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  #1  
Old Mar 24, '11, 12:51 pm
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catholictiger catholictiger is offline
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Default Theology: Is Hell Crowded or Empty?

someone showed me this blog entery of Father Barron's i'm sure many of you have heard of him maybe some of you are avid readers of father Barron. I just wanted to see your thoughts on this recent blog post. Sorry if someone already posted this.

ill let the blog do the talking for me

Quote:
An internet controversy is percolating around a recently published book by well-known evangelical preacher Rob Bell. In this text, Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, Bell apparently advocates the “universalist” position on salvation, according to which everyone in the end is saved and that Hell, accordingly, is empty. Many of his evangelical co-religionists are arguing that this doctrine runs counter to classical biblical Christianity and is designed to appeal to a trendy post-modern audience for whom the only unforgiveable sin is to be “exclusive.” This dust-up over Hell made the main page of the CNN website the other day and has prompted tens of thousands of responses and questions. Obviously Hell is still (forgive the pun) a burning question among both believers and non-believers.
Quote:
Now in the wake of this condemnation, other theologians moved practically to the other extreme. St. Augustine, fifth century bishop of Hippo, held that original sin had produced a massa damnata (a damned mass) of human beings, out of which God, in his inscrutable grace, has deigned to pick a few privileged souls. Thus, Augustine clearly believed that the vast majority of the human race would be damned to hell. And though it makes me uncomfortable to admit it, my hero, St. Thomas Aquinas, followed Augustine in holding that a very large number of people are Hell-bound; he even taught that among the pleasures that the saints in heaven enjoy is the contemplation of the suffering of the damned!
Quote:
Think of God’s life as a party to which everyone is invited, and think of Hell as the sullen corner into which someone who resolutely refuses to join the fun has sadly slunk. What this image helps us to understand is that language which suggests that God “sends” people to Hell is misleading. As C.S. Lewis put it so memorably: the door that closes one into Hell (if there is anyone there) is locked from the inside not from the outside. The existence of Hell as a real possibility is a corollary of two more fundamental convictions, namely, that God is love and that human beings are free. The divine love, freely rejected, results in suffering. And yet, we may, indeed we should, hope that God’s grace will, in the end, wear down even the most recalcitrant sinner.
http://www.wordonfire.org/WoF-Blog/W...-or-Empty.aspx
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  #2  
Old Mar 24, '11, 1:08 pm
Ashton Gaskill Ashton Gaskill is offline
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Default Re: Theology: Is Hell Crowded or Empty?

I just had a similar discussion with a friend last night. My thoughts on this topic are essentially the following:

God wants everyone to be with Him in Heaven. However, He gave us free will because love is not love if it is not freely given, which we could not do without free will. So we have the ability to do choose God or to not choose God.

But what does "choosing God" really mean? I could go into it a bit more, but I'm going to boil it down to Jesus's top two commandments: Love God and love one another. God wants us to love everyone. So if we live lives of love, we can be with him in eternity. If we choose to live lives without love (with anger, hate, or lust) then we get to live without God.

Of course, being human, we can never live perfectly loving lives. This is where God's love and grace comes in. God decides whether we have love or anti-love in our heart. He decides whether we did god enough or not. All we can do is try out best and not be deterred when we fail. As long as we truly desire to live in His love, we'll be fine.

So, in conclusion: Choose to live a life of love and go to heaven. Choose to live a life of hate and go to hell. The choice is yours.
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  #3  
Old Mar 24, '11, 1:40 pm
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Alexander Smith Alexander Smith is offline
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Default Re: Theology: Is Hell Crowded or Empty?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashton Gaskill View Post
So, in conclusion: Choose to live a life of love and go to heaven. Choose to live a life of hate and go to hell. The choice is yours.
Does committing one mortal sin at the very end of your life (thus dying outside the state of grace) constitute living a life of hate?

Heaven or Hell is determined at the end of our lives when we die, and has everything to do with our exact state at that point in time. Our entire lives are meaningless in the end. Our present condition is what matters.
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  #4  
Old Mar 24, '11, 2:03 pm
mellestad mellestad is offline
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Default Re: Theology: Is Hell Crowded or Empty?

If no-one ended up in Hell for eternity then the word choice of the Bible would seem rather odd to me. But I think the same thing for the arguments Lewis made. If that was the reality of the thing, I'd think it would just be explained that way by the authors.

