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Don Carson on Hell

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  • Don Carson on Hell



    Discuss what you agree and disagree with and why.

  • #2
    I strongly agree with much of it, and strongly disagree with some of it. I have to take issue with the idea that adopting annihilationism is based purely out of emotion; this seems to verge almost on poisoning the well given that I believe the scriptural arguments for it are quite strong. Obviously, I wouldn't expect Carson to go into more detail in a short video but I did see a few problems with what he said. Using the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus as a proof text against it doesn't work because the parable, at most, refers to the intermediate state (after all, the rich man's brothers are still alive on Earth). I also don't think Revelation 14 is the knock-down text he thinks it is, but I'm not going to go into all that detail right here.

    I do think Carson is completely correct that there is not a biblical hint of restoration.

    Glenn Peoples has critiqued some of what Carson has written elsewhere on the subject (this is a long page so I'd just control-F his name): http://www.rightreason.org/article/t...ilationist.pdf
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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    • #3
      I think the idea that people stay in hell because they continue sinning is a little concerning.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Obsidian View Post
        I think the idea that people stay in hell because they continue sinning is a little concerning.
        Yes, I think this idea, which has no scriptural support, implicitly opens the door for universalism because it raises the obvious question: What if one stops sinning/repents?
        "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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        • #5
          Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
          Yes, I think this idea, which has no scriptural support, implicitly opens the door for universalism because it raises the obvious question: What if one stops sinning/repents?
          What if repenting is no longer an option?
          ~Formerly known as Chrawnus~

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Chrawnus View Post
            What if repenting is no longer an option?
            Then the philosophical speculation justifying hell's duration based on a continual sinning is superfluous.
            "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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            • #7
              Along with your concern about universalism, Gambit, there is another even greater problem with the theory. Namely, it implies that God requires people to stop sinning in order to be forgiven. That is something I adamantly reject.

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              • #8
                I think Carson would agree that people's innate hostility toward God will only become more and more pronounced and they will therefore never choose to genuinely repent - in fact they will do everything but that.

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                • #9
                  "Repent" -- Meaning what? We don't get saved by ceasing from sin, or for being sorry for our sins.

                  Matthew 27
                  3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. 5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Obsidian View Post
                    "Repent" -- Meaning what? We don't get saved by ceasing from sin, or for being sorry for our sins.

                    Matthew 27
                    3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. 5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.
                    Well now, what sort of repentance did Judas demonstrate?

                    "For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death" (2Cor. 7:10)

                    I would imagine Judas' repentance consisted of the latter - indeed his repentance did literally lead to his death. Indeed, he was sorry not for the sin, as committed against God and Christ; but as it brought a load of present guilt and horror upon his mind, and exposed him to everlasting torment and the wrath of God. Did his repentance spring from the love of God, or was it destitute of saving faith in Christ? I think we both know the answer to that.

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                    • #11
                      He was quite clearly sorry for his sin. That is why I posted the verse. Being sorry for your sins does not result in salvation. Salvation requires believing the promise of God to grant you everlasting life based on Jesus's works.

                      And in the context of 2 Corinthians 7, he is referencing their repentance and grief over his criticisms in 1 Corinthians. And in 1 Corinthians, he made it clear that they were already saved, but were babes in Christ. So the "salvation" referenced in 2 Corinthians is not talking about getting to heaven. It is talking about sanctification from sin in the life of the church.
                      Last edited by Obsidian; 06-26-2014, 05:07 PM.

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                      • #12
                        I think Scrawly is right here that Judas simply displayed the wrong kind of repentance.
                        "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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                        • #13
                          I guess so. But he demonstrated the type of repentance that Don Carson seems to be referring to.

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                          • #14
                            Incidentally, the Anselmian line of argument "infinite punishment for an infinite crime" is really based on feudal-system justice, where a crime was more severely punished if it was against a noble and perhaps ignored if against a serf. The word "infinite" is thrown around more than applicable (for example, God's justice/patience is not infinite, thankfully).
                            "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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                            • #15
                              God doesn't just punish people for sins committed against him. He also punishes for sins committed against others.

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