousands of years with infinite, eternal torment for things they did in their few finite years of life?(emphases added)
A sinful, unregenerated and itching ears would want to hear “No, because it would not be fair for a loving God to punish finite sin with infinite judgement”. It is the answer that suits a sinful fallen person’s passion.
Is Hell Fair? How is God’s love and wrath describe in the Bible? How does it work? Were are we to begin?
Plurium Interrogationum, Latin, meaning many questions also known in Critical Thinking as Loaded Question.
Times: Rob Bell
A loaded question is a question that carries a false or questionable presupposition, posed to trick a person into implying something which was not intended.
In the book, Love Wins, A Book About Heaven, Hell and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, one encounters many rhetoric questions loaded with emotional and false presuppositions. I will address only few important questions:
Does a loving God really send people to hell for all eternity?
Emotional words in this question are: “love” and “really”. Undressing these words from the question helps a reader to ponder the question without the authors presumptions namely God cannot be loving if he sent people to hell for all eternity.
Removing the emotional wording, the unloaded question appear as
Does God send people to hell for all eternity? Continue reading
What is the wrath of God and why we ought to speak of it?
The wrath of God[wrote A. W. Pick] is a perfection of the Divine character on which we need to mediate frequently. First, that our hearts may be duly impressed by God’s detestation of sin. We are ever orine to regarrd sin lightly, to glorss over its hideousness, to make excuses for it. But the more we study and ponder God’s abhorrence of sin and His frightful vengeance upon it, the more likely are we to realise its heinousness. Second, to beget a true fear in our souls for God. “Let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire”(Heb. 12:28,29). We cannot serve Him “acceptably” unless there is due “reverence” for His awful Majesty and “godly fear” of His righteous anger, and these are best promoted by frequently calling to mind that “our God is a consuming fire”. Third, to draw out our soul n fervent praise[to Jesus Christ] for having delivered us from “the wrath to come”(1 Thess. 1:10). Our readiness or our reluctance to meditate upon the wrath of God becomes a sure test of how our hearts really stand affected towards Him(J.I Packer, Knowing God p. 177 cites A.W. Pink’s The Attributes of God p.77)
What is that mantle that turns mere talkers into preacher?
God did not ordain the cross of Christ or create the lake of fire in order to communicate the insignificance of belittling his glory. The death of the Son of God and the damnation of unrepentant human beings are the loudest shouts under heaven that God is infinitely holy, and sin is infinitely offensive, and wrath is infinitely just, and grace is infinitely precious, and our brief life — and the life of every person in you church and in your community — leads to everlasting joy or everlasting suffering. If our preaching does not carry the weight of these things to our people, what will? Veggie Tales? Radio? Television? Discussion groups? Emergent conversations?
God planned for his Son to be crucified (Rev. 13:8; 2 Tim. 1:9) and for hell to be terrible (Matt. 25:41) so that we would have the clearest vision possible to what is at stake when we preach. What gives preaching its seriousness is that the mantle of the preacher is soaked with the blood of Jesus and singed with the fire of hell. (Preaching the Cross John Piper, p 105-6 )
“That’s” Piper answers “the mantle that turns a mere talkers into preachers. Yet tragically some of the most prominent evangelicals voices today diminish the horror of the cross and the horror of hell – the one stripped of its power to bear our punishment, and the other demythologized into self-dehumanization and the social miseries of this world”. Continue reading
“We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”
A growing list of signatures signed by world wide scientists with Ph.D. in a scientific field such as biology, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, computer science, or other natural sciences; or holding M.D. and serve as professor of medicine refusing Darwinian theory.
Dissent From Darwin: What is it about:
During recent decades, new scientific evidence from many scientific disciplines such as cosmology, physics, biology, “artificial intelligence” research, and others have caused scientists to begin questioning Darwinism’s central tenet of natural selection and studying the evidence supporting it in greater detail.
Yet public TV programs, educational policy statements, and science textbooks have asserted that Darwin’s theory of evolution fully explains the complexity of living things. The public has been assured that all known evidence supports Darwinism and that virtually every scientist in the world believes the theory to be true.
The scientists on this list dispute the first claim and stand as living testimony in contradiction to the second. Since Discovery Institute launched this list in 2001, hundreds of scientists have courageously stepped forward to sign their names. Continue reading