A Theodicy of Hell by Charles Seymour (auth.)

By Charles Seymour (auth.)

In A Theodicy of Hell Charles Seymour tackles probably the most tough difficulties dealing with the western theistic culture: to teach the consonance among everlasting punishment and the goodness of God. Medieval theology tried to solve the drawback by means of arguing that any sin, regardless of how mild, advantages endless torment. modern thinkers, nevertheless, are inclined to put off the retributive point from hell completely. Combining ancient breadth with designated argumentation, the writer develops a unique realizing of hell which avoids the extremes of either its conventional and glossy competitors. He then surveys the battery of objections ranged opposed to the potential of everlasting punishment and indicates how his `freedom view of hell' can face up to the assault. The paintings could be of specific significance for these drawn to philosophy of faith and theology, together with teachers, scholars, seminarians, clergy, and someone else with a private wish to come to phrases with this perennially difficult doctrine.

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If such punishments are justified by the state, God is equally justified in eternally punishing unrepentant sinners: And as for damages, disgraces, and banishments, are not many of them dateless, and lasting a man's whole life, wherein they bear a resemblance to the pains eternal? And as for him that deserves death by an offense, does the law hold the time that he is dying to be the satisfaction for his guilt, or his being taken away from the fellowship of men? That then which the terrestrial city can do by the first death, the celestial can effect by the second, in clearing herself of malefactors.

55 During the long period of Roman Catholic domination in Europe there was little open rebellion against the idea of eternal punishment. John Scotus Eriugena, an unorthdox Irish theologian of the tenth century, did not go so far as to deny the existence of hell, but he did contradict one of the key tenets of the mainstream view of hell: that it involves physical suffering. "56 In the Muslim world this separationist view of hell was held by Avicenna. 57 Among the many denominations and sects which arose after the reformation were some openly universalist groups.

Three features of his discussion are worth pointing out. First, he argues that the fIre mentioned in scripture as the abode of the damned is a material fire which burns the bodies of the wicked without destroying them. 24, Augustine says: Now, as for this worm and this fire, they that make them only mental pains do say that the fire implies the burning in grief and anguish of the soul, that now repents too late for being severed from the sight of God ... And this anguish may be meant also by the worm, say they ...

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