:I mean, anything that human beings are truly free to do in principle, some human beings will choose to do actually.
Well it's an interesting point for discussion, but I don't think it can be proven.
:This argument won't carry much weight for those who accept the traditional doctrine of divine impassibility. God does not actually suffer pain, or anything else. This is metaphorical language.
I believe that Jesus was (is) the expression of God, and he weeped with us. I know of many people who have felt that Jesus has shown them that he has weeped with them in their pains, laughed
with them in their laughter, and danced with them in their dance. They have found great comfort and love in him showing them this.
He is the Lord of the Dance.
:Here's where I'm coming from:
:I believe that Jesus is the definitive revelation from God, and that the apostolic era represents the final stage in public revelation, that is, revelation that is normative or universally binding for knowing who God is and what He wants us to know.
Additional revelations, what in my tradition would be called private revelations, are possible but non-normative and non-binding, and can never contradict what is known through public revelation.
:So, while I'm happy to meet exegetical arguments on their own terms, my a priori confidence in the correctness of the Church's understanding doesn't depend on my own familiarity with what dissenting voices may be saying. Again, I'm happy
to rebut the arguments on their own terms, but I begin with the confidence that truth can always be defended and error rebutted.
:Ultimately, I look to the bishops, the councils, and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church as the final arbiters of the authentic meaning of divine revelation. Here is where the Church's charism of truth is most authoritatively and definitively exercised.
Fair enough. Here's where I'm coming from. I believe that the Western Church DID let in heresies, and that they are in Catholicism and to differing degrees (sometimes more so) the Protestant groups that came out of this. I believe that some of this thinking can easily be rebutted as error. But what's the point, many people won't listen because the rebuttals are against their error filled traditions, which they have been told that they are heretics (or even worse damned) for not believing.
You say that Holy Spirit is in your tradition, with confidence that error is rebutted, but some of the current Catholic beliefs are very different from older Catholic beliefs. For instance in this conversation you have been saying that the Catholic belief is that all have the choice as to whether or not they accept the gift of heaven. But this wasn't a Catholic belief for centuries.
link to - Early Catholic teaching on Salvation
That's just an example, fitting to this discussion. That early belief survived for centuries, if not a millenium or more.
As well I have read some of the Ante-Nicene fathers, who have some very different beliefs again.
Now you seem like a real good guy, and I most certainly don't want this to come across as a personal attack on you or your faith. So please don't take it that way. I'm just trying to point out my view.
I think that the western church went astray, either through the failure of men, or the influence of the demonic. I believe that three of the main culprits in this were Constantine, Augustine, and Anselemn (I think that's how one spells it.)
But there have of course been others.
Anyhow because of this I am very very
cautious as to any arguments that rely on a tradition that I believe has been influenced by misguided thinking. I also outright reject doctrine that can be proven to be inconsistent with the Bible (in it's original languages). If one starts speaking from Ante-Nicene thought then I'm very much more likely to take it into consideration. Yet here's the thing........as mentioned before there were some Major Ante-Nicene Bishops who were universalists, and it was the time in the churches history when it has been, overall, most open to this doctrine (also obviously when the church was timewise closer to Christ). Most of these theologians spoke in Greek and were reading from the Greek scriptures. The later Latin theologions like Tertullian and Augustine spoke little or no Greek and were reading from the Latin Vulgate, which has been proven to have some major translation flaws. Who should I be more inclined to consider?
Like I said If the apostolic era represents the final stage in revelation, why can I point out places where the traditional churches views and doctrine are in disagreement with the Ante-Nicene Christians. As I've said I have read some of their writings and I can show this to be true in several different places.
So not only can I not buy into what you are saying.... much of the traditional view, which has so strongly been influenced by dark age, and medieval Christianity....... troubles me.
Therefore if Holy Spirit is trying to correct the church we would be wise to listen.
With that in mind I did a little bit of googling and found this Catholic link.
universal salvation - and the Roman Catholic Church
Also here's some quotes from the last Pope. I realize that his use of the word universal salvation might often be indicative of the salvation of Christians outside of Catholicism (yes the
last Pope thought that Protestants are going to heaven.) But there are other quotes that people say have a Christian universalist leaning.
Has the Pope been giving us hope that all will be saved.
:Any suggestion that Eastern Orthodoxy is in any real sense open to universalism seems to me baseless.
Well Peter would be wiser than me to answer this..... and feel free to correct me Peter, but there have been (and are) Eastern Orthodox open to the hope of univeralism.
The point I was really
trying to make was that when one says that the traditional church has been without error on this and other subjects, I can point to ancient traditional
churches that have, at least in part, differing views. They obviously cannot all be right, so therefore there must be errors, to at least some degree, somewhere in the traditional church.
Again please don't take what I've said as an attack or insult on yourself or other Catholics. I'm actually married to a lady who was raised Catholic and then converted to Protestantism. Her family is Catholic and I love them dearly. I have
also attended Catholic functions with them, and am happy to do so. I believe that there are Catholics who know, and sincerly love God, and that Holy Spirit does move in this church. But this cannot change my spiritual and intellectual understanding of some traditions in the Western church (including much Protestant thought.) Peace
To be honest I came on these boards to talk about film, and would be spending more time doing so if Rob Bells book hadn't led me astray.
Greg P said:
I would like to remind you that traditionalists love to use the "more-than-a-mere-parable" of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16 for their proof of literal, conscious torment. Well if that is in fact the case, we have a clear example of a
soul BEGGING to be let out of their physical torments-- thirst, fire, heat, extreme suffering. Not properly choosing and certainly NOT wanting. (of course I do not subscribe to that interpretation at all, and I dont believe the parable is intended
to address the specifics of the afterlife at all)
This brings us back to an earlier conversation. Like I had said before I also don't believe that this parable is talking about punishment.
Yet here is the thing even if it is, the parable is talking about them being in Hades
, not hell, in the original greek (and the more accurate English translations.)
Hades is the place of the dead (a holding tank) which is emptied into the lake of fire and destroyed in the book of Revelation, so therefore it is not eternal. So when people talk about this parable as referring to eternal hell it
actually strengthens my conviction that the doctrine of eternal Hell is, at least in part, based on bad translations of the original languages.
Here is a bit that I wrote on the other thread.
I'm sorry..... but there are an awful lot of Christian scholars, teachers and theologians that do not believe the parable of
the Rich Man and Lazarus is about eternal torments. This includes people who are not universalists.
Have a look.... these are just a few of the studies.
Edited by Attica, 29 April 2011 - 01:56 AM.