Monday, March 21, 2011

He permits us to ignore Him

Some more thoughts inspired by the controversy over Rob Bell's new book. First, from John Mark Reynolds:
We only have analogies to understand the love of God. In his new book dealing with the afterlife, Rob Bell suggests that the best story of love is one that never gives up ... that never takes “no” as “no,” but this is quite wrong. The best lover allows the beloved to go and knows that sometimes “no” is forever. ....

Love that will not take “no” for an answer, that never gives up, is not love, but an attempt at tyranny. Sometimes “no” just means “no” and time cannot heal certain wounds, because the beloved marries someone else and ends the possibility of reconciliation. ....

It is not a sign of God’s weakness that we can hurt Him, but of His love for us.

I would never wish any particular person to be damned forever. Reason, revelation, and romance tell me that sometimes “no” means “no” and we are changed by that answer forever. When does this happen? That is for wiser heads than mine to say, but happen it must.

Sometimes “no” means “no.” [more]
And from Russell D. Moore:
Attempts to navigate around the truth of hell as everlasting punishment show us something of our complicity in the Edenic sin: the substitution of human wisdom and human justice and, yes, human notions of love for the authority of God. ....

As C.S. Lewis writes, “In the long run the answer to all those who object to the doctrine of hell is itself a question: ‘What are you asking God to do?’ To wipe out their past sins and, at all costs, to give them a fresh start, smoothing every difficulty and offering every miraculous help? But he has done so, on Calvary. To forgive them? They will not be forgiven. To leave them alone? Alas, I am afraid that is what he does.” .... [more]
No Means No » Evangel | A First Things Blog, Moore to the Point by Russell D. Moore