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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:08 pm 
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https://books.google.com/books?id=j_QOA ... on&f=false

Through page 21. The authors here define it as "doctrina catholica"; Ludwig Ott calls it "sent. certa" which means that the teaching itself is not solemnly defined but that denying it inescapably means denying things which are so defined. In this case, the defined teachings are that the soul is judged immediately upon death, that the punishment of Hell lasts for eternity, and that grace is needed for all salvific acts.

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:55 am 
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There are questions I simply keep asking myself. They come from reading, studying, and learning. They are very reasonable questions. Unfortunately, the answers I keep getting from people who opposed Apokatastasis are more regurgitated boilerplate than significant responses.

For instance, I have gotten no satisfactory response to the issue of the mistranslation of the Greek in the scriptures. No one has explained to me to my satisfaction how you can take a Greek word which means ages, age-long, and change the meaning of it so it means eternal. That is like taking the Spanish word perro, which means dog, and translating it into English as cat.

If Christians must believe in an eternal, fiery hell of torment or be considered heretics and condemned to hell, how come the first five centuries of Christians are not called Hheretics who taught Apokatastasis. Even Augustine in his writings admitted that there were multitudes of Christians.who taught and believed this. It wasn't until Augustine's pessimistic anthropology that a serious attack was made against the teaching. Are all those Christians who believe this in your hell now because they didn't believe incorrect theology?

Then there is the question I keep asking myself, to what purpose Is eternal, unending, painful torment? Oh I know, according to Aquinas, it satisfies God, and makes the redeemed happy. Does such a definition of the purpose of hell fall into the construct of love? Would he who is love be satisfied to see His children lost forever, or would he do everything he could to bring them to repentance, including painful chastisements and a true awareness of what they had done against Him so that they might repent?

Of course I have to take into account that great theologian, Emperor Justinian, who declared that the teaching of Apocatastasis would lead people to be lazy spiritually and indulge themselves in sin repeatedly. Well we have had 2000 years of peeople hearing about eternal hell, knowing about eternal hell, having a Christian churches threaten them with it, and not being ignorant of it. Look at the condition of the world today, I would say good old Justinian was dead wrong.

Then there is another issue that I keep asking myself: what does it accomplish? What good does it do? Oh I know, according to Aquinas, it makes God satisfied, and makes the redeemed very happy in their salvation to see the torments of the wicked. But ask yourself this:if love is desiring the best for another human being, then how could the redeemed in heaven look up on the sufferings of the damned and be happy? Love ever rejoice in the suffering of another? Not according to my Bible.

The final thing I will mention this morning, and there is so much more to say, is that the Bible says the Christ's death has defeated., and sin death and hell will be destroyed forever. According to the descriptions given of eternal hell sinners will be maintained forever in a state of anger, sin, and rebellion against God. So which is it, is sin destroyed forever, or will it be maintained forever by the presence of an eternal hell?

The only answer I get, the standard, fall back answer, is that the Church teaches it therefore it must be true. And for several centuries the Church also taught Arianism until a council settled the issue.


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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:03 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
https://books.google.com/books?id=j_QOAAAAQAAJ&lpg=PA99&ots=7kavCaUc-X&dq=pohle%20preuss%20eschatology&pg=PA13#v=onepage&q=probattion&f=false

Through page 21. The authors here define it as "doctrina catholica"; Ludwig Ott calls it "sent. certa" which means that the teaching itself is not solemnly defined but that denying it inescapably means denying things which are so defined. In this case, the defined teachings are that the soul is judged immediately upon death, that the punishment of Hell lasts for eternity, and that grace is needed for all salvific acts.


It sounds like separating Grace from Love. So God ceases to love after a man dies and therefore he also ceases to give Grace?


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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:08 am 
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God wills no further good for that man, other than his existence. Therefore, He ceases to give grace. God loves justice, though, and that is shown forth in the justice he gives to the sinner punished in hell.

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:19 am 
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Light of the East wrote:
For instance, I have gotten no satisfactory response to the issue of the mistranslation of the Greek in the scriptures. No one has explained to me to my satisfaction how you can take a Greek word which means ages, age-long, and change the meaning of it so it means eternal. That is like taking the Spanish word perro, which means dog, and translating it into English as cat.


It's not analogous to that at all. The term means ages in other contexts, but in the relevant context it means eternity. It may be as Greek's vocabulary was first being formed, they never developed the proper word for eternity in this context so they had to use round about ways. "Saecula saeculorum" as found in the Latin "Gloria Patri" is also an example of a word originally meaning something like "age" taking on the meaning of "eternity" or as we translate it in English "world without out end".

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If Christians must believe in an eternal, fiery hell of torment or be considered heretics and condemned to hell, how come the first five centuries of Christians are not called Hheretics who taught Apokatastasis.

Because they wrote before it was condemned at an ecumenical council. An ecumenical council which was received by East and West mind you.
Quote:

The only answer I get, the standard, fall back answer, is that the Church teaches it therefore it must be true. And for several centuries the Church also taught Arianism until a council settled the issue.

