Tag Archives: History

Christian views on hell: moving back to Origen

This was a great post on a blog that I follow. Perhaps I shall do a blog post at a later date with my thoughts on the ability to rightly comprehend Heaven, Hell, death, and the afterlife in general. For the moment though, I believe my comment in the post (which I have also pasted just below) sums up my thoughts nicely.

I think Hell often gets downplayed because it is so difficult to imagine. The mind cannot rightly comprehend an eternity of suffering so it comes up with ideas that are more familiar to it such as a temporal prison sentence or that it simply doesn’t exist art all. In a way, this is how heresy springs up: we cannot fully comprehend so we make it something we can comprehend.

Churchmouse Campanologist

This follows on from Monday’s post about hell. Please note that there is an adult image and disturbing content in this entry.

In the 1970s my secondary school religion teachers taught that Origen was a heretic and that the Church declared him as well as his teachings anathema. In short, they said that Origen started out as a devout Christian then went off-piste.

My mother told me the same thing years before.

Today, Origen seems to be all the rage. The modern Church has rehabilitated his reputation, and clergy are encouraging us to adopt his beliefs.

Two of Origen’s beliefs concern hell and universalism. Origen held that hell was temporary, akin to a very long-term purgatory, and wrote that there will come a point in eternity when God will accept the population of hell — including Satan — to heaven.

Is that what the Bible says?

As far…

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Miracles didn’t happen all the time, but they do now

Sometime I’ll hear the argument that, “According to the Bible, miracles happened all the time. If the Bible is true, why don’t they happen now?” That argument is so terrible flawed that it’s difficult to fathom someone actually using it, yet it happens all the time. Here’s the first problem, miracles as the common world views them didn’t happen all that much and the Bible never makes any sort of assertion that they did. “But just read the Bible,” they say. “They happened all the time.” Okay. I have read the bible and here is what people who make that argument don’t seem to realize. The Bible takes place over thousands of years. On top of that, it follows the lives of what, roughly 30 people or so? More if you include the minor individuals. So what we have here is actually a record of a few miracles that happened to a few people over a few thousand years. When you put it in context, you kind of realize that miracles weren’t just happening all over the place willy nilly. If they did, they wouldn’t be miracles. They’d be common events that people could reasonably expect.

As for the second part, miracles do happen today, though they are not always recognized as such. That is why in the first part, I refered to miracles as how the common world views them.  In fact, there is a miracle that happens today that is greater than in all of scripture. A miracle that I would argue has happened more often in the past two thousand years than in all of scripture combined.  That is whenever an individual is granted salvation through the grace of Christ. There is no greater miracle than that. His shed blood on the cross that you might be saved is proof that salvation is a miracle because if there was something you needed to do, it wouldn’t be much of a miracle now would it.