“Proof” of everlasting hell fire
My friend, Roger, was listening to a “Christian” radio station recently. “I just try to tune in once in a while just to keep up a little bit on what they’re saying, but I can’t stand to listen to very much of it.” For example, he said, last week I heard a preacher telling how the existence of (the everlasting burning) hell was “proof” that God was a God of love!? As further “proof” he added that because heaven is so infinitely wonderful, “there has to be an opposite.” Really? Says who?
“That sounds like Eastern religion to me,” Roger noted. And he is correct. The great theologian, Augustine, had been a member of the Manichean religion. It was a mix of the Persian dualistic Zoroastrianism, plus astrology, plus “Christian” Gnosticism. Manicheanism has two gods which eternally oppose each other. One a god of goodness and light; the other of evil and darkness. That idea is akin to— and perhaps an unwarranted extension of—the yin-yang principle of other Oriental religions.
Unfortunately, Augustine was never able to shed that false concept as he incorporated it into his Christian theology. Augustine became one of the great champions of the idea of eternal torment. He is looked upon by both Roman Catholic scholars, as well as many Protestant scholars, as one of their own.
Augustine was indeed a great theologian, but like all men, he fell short of perfection, and this is one glaring error! Thanks for the heads-up, Roger. The preacher’s comments are indeed “proof,” proof of how double-minded one can become trying to reconcile the hideous hell-fire doctrine with the true God of the Bible, who is indeed a God of love and justice. (See my book, Sacred Secrets of the Sovereignty of God, $24 postpaid, for more discussion on all this, including more on Augustine.)