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Love Wins: a Book about Heaven, Hell and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived

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2 hours ago, Mark Sanguinetti said:

if you want to call it tagging that is your choice. I do not have a copy of the book you are mentioning to comment on after reading it. Instead I have many other books to read on this subject and yes that also includes actual biblical versions. My question is to those who have a copy of this book and have read it. Does this author ever mention scriptures from the book of Revelation to state his views? For example, the last three chapters, of the book of Revelation, chapters 20-22.

You have (unspecified, but cited only one besides your own research project) other book on what you guess is the subject of Bell's book. I suppose making inferences based on the title, but for some reason seeming to have an aversion to reading the book that's the subject of this thread.

For either or both of you Mark and wordwolf

Love Wins on archive.org for borrowing. 

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1 hour ago, Rocky said:

You have (unspecified, but cited only one besides your own research project) other book on what you guess is the subject of Bell's book. I suppose making inferences based on the title, but for some reason seeming to have an aversion to reading the book that's the subject of this thread.

For either or both of you Mark and wordwolf

Love Wins on archive.org for borrowing. 

I normally wouldn't consider that as an option, but now I'll consider "borrowing" it that way.  Presuming their system lets me. 

I'm curious why you're being so cagey about the book's contents, but I'll play along anyway.

 

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On 9/17/2019 at 1:53 AM, Rocky said:


(snip)

"Of all the billions of people who have ever lived, will only a select number "make it to a better place" and every single other person suffer in torment and punishment forever? Is this acceptable to God? Has God created millions [billions] of people over tens of thousands of years who are going to spend etermity in anguish? Can God do this, or even allow this, and still claim to be a loving God?"

"Does God punish people for thousands of years with infinite, eternal torment for things they did in their few finite years of life?"

"This doesn't just raise disturbing questions about God, it raises questions about the beliefs themselves.
Why them?
Why you?
Why me?
Why not him or her or them?"

For perspective, how freaking narcissistic does that make Victor Paul Wierwille and The Way International by claiming they had the ONLY way to be in the "Household of God?" How indeed?

Or how about Vince Finnegan who reportedly has repudiated claims that once one gets saved (as we understood, by way of Romans 10:9-10), that's it. Has Vince really preached that God will cast believers in to the Lake of Fire if they don't toe Vince's (or anyone else's interpretation of what one must comply with to remain saved) line?
 

I invite Greasespotters to read Rob Bell's book with me. More background on Rob Bell. From Time.com April 14, 2011

"The standard Christian view of salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is summed up in the Gospel of John, which promises "eternal life" to "whosoever believeth in Him." Traditionally, the key is the acknowledgment that Jesus is the Son of God, who, in the words of the ancient creed, "for us and for our salvation came down from heaven ... and was made man." In the Evangelical ethos, one either accepts this and goes to heaven or refuses and goes to hell.

 

"Bell, a tall, 40-year-old son of a Michigan federal judge, begs to differ. He suggests that the redemptive work of Jesus may be universal — meaning that, as his book's subtitle puts it, "every person who ever lived" could have a place in heaven, whatever that turns out to be.

 

Sure sounds like Rocky AND "Time.com", whom Rocky chose to quote, are claiming "universal salvation" is a main thrust of the book, if not THE main thrust of the book.  But, no discussing either-  or vpw's position  on it or vf's position on it, for that matter, without discussing Rob Bell's position on it.   No idea why that's such an issue when the alternative is to just open a new thread right next to this one with that as the subject, but that's how Rocky wants it, so I'll let him have it his way.

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1 hour ago, WordWolf said:

Sure sounds like Rocky AND "Time.com", whom Rocky chose to quote, are claiming "universal salvation" is a main thrust of the book, if not THE main thrust of the book.  But, no discussing either-  or vpw's position  on it or vf's position on it, for that matter, without discussing Rob Bell's position on it.   No idea why that's such an issue when the alternative is to just open a new thread right next to this one with that as the subject, but that's how Rocky wants it, so I'll let him have it his way.

How gracious of you. :beer:

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18 hours ago, Mark Sanguinetti said:

if you want to call it tagging that is your choice. I do not have a copy of the book you are mentioning to comment on after reading it. Instead I have many other books to read on this subject and yes that also includes actual biblical versions. My question is to those who have a copy of this book and have read it. Does this author ever mention scriptures from the book of Revelation to state his views? For example, the last three chapters, of the book of Revelation, chapters 20-22.

Yeah, I get that. 

The thread was about the book. 

You don't have the book, and you haven't read it. I get it. 

You want to discuss a topic to find out if it's in the book, so you can discuss it. 

I'll leave it to Rocky/the person who started this thread to address that question if he chooses. He does cover some points from that. In my opinion you'd be best understanding what he says when you can absorb the context in which it's been written, as Bell (like many writers) builds his material in the book. If I have any thoughts on it after I re read it, I might share them but I want to avoid a "this is what Bell says" approach to someone else when they have a bundle of material to put into it, as I doubt I'll be an expert on anything Bell wrote except for my own impressions of it. Again, I'm taking more of a "it's Bell's book we're talking about" approach. 

