I am sure Jeff Turner,Michael Hardin and Brad Jersak are not really idee fixe people, since God has made them also sons of God in training.
For very intelligent people to get so hung up on whether there is a hell as well as a heaven seems extraordinarily childlike somehow.
Like, if there is a hell it means that God can't be kind. So like others who would call themselves universalist there simply is no jeopardy in their idea of how things are. This is entirely going on in their heads, because life as you know isn't like it, The Bible is full of jeopardy. Jesus nearly, but for an angel, didn't make it. He was hours away from slaughter as a baby.Imagine what then?
I have no firm answers, but i really believe strongly this email received today from John Stevens is part of the conversation.
|Melchizedek Particle about to surprise an atom|
Hi Chris - some further thoughts on waves....
It gets very strange down there with reality. Electrons were nice and simple always turning up near the +ve end of things so we all thought 'ah another nice piece of matter...-ve and light' and then someone blew the whole world apart by passing an electron through a single slit and detecting it in more than one place the other side of the slit.
Worse...one electron can interefere with another and do the loud/soft bright/dark interference pattern thing.
Whatever an electron may turn out to be it just seems to be able to morph according to each experiment acting as a particle in one and a wave in another.
I've been reading through Isaiah and getting completely lost in one sentence on grace and mercy the other on fire and brimstone. The world melts and the world is remade. Jerusalem crushed, Jerusalem restored. Occasionally the fog clearsand it gets very historical e.g. the Assyrian attack or very alleagorical/prophetic like ch 53 but on general it's left me thinking 'o boy what must have Isaiah been thinking as all this revelation poured through him?'
So there's a clear message of grace and mercy and glory. And also one of judegment and disaster. And they co-exist. Occasionally time (like pulling a single time-line strand of spaghetti out of a steaming pile) seems to sequence things i.e. pride before a fall, but most often it's simultaneous.
Prophetic word-waves interfering with one another producing amazing patterns of judgement and grace across the Middle East and Israel.
This is the ministry of Jesus.....to surprise people by the Life of Christ.
Melchizedek order particles do the same to this universe all the time.....they are in the world but not of it!!!!!
In Jesus' day there was Herod and Pilate and other contenders to his throne. But in the end the slit closed with the cross and Israel is forever redefined around the Messiah.
Again in our day the Israel we hear about is perhaps more Saul than David but beyond the media slit lies the alternative true story of gentiles and Jews in congregations within the historic borders of Israel. Adullum like. Hidden from view. That's where the grace and mercy and glory lies.
And for us. Do not confuse apparent lulls with inactivity of the Spirit. Paul, in jail, chained, wrote epistles that have changed the world.
Jesus began his ministry surprising everyone at a wedding reception with the quality of His wine.