Cover 2020-03-08

Ron Writes

Does Hell Make Sense?

Over the past several decades a new theological progressivism has been developing. It questions religious authority. In many circles today, the Bible is no longer the source of authority for Christian belief. People are beginning to believe their own interpretation of reality over the Bible. Their own sentiments, flawed reasoning, and their ever-changing passions have begun to dictate what is true. Once you decide that your feelings are more authoritative than God’s Word, you end up with the moral chaos we see today. This is nearly exclusively a North American movement.

There are certain assumptions of cultural and racial superiority implicit in this approach to Scripture. As author Tim Keller points out “every single solution to apparent problems in Scripture suspiciously confirms the values of white North Americans.” Take the concept of hell. For most white middle and upper-middle class Americans who have always been on the winning side of justice, the idea of God punishing evil is inconceivable. But for many others in the world (including lower class Americans) injustice is very real. They have lived lives among great injustices. To these people, stripped of any real justice, hell makes perfect sense. In fact, for much of the world the idea of a just God is good news!

For Christians living under Sharia law in Muslim countries, for women in Saudi Arabia, for Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, for native Americans who have endured genocide and the theft of their lands, for children living in America’s inner cities – for these and many more people, justice makes perfect sense. In fact, the idea of justice and hell is only incomprehensible to the privileged.

The question should never be does hell make sense, but “what does the Bible teach?” Why should North American sensibilities be the final judge of whether anything in Christianity is valid? As David Young points out “Progressives find much of the Scriptures to be out of step with what they think must be true.” For non-believers to reject the Bible is better than for Christians to change the teachings of the Bible to conform to their feelings and sentiments. People reject the Bible because they don’t want it to be true. Christians declare that the Bible is the inspired Word of God!