 

Rocky, I've since reached out to a person I know whose heard Bell speak, and met him briefly after. No great insights really, he certainly didn't take him to be a danger as far as doctrine goes, as - and this is an opinion but one I share - a lot of his perceived aggressiveness "against" the dogma is more of a reaction against those who have threatened him and been so severe in their response and reaction to him. Some of that seems to revolve around his popularity amongst some Christians - it's as if his assertion that God's mercy might out distance our understanding of it is fine as long as it doesn't take away the satisfaction of seeing our enemies punished horribly, forever. We did connect on one point and that is that people like Bell in today's world draw too much focus around them, there's always a lot of dust thrown up around the person - it's fed by the proliferation of media and the need to create and grow media for public consumption. It them makes it harder to allow that person to speak for themselves, with less pre conceptions. That's not the sole cause of course but it's a factor, I think. 

To add, at the root of this is "what does the Bible say"....and where and how do we as Christians get and develop our doctrine and beliefs. What's the root source material? I might say "the Bible, the Book".... and that's the right place to start I think. But having said that I'm then reading a book written by inspired recorders who tell a story of people, events and their Creator, God. So somewhere at some point there was a person having a moment of enlightenment, of great knowledge and insight, of being in commune with God. Experience. In that, I see we need the back and forth, I do see the Bible as ground-zero, and as the guide to work from and by. 

 

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1 hour ago, socks said:

 

Rocky, I've since reached out to a person I know whose heard Bell speak, and met him briefly after. No great insights really, he certainly didn't take him to be a danger as far as doctrine goes, as - and this is an opinion but one I share - a lot of his perceived aggressiveness "against" the dogma is more of a reaction against those who have threatened him and been so severe in their response and reaction to him. Some of that seems to revolve around his popularity amongst some Christians - it's as if his assertion that God's mercy might out distance our understanding of it is fine as long as it doesn't take away the satisfaction of seeing our enemies punished horribly, forever. We did connect on one point and that is that people like Bell in today's world draw too much focus around them, there's always a lot of dust thrown up around the person - it's fed by the proliferation of media and the need to create and grow media for public consumption. It them makes it harder to allow that person to speak for themselves, with less pre conceptions. That's not the sole cause of course but it's a factor, I think. 

To add, at the root of this is "what does the Bible say"....and where and how do we as Christians get and develop our doctrine and beliefs. What's the root source material? I might say "the Bible, the Book".... and that's the right place to start I think. But having said that I'm then reading a book written by inspired recorders who tell a story of people, events and their Creator, God. So somewhere at some point there was a person having a moment of enlightenment, of great knowledge and insight, of being in commune with God. Experience. In that, I see we need the back and forth, I do see the Bible as ground-zero, and as the guide to work from and by. 

 

I very much appreciate and relate to the various points you made above. From my perspective, I just don't see how we can truly appreciate with depth of understanding about what's recorded in the Bible without understanding the history and culture of the people who wrote it down.

To a degree, I have to credit Wierwille's introduction of Orientalisms for that. Even so, he approached that field of study apparently in the same way he did with the text of the book itself. Which I believe was overwhelmingly myopic. 

Your description of your friend's experience with Rob Bell offers insight not just on Bell, but the cultural environment in which he developed. To me, that's as fascinating as any of the rest of it (i.e. the text of his book). Importantly, the reactionary approach his critics took to ostracize him (label him a heretic) speaks to the box those people put God and themselves in.

The bottom-line, to me, is that now we see as through a glass, darkly. But then, face to face. In the meantime, some people are curious enough to challenge the limits (blinders) religion has put on people.

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1 hour ago, Rocky said:

I very much appreciate and relate to the various points you made above. From my perspective, I just don't see how we can truly appreciate with depth of understanding about what's recorded in the Bible without understanding the history and culture of the people who wrote it down.

To a degree, I have to credit Wierwille's introduction of Orientalisms for that. Even so, he approached that field of study apparently in the same way he did with the text of the book itself. Which I believe was overwhelmingly myopic. 

Your description of your friend's experience with Rob Bell offers insight not just on Bell, but the cultural environment in which he developed. To me, that's as fascinating as any of the rest of it (i.e. the text of his book). Importantly, the reactionary approach his critics took to ostracize him (label him a heretic) speaks to the box those people put God and themselves in.

The bottom-line, to me, is that now we see as through a glass, darkly. But then, face to face. In the meantime, some people are curious enough to challenge the limits (blinders) religion has put on people.

That's true and it's why I consider myself a "member of Christ's Church", with assorted affiliations and attachments with other members. 

In His day there were followers, crowds of people, rooms filled with those who came to hear Him, and many who "followed Him" and His message.

That message was unfolding. It wasn't all delivered in one day. One day they heard "this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased", and that was always the crux of the life of Christ - son of God, now among mankind. The rest of the message came as time went on and it had some lynchpin points around which everything else was built on. 

When I look at it that way, I can "be" a person that followed Him, sort of sit in their seats, their shoes. We can see that there would have been various discussions, debates, quizzical looks and confused moments followed by lengthy follow ups and answers, examples, parables, teaching from the OT, etc. 

