Saturday, February 16, 2008

Unfit for Heaven

Alex Chediak had the opportunity to ask a few questions of Tim Keller, author of The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism. He raised the issue of the seeming cruelty of what will happen to unbelievers in Hell.
CHEDIAK: Chapter 2 is on the "How could a good God allow suffering?" question. You repeated a phrase .... "Everything sad is going to come untrue." It is a beautiful statement. Not only that, you say in your new book that it will somehow be greater for having once been broken and lost. How do you respond to those who say, "Yes, but according to Christianity, that is only true for Christians. Those in hell will not find it to be so."?

KELLER: Of course it’s only for those who are part of the new heavens and new earth through Christ. But that question, ‘what about the people in hell?’ assumes that the lost will be down there, wishing they can get out and have all the blessings of heaven, but not being allowed by a God who says, ‘No! Too late! Ha! You had your chance!’ That’s a misunderstanding of the power of sin’s self-deception. People in hell will be thinking that God’s salvation and eternity is a big crock.
They lived impervious to God's presence, so they won't miss it in Eternity. Keller's statement reminds me of attitudes described by C.S. Lewis in The Great Divorce and The Last Battle.

Query: Shouldn't "Heaven" and "Hell" be capitalized? Ralph de Toledano maintained that they are the names of actual places and thus proper nouns.

Alex Chediak Blog: Brief Q&A with Tim Keller

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