Dan (poserorprophet) wrote,

Ten Propositions on Hell (an alternate proposal)

A short while ago, I read Kim Fabricius' "Ten propositions on hell" which is quoted in full on Ben Myer's blog (cf. http://faith-theology.blogspot.com/2006/09/ten-propositions-on-hell.html). I thought I would provide 10 alternate (but not necessarily contradictory) theses on hell.

Let us begin by asserting that:

(1) Jesus saves us from hell in the same way that he saves us from death.

This can then be rephrased in a more provocative manner:

(2) Jesus does not save us from hell any more than he saves us from death.

Yet:

(3) Our salvation from death does not prevent us from dying. Rather, our salvation from death is a salvation that leads us through death.

Consequently:

(4) Our salvation from hell does not prevent us from "descending into hell." Rather, our salvation from hell is a salvation that leads us through hell.

If this is the case then:

(5) What we mean by the word "hell" must be reconsidered.

As we do this we must note that:

(6) The references to hell in the early creeds (the Apostles' Creed and the Athanasian Creed) occur within the domain of Christology (and they are not a part of the assertions about the final end state of humanity -- which only speak of the "resurrection of the dead" and the "life everlasting").

Therefore:

(7) "Hell" must be understood within the framework of Jesus' mission.

When this occurs:

(8) "Hell" is best understood as the place where Jesus' ultimate, and salvific, solidarity with "sinners," with the god-forsaken, and with those who experience the utter extremes of exile comes to its fullest expression.

Furthermore, it must be remembered that:

(9) Christians are called to participate in the mission of Jesus, not because Jesus' victory was incomplete, but so that Jesus' victory can be implemented in the present.

Therefore:

(10) Christian's are not saved from hell, if that is taken to mean a complete escape from hell. Rather, Christians are saved so that they can participate in Jesus' descent into hell, and share in his mission of salvific solidarity with the god-forsaken.
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