Two Paraphrases from Matthew 10:28

Every early church father that I have found (Justin Martyr, Chrysostom and Origen) understands Christ in Matthew 10:28 to be saying that God can destroy body and soul (or breath) in hell (Vale of Hinnom). Only a tiny minority of recent scholars think that Christ is talking about Satan in Matthew 10:28. According to PeterContinue reading “Two Paraphrases from Matthew 10:28”

it so brilliantly and penetratingly depicts the psychological conditions of those who condemn themselves to hell

I have always thought this the most fascinating aspect of C.S. Lewis’s sole genuine theological masterpiece, The Great Divorce: it so brilliantly and penetratingly depicts the psychological conditions of those who condemn themselves to hell that it inadvertently shows this self-condemnation to be as much a condition of unwilling slavery as of willing perversity—as muchContinue reading “it so brilliantly and penetratingly depicts the psychological conditions of those who condemn themselves to hell”

it so brilliantly and penetratingly depicts the psychological conditions of those who condemn themselves to hell

I have always thought this the most fascinating aspect of C.S. Lewis’s sole genuine theological masterpiece, The Great Divorce: it so brilliantly and penetratingly depicts the psychological conditions of those who condemn themselves to hell that it inadvertently shows this self-condemnation to be as much a condition of unwilling slavery as of willing perversity—as much adventitiouslyContinue reading “it so brilliantly and penetratingly depicts the psychological conditions of those who condemn themselves to hell”

this genuine image for every human being is Christ

From Sergius Bulgakov’s The Bride of the Lamb: It is necessary to understand that the parousia, the comíng of Christ in glory, that is, in the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, is, as such, already the judgment. The parousia cannot be an external and mutually indifferent encounter between God who has come into the worldContinue reading “this genuine image for every human being is Christ”

Our Lord replied with a laugh, “You’re asking me for a difficult thing, my dear Kristos Samra!”

Material in this post is from “The Life and Visions of Krəstos Śämra, a Fifteenth-Century Ethiopian Woman Saint” by Wendy Laura Belcher from African Christian Biography: Stories, Lives, and Challenges edited by Dana Lee Robert (Cluster Publications, 2018), chapter 5, pp. 80-101. (Available online at wendybelcher.com.) The autobiography of 16th-century Ethiopian nun and visionary, SaintContinue reading “Our Lord replied with a laugh, “You’re asking me for a difficult thing, my dear Kristos Samra!””

when the whole fullness of our nature has been perfected

God has one goal: when the whole fullness of our nature has been perfected in each man, some straightway even in this life purified from evil, others healed hereafter through fire for the appropriate length of time, and others ignorant of the experience equally of good and of evil in the life here, God intendsContinue reading “when the whole fullness of our nature has been perfected”

a light that is merciless until they can accept its mercy

Wendell Berry on Heaven and Hell: I imagine the dead waking, dazed, into a shadowless light in which they know themselves altogether for the first time. It is a light that is merciless until they can accept its mercy; by it they are at once condemned and redeemed. It is Hell until it is Heaven.Continue reading “a light that is merciless until they can accept its mercy”

A List of Online Articles (and a Reading List) by David Bentley Hart

A few folks have asked me for this list from time to time, so I plan to start maintaining it publicly. Here is a list of online articles by David Bentley Hart going back in time (with his exchange with N.T. Wright separated below): “Three Cheers for Socialism: Christian Love & Political Practice” in CommonwealContinue reading “A List of Online Articles (and a Reading List) by David Bentley Hart”

God our Savior, Who Desires all People to be Saved

The Crucifixion, tempera, Andreas Pavias (active in Crete during the second half of the 15th century). At a recent book club discussion (on The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies, to give only the subtitle), a gentle Christian lady seated to my left asked me if the author David Bentley Hart could still be consideredContinue reading “God our Savior, Who Desires all People to be Saved”

heaven is reality itself

C.S. Lewis in The Great Divorce: Walking proved difficult. The grass, hard as diamonds to my unsubstantial feet, made me feel as if I were walking on wrinkled rock, and I suffered pains like those of the mermaid in Hans Andersen. A bird ran across in front of me and I envied it. It belongedContinue reading “heaven is reality itself”