I understand the difficulty that leads to these discussions though. I'd be skeptical of anyone who claims to have a good grasp on what Hell might be. I dunno.
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  #5  
Old Mar 24, '11, 2:52 pm
gurneyhalleck1 gurneyhalleck1 is offline
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Default Re: Theology: Is Hell Crowded or Empty?

They're already making room down there for the cast of Jersey Shore
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  #6  
Old Mar 24, '11, 3:02 pm
thirddec thirddec is offline
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Default Re: Theology: Is Hell Crowded or Empty?

If hell exists then it will be both empty(bar 1) and full; each individual there will be in their own private hell alone but all the private hells will merge into one very crowded one.

It is almost more problematic hell than heaven as to imagine saintly people to be so engrossed in their own pleasure while oblivious to the immense suffering of others srta seems the opposite to the qualities that would earn them a place in heaven to start.

It doesn't actually really help in spiritual developement in my mind thinking about heaven or hell as afterlife but rather the apparent heavens and hells that exist in this world and how we should respond.

Love and Respect
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  #7  
Old Mar 24, '11, 3:08 pm
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svid2 svid2 is offline
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Unhappy Re: Theology: Is Hell Crowded or Empty?

I think it's fairly crowded. Only maybe the damned don't know it, they are suffering horribly and think they're alone.
I read somewhere that the damned don't want to leave hell, they hate it but hate everyone else, too, including God. They actually want you and me there so we can be miserable, too.
I'm considered a 'nice' pleasant and friendly person. 'Nasty' people don't want me around. They only like being around other 'nasty' types. They only blame others when anything goes wrong, and I think hell must be like that.I hope I'm not judging people, but we all know people who only can stand being around a few people, people who hate and gossip. I pray for these people. They make me feel sorrow and pity, and so do the damned.
Okay, enough, svid2.
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  #8  
Old Mar 24, '11, 3:11 pm
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Default Re: Theology: Is Hell Crowded or Empty?

If hell is empty... where is Satan and friends?
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  #9  
Old Mar 24, '11, 3:19 pm
roseofshannon roseofshannon is offline
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Default Re: Theology: Is Hell Crowded or Empty?

With all due respect to St. Thomas Aquinas, I don't understand how the Saints in heaven can enjoy contemplating the sufferings in hell.

Wouldn't that be malice?
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  #10  
Old Mar 24, '11, 3:22 pm
PatrickSebast PatrickSebast is offline
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Default Re: Theology: Is Hell Crowded or Empty?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mellestad View Post
If no-one ended up in Hell for eternity then the word choice of the Bible would seem rather odd to me. But I think the same thing for the arguments Lewis made. If that was the reality of the thing, I'd think it would just be explained that way by the authors.

I understand the difficulty that leads to these discussions though. I'd be skeptical of anyone who claims to have a good grasp on what Hell might be. I dunno.
Considering even the Church and our Popes have had struggles with coming to an understanding of Hell and despite the teachings that universalism is a bad doctrine the Catechism itself expresses a hope for the idea of universal salvation:


· 1058 The Church prays that no one should be lost: ‘Lord, let me never be parted from you.’ If it is true that no one can save himself, it is also true that God ‘desires all men to be saved’ (1 Tim 2:4), and that for him ‘all things are possible’ (Mt 19:26).

· 1821 We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will. In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere ‘to the end’ and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God’s eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ. In hope, the Church prays for ‘all men to be saved.’


And JP2 in his encyclical Redemptoris Missio expressed that universal salvation was a hope and possibility while still acknowledging that eternal damnation was also a possibility I would say that doubting anyone who claims a clear understanding of Hell is a good practice. If 2000 years of theology and discussion can still leave the Church in muddled position then the idea that a single individual would be imparted with any sort of perfect knowledge on the matter is quite suspect.
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  #11  
Old Mar 24, '11, 3:28 pm
Lancer Lancer is offline
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Default Re: Theology: Is Hell Crowded or Empty?

First...The Catechsim...