[/quote]

Arianism was never taught by the Church as such, merely by erring members of the hierarchy.

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:19 pm 
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So you are saying that the word adidios, which means eternal, idid not exist during the time in which the epistles and gospels of the canon of scripture were being written? I find that very difficult to believe but I will do further research on that. I also believe that Greek Scholars such as Illieria Ramelli I would highly disagree with you.

As for the rather tired objection regarding Constantinople II, modern scholarship has shown that Emperor Justinian forced the bishops to accept 15 additional canons after the first session on the three chapters was closed. These additional canons were against apocatastasis because Emperor Justinian did not like the theory and did not like its teaching. He wrote very clearly that he felt that if this was taught men would become spiritually lazy and run to sin. I don't respect the opinions or the theology of murderous thugs.

The point of mentioning Arianism, along with the Iconoclast heresy, is to show that error has taken over the Church before. It wasn't just a few Bishops, somewhere I read that it was the entirety of the church with the exception of Saint Athanasius and the then current pope. That is where the saying Athanasius contra mundum came from


Last edited by Light of the East on Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:07 pm 
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Christ Leading All People out of Hell.

Since earliest times, the Holy Fathers of the Church regarded the descent of Jesus to hell as an event so global and universal that it brought salvation not only to the righteous of the past but to all people in She’ol. St. Melito of Sardis speaks on behalf of Christ in his treatise on Pascha thus: “I am the one who destroyed death, and triumphed over the enemy, and trampled Hades under foot, and bound the strong one, and carried off man to the heights of heaven, I, he says, am the Christ. Therefore, come, all families of men, you who have been befouled with sins, and receive forgiveness for your sins. I am your forgiveness, I am the passover of your salvation, I am the lamb which was sacrificed for you, I am your ransom, I am your light, I am your saviour, I am your resurrection, I am your king, I am leading you up to the heights of heaven, I will show you the eternal Father, I will raise you up by my right hand” (On Pascha, 102-103). Interestingly enough, St. Melito insists that not just the holy men of the ancient Israel, but also all people without exception were saved. The faith of that ancient bishop was so strong that he couldn’t even think that anyone would choose to remain in hell instead of following Christ. The Stromata of Clement of Alexandria contain a fairly detailed teaching on the descent into hell. Clement also believed that Jesus had preached in hell not only for the righteous but for the heathens who had lived their lives out of reach of the true faith. God is impartial, so those people who hadn’t had the chance to believe in Christ when they walked the earth were given the chance to accept him after they died thanks to their virtuous life “in accordance with the law and in tune with philosophy”. (Stromata 6:6). Clement believed that the apostles, in keeping with their Teacher, descended into the hell and preached there. He views Hell as a place of correction rather than punishment.


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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 4:13 pm 
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I’m unfamiliar with St. Melito’s work but I have a pretty good recollection of Clement. He’s talking about those who lived in accordance with the natural law and who lacked faith when they died because they were never introduced to the Gospel whilst alive. These would probably be called invincibly ignorant these days.

This does not mean he was a universalist.

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:18 pm 
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HalJordan wrote:
I’m unfamiliar with St. Melito’s work but I have a pretty good recollection of Clement. He’s talking about those who lived in accordance with the natural law and who lacked faith when they died because they were never introduced to the Gospel whilst alive. These would probably be called invincibly ignorant these days.

This does not mean he was a universalist.


You may very well have a point, but in regards to something said earlier, it would show that there is the possibility of repentance after death.


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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 11:35 pm 
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Light of the East wrote:
HalJordan wrote:
I’m unfamiliar with St. Melito’s work but I have a pretty good recollection of Clement. He’s talking about those who lived in accordance with the natural law and who lacked faith when they died because they were never introduced to the Gospel whilst alive. These would probably be called invincibly ignorant these days.

This does not mean he was a universalist.


You may very well have a point, but in regards to something said earlier, it would show that there is the possibility of repentance after death.


If we assume Clement is correct, which is hardly a given.

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:57 pm 
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Denise Dee wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
There is no repentance in the afterlife because God doesn't grant the necessary grace.

How do you know this, Obi?

CHRYS. While it is day, He adds; i.e. while men have the opportunity of believing in Me; while this life lasts; The night comes, when none can work. Night here means that spoken of in Matthew, Cast him into outer darkness. Then will there be night, wherein none can work, but only receive for that which he has worked. While you live, do that which you will do: for beyond it is neither faith, nor labor, nor repentance. ( quoted in Catena Aurea, John 9)

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:03 pm 
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Jack3 wrote:
Denise Dee wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
There is no repentance in the afterlife because God doesn't grant the necessary grace.

How do you know this, Obi?


