This Sunday we come together at QBC to look at Heaven, Hell and all that stuff. Its the stuff we rarely think about (at least hell is) and then there is the idea that we will spend eternity in ‘heaven’… another curious inheritance that may need some re-thinking and clarifying. I like NT Wright’s assertion that ‘sure – you will go to heaven – but you don’t stay there’. He focuses on what he calls ‘life after life after death’ which is definitely more hope-filled and inspiring than whatever heaven may be.
Bell’s book Love Wins (see promo above) put this issue back on the mainstream agenda quite significantly when it was released and Francis Chan’s response Erasing Hell pushed back hard arguing for a more traditional take on the subject.
This video is a clever pushback on the Love Wins promo and takes a different perspective
Chan’s basis for argument was that ‘God is always right about everything’ so if I don’t understand hell then the problem lies with me. Bell was a bit more elusive, but does seem to be saying that God will ultimately draw everyone to himself in this life or the next.
There are of course other options and the late John Stott is known for his annihilationist perspective an argument he suggests may not be traditional but is certainly within the bounds of orthodoxy.
So on Sunday we will come together to chew this one around. And… yes… I will offer my two bobs worth at the end but only after we have helped people really grapple with the issues both biblically and practically.
The title of this post is of course tongue in cheek as I’m sure we all will feel that our persepctive is the ‘truth’ and that we have taken the ‘biblical’ position. Whatever you may think of Rob Bell (I like the guy) he does remind us that we have a tendency to use the word ‘biblical’ as a lump of 4×2 to batter others into submission to our point of view. In reality we bring our own perspectives to the Bible and while we will endeavour to interpret it truly we may well end up with the ‘truth as we see it’.