Munging Hell

I am one of those Christians who underwent a true “born again” experience. Surely the absolute worst kind of Christian. I had a life-changing experience that fundamentally changed the sort of person I was. You’re not going to de-convert me so please stop trying.

I could just jump right in and state my view on hell, but first I’d like to make some remarks that I think have a bearing on my view. I don’t know that it’s particularly possible to change someone’s mind about hell by just talking about hell in isolation.

I think the framework from which one views scripture plays a significant role in interpretation and my framework comes from a lengthy study of bible prophecy. It involved my transition from a belief in a “pre-tribulation rapture” where Jesus is going to return any day now (Dispensationalism) to a position known as Preterism, in which Jesus has already returned. This involved the abandonment of “literal” interpretations of certain key texts (e.g., the moon turning to blood). Not Literal. Jesus returning on a white horse with clothes soaked in blood and a sword coming out of his mouth. Not literal. The New Jerusalem. Not literal. And of course, there’s that (in)famous “lake of fire.” Also not literal.

So in a nutshell. That’s my take on hell.

It’s not a literal physical place with a literal physical flaming lake of fire that people will be tossed into to endure eternal agony.

Of course, the actual reasoning was not that simple. There were other passages that needed to be considered. But those are details.

So. I am not here to rescue you from hell.

272 thoughts on “Munging Hell

  1. I don’t want you to check anything Richardthughes. What with your being the expert and all on what is not mentioned in Philo you should already know this.

    You haven’t convinced me you’re an expert on Roman taxation. Convince me you’re also a Josephus expert. Do I expect you to check Josephus? Nah. Why do that when you can check youtube.

  2. keiths: Show us where I have made that claim. Link, please.

    Oh please. If you are not claiming that fire is literal then your questions to me about who is wrong are just posturing.

  3. Poor mung. Being able to check texts doesn’t make me an expert, which I have never claimed to be. It might make me ‘competent’, which you will never be.

  4. fifthmonarchyman: Do you doubt that Caesar would want to know how many subjects there were in his empire?

    peace

    Not at all. I suspect when he did it would have been well recorded and performed in a sensible and logistically possible manner with a goal for taxation, much like the other times it happened.

    Would you agree?

  5. Poor Mung is having another bad thread day. His bluff gets called, and he can’t deliver a link.

    Mung,

    You say that Satan, if he ever existed, no longer does, and you cite the book of Revelation in support of your claim.

    The book of Revelation, four verses earlier, says that Satan exists and is being tormented forever.

    Whether the “lake of fire” is a literal lake of literal fire doesn’t matter, and of course I didn’t make the claim you attributed to me.

    Who is wrong — you, who say that Satan, even if he once existed, no longer does, or the Bible, which says that he does exist and is suffering eternally? Or are you both wrong?

    And given that you were eager to quote Revelation 20:14 in defense of your views, why are you now squirming to avoid addressing Revelation 20:10, just four verses earlier?

    And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

    Revelation 20:10, NIV

    Mung’s Rule of Biblical Exegesis seems to be “quote the Bible when it supports your views, and ignore it when it contradicts them.”

    Resume tap dancing.

  6. Mung: How does one throw a fit?
    How does one throw a game/match?
    How does one throw up?

    I don’t throw a fit into a lake of fire.
    I don’t throw a game into a lake of fire.
    I don’t throw up into a lake of fire.

  7. keiths: Whether the “lake of fire” is a literal lake of literal fire doesn’t matter…

    Sure it does.

    Mung’s Rule of Biblical Exegesis seems to be “quote the Bible when it supports your views, and ignore it when it contradicts them.”

    Since that’s not an argument, there’s no need for a response.

    So if I finally understand you, your latest problem with my position has nothing to do with whether hell exists as a literal lake of fire, but with the existence of Satan.

    Is that correct?

