Josh is currently talking about why he’s neither reformed nor unreformed (in my opinion, he’s def. not). one of his reasons was that he didn’t like the idea of a viscious, vindicative God who sends people to hell.
which brought to my mind the “The River of Fire” by Alexander Kalomiros. In it is the classic understanding of where the west went wrong theologically in identifying sin mainly in the juridical since of being guilty before a judge.
Augustine hinted at this view, while Anselm encouraged it. Finally Calvin (himself a lawyer) popularized it. This was quite a change from what had always been considerd Christian teaching. So, please take some time and print out the following article and give it a good read. It’s well worth the time. Here’s a sampling and the link to the rest:
But why do men hate God? They hate Him not only because their deeds are dark while God is light, but also because they consider Him as a menace, as an imminent and eternal danger, as an adversary in court, as an opponent at law, as a public prosecutor and an eternal persecutor. To them, God is no more the almighty physician who came to save them from illness and death, but rather a cruel judge and a vengeful inquisitor.
You see, the devil managed to make men believe that God does not really love us, that He really only loves Himself, and that He accepts us only if we behave as He wants us to behave; that He hates us if we do not behave as He ordered us to behave, and is offended by our insubordination to such a degree that we must pay for it by eternal tortures, created by Him for that purpose.
Who can love a torturer? Even those who try hard to save themselves from the wrath of God cannot really love Him. They love only themselves, trying to escape God’s vengeance and to achieve eternal bliss by managing to please this fearsome and extremely dangerous Creator.
Do you perceive the devil’s slander of our all loving, all kind, and absolutely good God? That is why in Greek the devil was given the name DIABOLOS, “the slanderer”.
Read more at “The River of Fire”