1036 The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny. They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion: "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few."618
Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed, we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed, and not, like the wicked and slothful servants, be ordered to depart into the eternal fire, into the outer darkness where "men will weep and gnash their teeth."619

1037 God predestines no one to go to hell;620 for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want "any to perish, but all to come to repentance":621
Father, accept this offering
from your whole family.
Grant us your peace in this life,
save us from final damnation,
and count us among those you have chosen.622


V. THE LAST JUDGMENT
1039 In the presence of Christ, who is Truth itself, the truth of each man's relationship with God will be laid bare.626 The Last Judgment will reveal even to its furthest consequences the good each person has done or failed to do during his earthly life:
All that the wicked do is recorded, and they do not know. When "our God comes, he does not keep silence.". . . he will turn towards those at his left hand: . . . "I placed my poor little ones on earth for you. I as their head was seated in heaven at the right hand of my Father - but on earth my members were suffering, my members on earth were in need. If you gave anything to my members, what you gave would reach their Head. Would that you had known that my little ones were in need when I placed them on earth for you and appointed them your stewards to bring your good works into my treasury. But you have placed nothing in their hands; therefore you have found nothing in my presence."627


Second...Holy Bible...The Word Of God

Scripture gives us the truth about everyone being saved...I submit...Pastor Bell...as fine a person and well meaning as he is...he is simply "smelling something other than roses". Here is what The Truth says...


Quote:
Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition
THE LETTER OF JUDE

5 Now I desire to remind you, though you were once for all fully informed, that he * who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels that did not keep their own position but left their proper dwelling have been kept by him in eternal chains in the nether gloom until the judgment of the great day; 7* just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise acted immorally and indulged in unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. 8 Yet in like manner these men in their dreamings defile the flesh, reject authority, and revile the glorious ones.
Lastly...an observation:

With~ @6 billion people on the planet...and @4 billon of them professing belief in the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob
(13 million+ Jews...1.2 billion+ Catholics ...1.1 billion+ protestant Christians... 250 million+ Orthodox Christians...1.5 billion Muslims )

With all of us "4 billion believers"...even with only moderately lukewarm believers and practitioners of our faith traditions...if we were all going to get to heaven with "pastor Bell's ..no sweat...piece of cake... a walk in the park..theology."...you have to believe that the world today...would have to be a far better place than it is...I mean Pastor Bell just doesn't make sense...even without The Word of God saying he is wrong. Just look at the carnage of the 20th Century...and the 21st isn't starting off much better.

Pax Christi
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  #12  
Old Mar 24, '11, 3:29 pm
PatrickSebast PatrickSebast is offline
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Default Re: Theology: Is Hell Crowded or Empty?

Quote:
Originally Posted by roseofshannon View Post
With all due respect to St. Thomas Aquinas, I don't understand how the Saints in heaven can enjoy contemplating the sufferings in hell.

Wouldn't that be malice?
I don't find it to be a really palpable idea either, but we are in no way required to believe in every individual teaching of Saints or even Church Doctors. If we were there would be quite the conflict when St. Therese's writings on Hell were compared to St. Aquinas'.

I suspect whatever the truth is, it isn't something that a human can easily grasp anyway.
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  #13  
Old Mar 24, '11, 3:54 pm
StevieD StevieD is offline
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Default Re: Theology: Is Hell Crowded or Empty?

Our Lady said at Fatima that "...many souls go to hell.." she also said that sins of the flesh were a major reason for that situation. If that was the case in 1917, what is it like now?
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Old Mar 24, '11, 4:33 pm
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catholictiger catholictiger is offline
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Default Re: Theology: Is Hell Crowded or Empty?

did anyone read father barron's blog entry, none of you have addressed his post yet I would love if you would

so please read father barron's blog then respond thanks
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  #15  
Old Mar 24, '11, 4:56 pm
StevieD StevieD is offline
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Default Re: Theology: Is Hell Crowded or Empty?

Quote:
Originally Posted by catholictiger View Post
did anyone read father barron's blog entry, none of you have addressed his post yet I would love if you would

so please read father barron's blog then respond thanks
I have read the blog and it doesn't change the clear scriptural indications that Hell is real and people go there and go there forever. He said that it would have been better for Judas if he had never been born, if Judas was to spend eternity in heaven, then Jesus' words would not be true. It also doesn't change Our Lady's words at Fatima about the fate of many nor those of many saints on the subject. Hell is real, people go there and stay there forever. That is the unfortunate truth taught by the Church since its beginnings.
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Jesus Christ said, " This is my Body. " You say, " No. It is not His Body!" Who am I to believe? I prefer to believe Jesus Christ.-- Bl. Dominic Barberi
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