  8. One solution, Mung, would be for you simply to say: “On this issue, I am heterodox, not orthodox.” But that is typically distasteful for most Protestants to say, given their hyper-individualist self-righteousness. Same goes for your IDism. (But don’t take the friendly hint as encouragement unless you have a heart for it.)

  9. Gregory: But that is typically distasteful for most Protestants to say, given their hyper-individualist self-righteousness. Same goes for your IDism.

    Gregory is an expert on what is tasteful and distasteful to most Protestants, Philosophists, Atheists, IDists, you name it. He’s the prince of pigeonholing.

  10. Gregory:
    One solution, Mung, would be for you simply to say: “On this issue, I am heterodox, not orthodox.” But that is typically distasteful for most Protestants to say, given their hyper-individualist self-righteousness. Same goes for your IDism. (But don’t take the friendly hint as encouragement unless you have a heart for it.)

    Could you be more precise? Which issue are you talking about? I’ll ask again, do you have in mind a specific creed? If not, then heterodox/othodox according to whom?

  11. Mung: I don’t have a problem admitting some people consider preterism to be heresy.

    Speaking as a Calvinist supralapsarian partial preterist Anabaptist with annihilationist tendencies and some unusual ideas about the incarnation I definitely feel your pain. 😉

    Peace

  12. Mung,

    “heterodox/o[r]thodox according to whom?”

    Yes, that’s precisely the question, Mung.

    It holds for ‘convert-a-skeptic’ fifthmonarchyman too. Just singing along with Michael W. Smith doesn’t make you ‘orthodox.’ Then again, many ‘individualist’ Protestants simply don’t care & just make things up as they go (hence IDism).

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P2O.HTM
    http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles-2009/Mettalinos-Paradise-And-Hell-According-To-Orthodox-Tradition.php

  13. Thanks Gregory. I’m not a Catholic, and Catholicism itself is a sect of Christianity, as any good Eastern Orthodox would know, and a later one at that. According to Catholicism my views on hell are decidedly heterodox.

    The Catholic position on hell is probably derived from Augustine, who admitted there were other competing views in his time.

    Now a question for you, if you know. Which views of hell have been declared heretical by the Catholic church, if any?

    ETA: Which of my views do you find most distasteful, my view on hell or my view on ID?

  14. Mung,

    So if I finally understand you, your latest problem with my position has nothing to do with whether hell exists as a literal lake of fire, but with the existence of Satan.

    I’ve been explaining your problem for the last five and a half days, OldMung:

    keiths on September 2, 2015 at 4:06 am said:

    Mung,

    You say that Satan no longer exists, if he ever did.

    The Bible says that he exists and is being tormented forever.

    Who is wrong — you, the Bible, or both?

  15. keiths, when you decide to actually make a claim or state an argument I will try to take notice of it. Repetition of silly questions that I have already answered do not qualify.

  16. Elsewhere keiths finally admits he’s engaged in his own subjective interpretations of biblical texts. One might think that’s relevant to the claims keiths made in this thread.

    keiths:
    You’re not fooling anyone, Mung.

    Now that you’ve finally admitted what was obvious to all, this rings hollow.

    Are you going to defend our claims or not?

  17. Moved some exchanges to Guano.

    I know it’s a bit sporadic, but I do want to keep reminding people of the rules of TSZ.

    If you want to spat, take it to Noyau

  18. keiths: As for the ‘Munging Hell’ thread, I’d be happy to pick it up right where we left it. I was waiting for you to answer yet another question that frightened you:

    I have no doubt that you’d like to take up right where you last left off in this thread. But new evidence has come to light. You admitted [elsewhere] that you’re engaged in interpretation.

    I had no problem whatsoever admitting I was engaged in interpretation. It took you a while.

    You can defend your interpretation or you can’t.

    keiths:

    Who is wrong — you, the Bible, or both?

    You failed to exhaust all the possibilities. You could be wrong. You have to admit this. Or did you all of a sudden discover certainty?

Leave a Reply