CHRYS. While it is day, He adds; i.e. while men have the opportunity of believing in Me; while this life lasts; The night comes, when none can work. Night here means that spoken of in Matthew, Cast him into outer darkness. Then will there be night, wherein none can work, but only receive for that which he has worked. While you live, do that which you will do: for beyond it is neither faith, nor labor, nor repentance. ( quoted in Catena Aurea, John 9)


Who are you quoting here. The Catena Aurea appears to be a writing of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Okay.....I Googled that. It appears that Aquinas is quoting from numerous sources and this quote is Chrysostom.


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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:02 am 
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LotE asserts that fear of eternal conscious torment does not cause the lasting repentance of most, and that is true, it certainly has been for me. It's a good start, but it can not sustain a person in the long run. At some point we have to move beyond fear to faith, hope and love, these are the only things that will bring lasting change to the heart of souls. "He who fears has not been made perfect in love." "For we have not been given the Spirit to re-enslave us to fear, but to love and a sound mind." These are the things I pray for...

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:21 am 
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Amen! So true.....these are the things we all need to pray for!

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:05 pm 
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Pro-Zak wrote:
LotE asserts that fear of eternal conscious torment does not cause the lasting repentance of most, and that is true, it certainly has been for me. It's a good start, but it can not sustain a person in the long run. At some point we have to move beyond fear to faith, hope and love, these are the only things that will bring lasting change to the heart of souls. "He who fears has not been made perfect in love." "For we have not been given the Spirit to re-enslave us to fear, but to love and a sound mind." These are the things I pray for...

Statistically, what are the chances that you or someone you love could suffer eternal punishment? How can a person who really believes in eternal punishment not be terrified that he or she or loved ones (or anyone) might make a wrong choice or succumb to temptation and consequently suffer eternally?


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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:10 pm 
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Denise Dee wrote:
Pro-Zak wrote:
LotE asserts that fear of eternal conscious torment does not cause the lasting repentance of most, and that is true, it certainly has been for me. It's a good start, but it can not sustain a person in the long run. At some point we have to move beyond fear to faith, hope and love, these are the only things that will bring lasting change to the heart of souls. "He who fears has not been made perfect in love." "For we have not been given the Spirit to re-enslave us to fear, but to love and a sound mind." These are the things I pray for...

Statistically, what are the chances that you or someone you love could suffer eternal punishment? How can a person who really believes in eternal punishment not be terrified that he or she or loved ones (or anyone) might make a wrong choice or succumb to temptation and consequently suffer eternally?

Statistically, it is impossible to calculate, for to do so would be to reduce God's judgement to some kind of algebraic formula. Even to think such a thing is doable is the height of folly.

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:29 pm 
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Yes, I know what you mean, but I don't mean exactly statistically, but those who believe in eternal damnation also tend to believe that most people will end up in hell and suffer for ever, that "few are chosen", that the gate is narrow, and so on. So, if that were true, the odds would be against most people, so how could I have any peace of mind that I am favoured by God when most people will be damned, even good people, better than me but who just don't believe what I believe. And even if I am lucky, what about people I love who don't appear to even believe the minimum required? I think I would be absolutely terrified and go into a state of depression if I believed in eternal hell. Look at someone who doesn't believe what you believe but is at least as good as you are, would you not think "If God would be prepared to let that person suffer eternally, how can I have much confidence or peace of mind that God won't let me suffer eternally too?"


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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:48 pm 
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Here's a question, actually two questions in two parts, I'd like to ask anyone who converted to Catholicism from some other Christian religion? Something to think about:

As a Catholic, are you terrified that you might suffer in hell for all eternity? If you are not terrified, why are you not terrified?

If you believed in another religion at any time in your life, before you became a Catholic, during that time in your life were you terrified that you might suffer in hell for all eternity? If you were not terrified, why were you not terrified?


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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:48 am 
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Actually, there are two different kinds of “Hell.”

Consider question 125 in the Compendium of the Catholic Church Catechism:

125. What is the “hell” into which Jesus descended?

This “Hell” was different than the hell of the damned. It was the state of all those, righteous and evil, who died before Christ.

Jesus came down to free all the just in hell so they could go to heaven and see God.

Perhaps, that’s what the Orthodox meant.

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:07 pm 
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Denise Dee wrote:
Here's a question, actually two questions in two parts, I'd like to ask anyone who converted to Catholicism from some other Christian religion? Something to think about:

As a Catholic, are you terrified that you might suffer in hell for all eternity? If you are not terrified, why are you not terrified?

If you believed in another religion at any time in your life, before you became a Catholic, during that time in your life were you terrified that you might suffer in hell for all eternity? If you were not terrified, why were you not terrified?


I fear hell for myself, my wife, and my children. Not a day goes by that I don’t beg God’s mercy and fear for my soul. I’m not kidding.

However, as a Baptist I had no fear of hell. Zero. I was “saved” and hell was no longer a worry as Christ was my savior.

The truth of hell hurts - it doesn’t conform to our broken and sin-twisted logic.

I have faith in the Church. She says hell is real and eternal. Scripture says, paraphrasing Christ, that the “worm doesn’t die”.

That’s enough for me.

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