If I am that person today, following Him, it then feels very natural to continue in that tradition - with the NT revelations and teachings which are essentially MORE about Christ and the who/what/where/when and why. Teachers of the Bible today like to make it all a simple, dumbed down and to have all the answers to everything already. But I have found that no one individual has all the answers and knows "it all" EVEN WHEN THEY KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ON ANY GIVEN TOPIC. 

Anyway, there's more to that as you'd expect but it's for another day and time. PEACE 

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45 minutes ago, socks said:

Anyway, there's more to that as you'd expect but it's for another day and time. PEACE 

Indeed. Peace to you (and to Mark, and to WW).  

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For perspective only on "all the people who ever lived."
 

 

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So, Bell's book - I've been meandering through it. Couple random thoughts - 

I think he may have mixed up certain things to get to his conclusions, which may or may not be all or partially right in themselves (given that his conclusions aren't entirely etched in stone and there's an open-ended air to them)

Like the way he talks about "love" and "sin" and "justice" - I'm still sorting through it but I think he may define "love" in relation to God incorrectly. "God is love", says the verse. I John 4 helps to clarify the meaning of love and what it is and means. Despite thinking it's very simple it's not very simple if I make "love" the same as say, "God's justice" an the seems to see them as different spokes on a wheel, and I don't think they are. 

In short, I don't get the impression from the Bible that God ever set out to make a great clear case for say, being "just".......rather, God is Creator and has all the qualities and authority that goes with that and so in that sense we are then left with the fact, the reality, that what God does is right. In fact, I could think of it as a paradox by stating it as - "whatever God does is what's right, and whatever God says is right is what's right, including anything that God would contradict Himself on or do that is wrong by any other standard than His own, because all standards are less than God's"....which is a contradictory mouthful but it's a way to clearly say everything is whatever  God says it is and however God wants it to be and that gives me my definition of right and good. 

As part of the God's creation my main purpose then is to know my part and what I'm supposed to do.

At this point, this "age of Grace" as we call it, this time when the Kingdom of God is in play , we have a great open space for man to do as He will, to choose and to decide his own fate, as it were, to choose from the choices he's been given  -  Judgment is seen in the "court of life", where there are outcomes, rewards, penalties, etc. but we have the space to "call 'em like we see 'em" and seemingly "create our own truth".......everyone eventually dies and the arch of eternity continues to be measured by those who haven't died yet. But that only reflects the bodies we see and have now but may not be the path for the spirit of life that is "us". 

Buuuuut......the idea of judgment being part of the process isn't in conflict with God, who is "love" - when God acts in ways that show us His nature, that's love, what love is, what it means to love, etc. 

So back to Bell's idea of love and God's justice, to some extent He may be minimizing the redemptive purpose of Christ and the idea of sacrifice and what it bears and accomplishes, albeit unintentionally. 

Put another way, the God of "Love Wins" doesn't have to send Jesus Christ to redeem mankind in a form of substitutional sacrifice. "Grace" is understood to mean "undeserved divine favor" in a lot of theology but that's not the exact fuller meaning in the context of the Bible - because it may be undeserved by me, but the doctrine of Christianity is that Christ's role had to be fulfilled for it to be extended -the "grace of Jesus Christ" that we read about, "through Christ". It came free to me then but it wasn't without cost. 

We've been instructed by Jesus to carry on the lifestyle of "love" - not to do what only He was supposed to do, but as what we're now supposed to do if we "follow Him". It's an individual mandate - each of us does it and lives it, there's a need for man's decision and choice to fulfill the requirements of new birth, to repent, believe, accept, receive, live. In the NT a response is require, repentance of and from sin and a response to not continue in it's lifestyle. 

So - anyway. Still poking around....I would also again, I talk to people that have no interest in being forgiven by "God" for anything, don't want to be part of a future where God's idea of creation is the rule of law, people that would say "well, if God really does say this or that or want this other thing, then I don't want to spend eternity with that God"...................and the Bible tells us all knees will bow and all will at some point see reality for what it really is - but if say Lucifer is any indication there's going to be some who happily say "NO!!!" and step off and out, of their own decision, who don't want the future God has planned. For them Love Wins, yes, but they don't want to win .... that way. 

 

 

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7 hours ago, socks said:

So, Bell's book - I've been meandering through it. Couple random thoughts - 

I think he may have mixed up certain things to get to his conclusions, which may or may not be all or partially right in themselves (given that his conclusions aren't entirely etched in stone and there's an open-ended air to them)

Like the way he talks about "love" and "sin" and "justice" - I'm still sorting through it but I think he may define "love" in relation to God incorrectly. "God is love", says the verse. I John 4 helps to clarify the meaning of love and what it is and means. Despite thinking it's very simple it's not very simple if I make "love" the same as say, "God's justice" an the seems to see them as different spokes on a wheel, and I don't think they are. 

