Monday, September 30, 2013

"If there is no Hell, What's the Point of Being a Christian?"




          It’s surprising how often I see this come up around the blogosphere as a justification for the necessity and reality of hell.  So much is wrong with it that I hardly know where to begin.  But here are a few thoughts.

         -the “point” of being a Christian is NOT avoiding hell.

-the “point” of Christianity is being reclaimed and restored to right relation to God, each other and the world. 

-the “point” of Christianity is to by faith in Jesus Christ reclaim our primal dignity as God’s royal representative in creation and protector and nurturer of creation to its full flourishing.

-the “point” of Christianity is to begin to live here and now, even if in partial and fragmentary ways, the life “of the ages,” the eternal life we will fully live then and there.

-the “point” of Christianity is more about who we are (God’s image-bears) and restoration to that status than about who we have become (sinners).  The latter is, thank God, dealt with by Christ but it is but the “prelude” to the full meaning of his life, death, and resurrection.

-in short, the “point” of Christianity is more about here and now than it is about then and there (whether “heaven” or “hell)!

If we cannot reframe our gospel message to get beyond the “prelude” to the proper substance of the story, others will rightly reject it as irrelevant and boring.

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