In short, I don't get the impression from the Bible that God ever set out to make a great clear case for say, being "just".......rather, God is Creator and has all the qualities and authority that goes with that and so in that sense we are then left with the fact, the reality, that what God does is right. In fact, I could think of it as a paradox by stating it as - "whatever God does is what's right, and whatever God says is right is what's right, including anything that God would contradict Himself on or do that is wrong by any other standard than His own, because all standards are less than God's"....which is a contradictory mouthful but it's a way to clearly say everything is whatever  God says it is and however God wants it to be and that gives me my definition of right and good. 

As part of the God's creation my main purpose then is to know my part and what I'm supposed to do.

At this point, this "age of Grace" as we call it, this time when the Kingdom of God is in play , we have a great open space for man to do as He will, to choose and to decide his own fate, as it were, to choose from the choices he's been given  -  Judgment is seen in the "court of life", where there are outcomes, rewards, penalties, etc. but we have the space to "call 'em like we see 'em" and seemingly "create our own truth".......everyone eventually dies and the arch of eternity continues to be measured by those who haven't died yet. But that only reflects the bodies we see and have now but may not be the path for the spirit of life that is "us". 

Buuuuut......the idea of judgment being part of the process isn't in conflict with God, who is "love" - when God acts in ways that show us His nature, that's love, what love is, what it means to love, etc. 

So back to Bell's idea of love and God's justice, to some extent He may be minimizing the redemptive purpose of Christ and the idea of sacrifice and what it bears and accomplishes, albeit unintentionally. 

Put another way, the God of "Love Wins" doesn't have to send Jesus Christ to redeem mankind in a form of substitutional sacrifice. "Grace" is understood to mean "undeserved divine favor" in a lot of theology but that's not the exact fuller meaning in the context of the Bible - because it may be undeserved by me, but the doctrine of Christianity is that Christ's role had to be fulfilled for it to be extended -the "grace of Jesus Christ" that we read about, "through Christ". It came free to me then but it wasn't without cost. 

We've been instructed by Jesus to carry on the lifestyle of "love" - not to do what only He was supposed to do, but as what we're now supposed to do if we "follow Him". It's an individual mandate - each of us does it and lives it, there's a need for man's decision and choice to fulfill the requirements of new birth, to repent, believe, accept, receive, live. In the NT a response is require, repentance of and from sin and a response to not continue in it's lifestyle. 

So - anyway. Still poking around....I would also again, I talk to people that have no interest in being forgiven by "God" for anything, don't want to be part of a future where God's idea of creation is the rule of law, people that would say "well, if God really does say this or that or want this other thing, then I don't want to spend eternity with that God"...................and the Bible tells us all knees will bow and all will at some point see reality for what it really is - but if say Lucifer is any indication there's going to be some who happily say "NO!!!" and step off and out, of their own decision, who don't want the future God has planned. For them Love Wins, yes, but they don't want to win .... that way. 

 

 

Which is to say, overall, that life is complicated and so is God and Christianity. My apologies if I didn't get that right.

I very much agree with at least some of what you wrote there.

Paradox(es)... absolutely. To me, the bottom-line is that God is bigger than what any human or humanity in the aggregate can comprehend. That's part of the nature of paradox -- trying to put in human understanding what may be beyond our grasp to neatly put into a box... or an ancient book. Which is one of the big reasons why I resist fundamentalism.

I'm not convinced that Bell misinterpreted anything in particular. Rather, I think he's trying to grasp what's beyond our human capacity to grasp. I do see your point about Bell's thesis seeming to make Christ's sacrifice extraneous. I don't know how to reconcile that with anything at this point.

Your post does a great job, IMO, of trying to weave together related, complicated ideas. I appreciate that.

 

 

Edited by Rocky

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Well, to me it's a paradox I understand, that resolves itself in true paradoxical fashion. 

"Acceptance" is key there, and that's a great deal of what Bell's proposing. He just accepts something different than what a lot of others do. But once you accept his premise, "you're there", the conclusion is logical, at least to iteself. Is it correct? That's the discussion....:beer: 

Bell's working with what I see as a very very traditional and conservative version of Calvinist pre destination theology. He got kicked off the bus so quickly, dunno, maybe it's just me, but in the Walmart of Religions, he's just another aisle, it's not like he's a Taco truck in a back alley, to me anyway. I guess I sort of get why those who are in that bucket already take issue with him encroaching on their turf buuuuut....I dunno. Going back to when I first heard about this book and the ideas circulating around it and the condemnation of it all, I didn't immediately make the connection to "universalism" in any of it's shades, but rather to the doctrine of pre destination and election, although I don't subscribe to the traditional religious versions of those either.  

Pre destination - God is sovereign and both plans and executes on His will both through specific action and plans  - or as Wikipedia puts it - "Predestination is a doctrine in Calvinism dealing with the question of the control that God exercises over the world. In the words of the Westminster Confession of Faith, God "freely and unchangeably ordained whatsoever comes to pass."".....which is close enough for our purposes. 

In that is also a doctrine of "election" - again, to the Wiki...."Unconditional election (also known as unconditional grace) is a Reformed doctrine relating to Predestination that describes the actions and motives of God in eternity past, before he created the world, where he predestinated some people to receive salvation, the elect, and the rest he left to continue in their sins and receive the just punishment, eternal damnation, for their transgressions of God's law as outlined in the old and new Testaments of the Bible. God made these choices according to his own purposes apart from any conditions or qualities related to those persons.

So - Bell's just really proposing another interpretation of Calvinist, pre destination election theology - boy that's a mouthful but that's how I see it. The outcome of the premise might be some kind of "universalist" form, in execution, but I see that as more the outcome or a product, and until I understand what's going on with all of this at baseline more clearly, I can't really make that kind of jump. There's too many labels and too much baggage to sort through that's not really part of the core idea. At least, to me)

His proposal just says that God's sovereign will gets executed as He has planned it. God's still in charge, God is love, His justice is His will in execution. There's still peace in the valley, milk in the cows and honey in the comb. Bell's just proposing something different than some of us going to Heaven for good times and some of us going to Hell to be punished, per God's design. Or perhaps even per our own choice.....................

And I'm there with Bell for most of that - because the idea that the Creator creates some of His creation with the specific intent of them being failures and destined for eternal damnation seems to conflict with most of what I read in the Bible. He may be a "jealous" God but that's kind of like the ex-you-never-want-to-breakupwith-God. (and I think a lot of that is more of a theological poop shoot, a by product of trying to explain God being "all knowing" and existing in an eternal environment that is not bigger or more prescient than Himself and a bunch of other stuff that's  not going to be fully understood at this pay grade)

So to me it's very conservative and doesn't automatically propose that God's going to let anyone into Heaven that doesn't have all their papers in order and most importantly someone the powers that be don't like or disagree with, and isn't that what counts for a lot of people...?.....

There's till rules, they're just different. 

Which is still where I'm at, but figured I'd unload this box for now. PEACE! 

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1 hour ago, socks said:

Well, to me it's a paradox I understand, that resolves itself in true paradoxical fashion. 

"Acceptance" is key there, and that's a great deal of what Bell's proposing. He just accepts something different than what a lot of others do. But once you accept his premise, "you're there", the conclusion is logical, at least to iteself. Is it correct? That's the discussion....:beer: 

Bell's working with what I see as a very very traditional and conservative version of Calvinist pre destination theology. He got kicked off the bus so quickly, dunno, maybe it's just me, but in the Walmart of Religions, he's just another aisle, it's not like he's a Taco truck in a back alley, to me anyway. I guess I sort of get why those who are in that bucket already take issue with him encroaching on their turf buuuuut....I dunno. Going back to when I first heard about this book and the ideas circulating around it and the condemnation of it all, I didn't immediately make the connection to "universalism" in any of it's shades, but rather to the doctrine of pre destination and election, although I don't subscribe to the traditional religious versions of those either.  

Pre destination - God is sovereign and both plans and executes on His will both through specific action and plans  - or as Wikipedia puts it - "Predestination is a doctrine in Calvinism dealing with the question of the control that God exercises over the world. In the words of the Westminster Confession of Faith, God "freely and unchangeably ordained whatsoever comes to pass."".....which is close enough for our purposes. 

In that is also a doctrine of "election" - again, to the Wiki...."Unconditional election (also known as unconditional grace) is a Reformed doctrine relating to Predestination that describes the actions and motives of God in eternity past, before he created the world, where he predestinated some people to receive salvation, the elect, and the rest he left to continue in their sins and receive the just punishment, eternal damnation, for their transgressions of God's law as outlined in the old and new Testaments of the Bible. God made these choices according to his own purposes apart from any conditions or qualities related to those persons.

So - Bell's just really proposing another interpretation of Calvinist, pre destination election theology - boy that's a mouthful but that's how I see it. The outcome of the premise might be some kind of "universalist" form, in execution, but I see that as more the outcome or a product, and until I understand what's going on with all of this at baseline more clearly, I can't really make that kind of jump. There's too many labels and too much baggage to sort through that's not really part of the core idea. At least, to me)

His proposal just says that God's sovereign will gets executed as He has planned it. God's still in charge, God is love, His justice is His will in execution. There's still peace in the valley, milk in the cows and honey in the comb. Bell's just proposing something different than some of us going to Heaven for good times and some of us going to Hell to be punished, per God's design. Or perhaps even per our own choice.....................

And I'm there with Bell for most of that - because the idea that the Creator creates some of His creation with the specific intent of them being failures and destined for eternal damnation seems to conflict with most of what I read in the Bible. He may be a "jealous" God but that's kind of like the ex-you-never-want-to-breakupwith-God. (and I think a lot of that is more of a theological poop shoot, a by product of trying to explain God being "all knowing" and existing in an eternal environment that is not bigger or more prescient than Himself and a bunch of other stuff that's  not going to be fully understood at this pay grade)

So to me it's very conservative and doesn't automatically propose that God's going to let anyone into Heaven that doesn't have all their papers in order and most importantly someone the powers that be don't like or disagree with, and isn't that what counts for a lot of people...?.....

There's till rules, they're just different. 

Which is still where I'm at, but figured I'd unload this box for now. PEACE! 

Peace! :beer:

I may or may not agree with any or all of your points. However, I can't say that I know with a degree of certainty that could possibly cause me to debate, argue or bicker any of those points. Where I rest is that it's bigger than us (me).  To me, the value is in seeing how you (or Rob Bell, or anyone else) articulates it and pondering it over and over.

 

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Some of my new article for the book which I will write completely and then publish with help from a publisher.

Next we have more symbolic language of those who wash their robes. This shows that those who change from bad to good through Jesus Christ will be able to go through the gates into the city. However, outside of what he thought as the New Jerusalem John still saw those who were bad with him comparing them to dogs. Dogs are seen favorably today, but during the first century before dogs were trained to be good, dogs were symbolically seen as bad. However, just like dogs have been trained today to be good in nations like the United States. In the future under Jesus Christ more and more of humanity will be retrained to be good and followers of Christ. Then and only then they will be able to enter in through the gates into the city, that represents the savior Jesus Christ.

Revelation 22:14-15
14 "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. 
NIV

Revelation 22:14-15
14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
KJV
 

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6 hours ago, Mark Sanguinetti said:

Some of my new article for the book which I will write completely and then publish with help from a publisher.

Next we have more symbolic language of those who wash their robes. This shows that those who change from bad to good through Jesus Christ will be able to go through the gates into the city. However, outside of what he thought as the New Jerusalem John still saw those who were bad with him comparing them to dogs. Dogs are seen favorably today, but during the first century before dogs were trained to be good, dogs were symbolically seen as bad. However, just like dogs have been trained today to be good in nations like the United States. In the future under Jesus Christ more and more of humanity will be retrained to be good and followers of Christ. Then and only then they will be able to enter in through the gates into the city, that represents the savior Jesus Christ.

Revelation 22:14-15
14 "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. 
NIV

Revelation 22:14-15
14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
KJV
 

Did you mean to post this in the other thread? Respectfully, I don't see how the post relates to this thread.

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1 hour ago, Rocky said:

Did you mean to post this in the other thread? Respectfully, I don't see how the post relates to this thread.

Well I also posted this in the other thread. You can simply ignore this here. Or if you want me to delete it here then I can. However, the question is does Bell see this also? However, the book of Revelation is very symbolic, not literal and is more difficult to understand than other books of the bible. Perhaps this book is to difficult for Bell to understand. However, I have to give Bell credit. It sounds or reads like Bell has a very good Bell of love to play and strike for music and sounds. 

Edited by Mark Sanguinetti

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22 hours ago, Rocky said:

Peace! :beer:

I may or may not agree with any or all of your points. However, I can't say that I know with a degree of certainty that could possibly cause me to debate, argue or bicker any of those points. Where I rest is that it's bigger than us (me).  To me, the value is in seeing how you (or Rob Bell, or anyone else) articulates it and pondering it over and over.

 

Sure, and that's how we grow and learn, definitely. 

Everything really begins with a basic understanding of God and what He's doing. If I use the Bible as my guide, I go there. What it says is put forth in a few different formats but essentially it's a history book that covers a timeline - from "in the beginning" to events that haven't yet happened. Past, present and future. And the present is covered in two ways - by describing an era that began in the book of Acts, is spoken to through several letters and declarations and that I am now in, and then also by describing the present day as part of a larger image of events which it is (and were and will be) a part of. 

So we are in a very real way "still writing the book" of Acts, the events of this present era. "

2 Corinthians 3:3-6
"And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."

And in many other places that lead us to believe that while those first followers of Jesus Christ declared their revelation of Jesus Christ so that others could also believe, the end result isn't a paper book. The final product and result of the revelation isn't a translation or publication, It's a human life that is changed, forever and that will now "speak the truth, in love" by it's very existence. We might ask for proof, "how do you know?" and the real proof is subjective, it's my own personal experience. Like the followers of Jesus then, I can only take them to the Logos, be that a written page or a living soul, whose sole purpose is to speak of God, to declare God, to be His glory. "Living messages". 

Romans 10:9 and 10 - believing in the heart and declaring Jesus Christ the resurrected Son of God, who now lives - completely falls into place in that light. Resurrection was a living message, literally, and the entire series of events was what His followers eventually fanned out to tell others about. The Bible now adds another dimension to that process, which is good for all of us but really when you think about it it's a part of the original instructions we do know about, to believe and tell others - Jesus never directly asked His followers to write stuff down, not that He didn't or it wouldn't have made sense but given the times and the culture, it wasn't the go - to form of retention. That we have the Bible is wonderful and it does appear that there's a pattern of relevance between it's various pieces - which makes sense if it's following a timeline. 

One thing I do know from what I read is that a "pneuma hagion" is required to have what the Bible calls "eternal life". Man's physical bodies die, and the life - force, the soul, goes with it, "breath life"....the mind of man, his consciousness, is primarily memory, a collection of memories, with some ability to do stuff and imagine, "believe". Man's life is designed to do more stuff everyday.... put another way, to make memories. Without the ability to do that the mind of man doesn't have much to do other than remember. ("aaah, the good times...") Sooooooo..........this is really another topic but the one all of the heaven/hell stuff depends on I think - and that is - where is the "me"....what is "me" and where is "me"........if Me is a collection of bio-electric impulses or a "thing" contained in my body and brain then it's gone when the body dies. If there's some part of that which isn't dependent on the body to exist and continue then it will ... continue ..... in some way or fashion. Only one person has made that journey, which is Jesus. 

It's kinda safe to assume then that whatever Jesus did could happen for others - but Jesus was "perfect", the sinless Son of God and that level of purity appears to be required to make the journey. We are offered it - pneuma hagion - and it's our token, our ticket to the future. "Me" won't die forever now, and the Me that's a total fuk-up and can't go a day without screwing something up will be fully changed, morphed, restored and reconstituted into "the Real Me". 

It's simple really - the wages of sin (are) death. Death is an end, be it now or later at a point of future judgment. That's been part of the outcome of the events in Genesis - the outcome was that they couldn't disobey God forever, they couldn't live forever as sinners. Disobedience to God doesn't get to go on forever, it can happen but it will end at some point. Our token of "the new birth" is our "hope" for that future. And I'll take all the help I can get. 

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Another thing or three came up with someone else I was talking to about this - file under "back to basics"

Salvation is by the "grace of God", we don't "earn it". Add to that all the details that go along with "not by works lest we should boast, or lay claim to having earned it"
Including "the opportunity" to accept and confess the risen Christ, at all. We did nothing to bring that to ourselves. All God and Jesus Christ.

If salvation is wholeness and is the key to our future eternal existence in a "new life" through and in Christ and relies on us accepting and confessing it

Then what does it matter what we do after that?

VPW taught rewards, because he believed that the "crowns" being given later to those who stood were being given out to those who.....earned them. It's an interpretation of the verses and many believe that's what they mean, like

"I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing (II Timothy 4:7,8)."

That theology connects fight a good fight, finishing the course and keeping the faith with loving his appearing, and receives the "crown of righteousness"

But the verse could read just as easily that Paul, who had done all he'd done, would stand with everyone else looking to Christ's appearing and celebrate the fulfillment of God's promises. Pass out the crowns, there's plenty to go around.

Yet, elsewhere Paul taught that righteousness was through Christ, by grace. So here it's supposedly a crown, that's earned, that's on top of eternal life righteousness and is something I can earn by basically doing something with the righteousness I"ve been given. So - saved by grace, not of works, lest any man should boast, but here a "crown" that is a reward I earn for being faithful. 

In Paul's time there was intense persecution of Christians by both Jews and Roman governments. Today, there's intense persecution in many countries. Even in America it's not popular in many circles to declare one's faith. But the idea of "standing and having done all to stand!" is more than the puffery and pontification of a drama queen pastor who's going to go to bed on a full belly in safe quarters every night. Paul was in the eye of the storm, literally and so his context makes sense for what he wrote. 

 

.....Elsewhere it's the "faith of Jesus Christ" that I must rely on, not only for salvation

Romans 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

So then "righteousness" by the faith of Jesus Christ appears to be something that bridges that gap to God for us, and brings us to a point of reconciliation to God AND

Galatians 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."

Is something that lives in me and that I can now live by. 

 

There's a lot of other other sections of the bible that fall into this that have to be considered, but the basic idea here is consistent through out - it appears that the life I live after accepting Christ has an ongoing faith, of Jesus Christ that lives in me and that I now can live by - verses like this make complete sense now - "for it's God who works in me, both to will and to do of His good pleasure".

So there's a lot of grace to go around, and to "live by grace" is ingrained in our new pneuma hagion DNA, so to speak. Grace could be said to be something we are then, "divine favor", a state of eternal righteousness, "eternity in a rain drop", so to speak. We show up - grace exemplified.

And there's a basis for another perspective too -

ALL THE MORE in our complete and utter unworthiness and need.

When a world class athlete runs the mile and beats the record by a 100th of a second, you know they trained.

I show up in shorts and do that - it wasn't the training.

"GRACE"

Selah!

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by socks
Spell check? WORST checking program. NOBODY takes their checks. Sucks!

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On 10/17/2019 at 7:34 PM, Mark Sanguinetti said:

Well I also posted this in the other thread. You can simply ignore this here. Or if you want me to delete it here then I can. However, the question is does Bell see this also? However, the book of Revelation is very symbolic, not literal and is more difficult to understand than other books of the bible. Perhaps this book is to difficult for Bell to understand. However, I have to give Bell credit. It sounds or reads like Bell has a very good Bell of love to play and strike for music and sounds. 

Seriously Mark? 

I'll repeat what I have said before, "I do not speak for Bell." If you want to know what Bell sees, ASK HIM.

You seem to suggest that you have a handle on the Book of Revelation. Perhaps you can reach him and try to educate him with your immense knowledge.

Bottom-line, I'm disappointed in your ("not-so") subtle attack on him.

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5 hours ago, socks said:

"GRACE"

Selah!

 

 

 

 

 

Selah... and again, Peace. :wave:

I truly enjoy reading your perspective on the things of God. 

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5 hours ago, Rocky said:

Seriously Mark? 

I'll repeat what I have said before, "I do not speak for Bell." If you want to know what Bell sees, ASK HIM.

You seem to suggest that you have a handle on the Book of Revelation. Perhaps you can reach him and try to educate him with your immense knowledge.

Bottom-line, I'm disappointed in your ("not-so") subtle attack on him.

Actually the main person that I give a subtle attack on or make fun of is someone named Mark Sanguinetti. I also call him Marky Spaghetti. Perhaps I should apologize to Bell and Mark Sanguinetti who I often call Marky Spaghetti  I wonder who that is? 

Edited by Mark Sanguinetti

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14 minutes ago, Mark Sanguinetti said:

Actually the main person that I give a subtle attack on or make fun of is someone named Mark Sanguinetti. I also call him Marky Spaghetti. Perhaps I should apologize to Bell and Mark Sanguinetti who iI often call Marky Spaghetti  I wonder who that is? 

Are you okay?

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2 hours ago, Rocky said:

Are you okay?

I simply like to laugh. I am okay, but perhaps not OkieDokie and especially not OkieDokie Artichoke. 

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On 10/18/2019 at 8:42 PM, Rocky said:

Selah... and again, Peace. :wave:

I truly enjoy reading your perspective on the things of God. 

Thanks! And I, your's. Share more of it, if you're inclined. 

The hell/heaven proposition -

Bell puts "Hell" on the table for consideration and we have seen most religious systems don't want to do that, for them faith requires a consequence if not kept. There's ample biblical evidence to indicate that's a big part of God's creative design. Yet, so is grace, and grace is not just a means to an end, it's an end in itself, too. That's in the Bible in spades too. 

One side of me wants to riff on religion's insistence for a big hot hell as really just a response of "hey, if I have to live like this, then so do you or ELSE!".....it's a big box of "my God's bigger than you and your idols", which the OT is full of, Jews thumping chests and high fiving around cheers of "HA! take THAT you friggin' infidels!!".  

Meanwhile the Prodigal Son tries to come home to his father, finally, beaten down yet one more and maybe one last time, but in their version he get his ass kicked out by his brother who says NO! you were NEVER here when we needed you!

Jesus wept for those who would reject Him and God and despite the fact He said that He and Father were "like that" and one, gave His Father the respect deserving of One who do the Judging. He spoke about the sheep His father gave Him and His sheep knowing Him. In the end He asked God to forgive His killers, saying they didn't have any idea what they were really doing. 

I get that man's mind and heart can only go so far in forgiving, but everything about God and His son Jesus Christ seems to set the bar extremely high. How high? That's God's business, the Creator and Law Giver gets to judge, not me. 

 

Bell did steer away from "universalism" .......he didn't consider himself a "universalist" (see one such statement in the link below this) and didn't subscribe to it, and it was there I realized he was really describing his take on the quality of God's sovereignty-in-action. "Calvinism" but with a twist, one that John Calvin certainly would have not agreed with but the bookend to it -

Calvinism promotes God's selection and election of everything, including what we would consider good AND bad to whatever end results and outcomes, all of which are by God's design.........

Bell proposes that God selects and elects - but to allow for His creation to come to Him, which they all will, as He reveals Himself and draws all to Himself in an inevitable flow of life and existence. (that's my wording, not his but it's my take at this point)........

I feel strongly that Bell's logic of "why would God do (hell, whatever) if God is (love, just, fair, etc) is an understandable point for man to start from but ultimately is weak to build on because we should start from the position that mankind doesn't have "the answers" and that we need to learn our purpose and futures from God whatEVER they are........so imo,  *I think* he has to go with the "right is whatever God says it is and here's what we can see from He's revealed so far" stance to get to his conclusions at all........a

Few links below, including a tiny tip of the inevitable shit storm of an iceberg that is "universalism", now part of the Pop culture of religion.

--------

Bell speaks for himself
https://www.christianpost.com/news/rob-bell-denies-being-a-universalist.html

And of course others don't believe him
https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/rob-bell-universalist/

Universalism evaluated and found wanting
https://www.christianity.com/theology/other-religions-beliefs/what-is-universalism-and-is-it-compatible-with-christian-faith.html
https://www.learnreligions.com/what-is-universalism-700701

CARM says it's dangerous (amongst many others)
https://carm.org/danger-universalism

And for more uni unity, there has to be "unitarian universalist"....of course
https://www.eruuf.org/discover/about-unitarian-universalism/

And lest we limit it to religious pursuits, there's political, cultural, psychological universalism - bunches! kind of a freudian group hug of huge everything-ness
https://www.globalpolicy.org/home/163-general/29441.html

And lastly, a discussion of how to best express the sentiment of not knowing something, a simple enough thing to say.......Or is it? 
https://www.englishforums.com/English/HaveNeverKnownNeverKnewDidntEver-Know/nxdkv/post.htm

 

 

 

Edited by socks
The only known way to accomplish this is by brute force: miners create a block with a random nonce and compute its hash value.

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