On The Road #44: Heaven, Hell & New Creation

On The Road: Journal of the Anabaptist Association of Australia and New Zealand #44 has hit the newsstands! For those who came in late, I’m the editor.

Some great articles with a wide range of perspectives on eschatology, and some other good contributions.

Download it here as a pdf: otr_44

To subscribe, send me an email – nathanhobby at gmail.com

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4 thoughts on “On The Road #44: Heaven, Hell & New Creation

  1. Hi Nathan,

    I have skimmed through this edition of “On the Road” and find it very interesting. I am going to take my time reading each article on the major theme.

    I did notice an article on Richard Dawkins and company. Is he (Dawkins) an
    atheistic “fundamentalist”? While he is quite a passionate atheistic, he claims that he in not a fundamentalist in his atheism (See “The God Delusion”).

    I think that terms like “fundamentalist” are possibly best avoided in the interests of respectful dialogue in this debate between atheists and Christian theism.

    I also look forward to the next edition of the journal in which God’s “genocide” is to be discussed.

    Shalom,
    John Arthur

  2. Hi Nathan,

    I have reread the book review by Chris Marshall on “Atheist Delusions” by David Hart (This time, a liitle more slowly). I apologise to him. He did not say that Dawkins was a fundamentalist but that he propounds his atheism “with an almost fundamentalist religious zeal”.

    I think that I agree with Marshall but would prefer the word passionate rather than “fundamentalist”, as this word can be interpreted pejoritavely.

    I hold the view that Dawkins is a very articulate spokesperson for the new atheism .

    He is also a very distinguished biologist so his comments on biology and his critique of creation science are welcome.

    His chapter on the bible and morality in The God Delusion does not consider the best of biblical scholarship from moderate liberals and progessive evangelicals, nor does the chapter interact well with top scholarship on biblical hermeneutics and theological ethics.

    His view of the bible seems to be informed more by radical scholars like A. N. Wilson, J Shelby Spong, and the Jesus Seminar people.

    I have not read Hart’s book yet, but Chris Marshall’s articulate and eloquent commnets and review make me want to read it.

    Shalom,
    John Arthur

  3. Hi Nathan,

    David Griffin’s article on “The silence on Hell” raises an interesting hermeneutical problem for some anabaptists: namely, the Lorship of Jesus requires us to accept not only Jesus’ concept of non violence but also his concept of Gehenna.

    If some anabaptists are ashamed of or deny Jesus’ concept of hell then, insofar as this is true, they are (at this point) denying Jesus’ Lordship.

    What I suspect is happening is not that anabaptists are, in fact, doing this but many of us are rejecting the view that God has an eternal torture chamber. This view of hell seems incompatible with the non violence of God revealed in Jesus and with God’s love for his enemies.

    The real question is over the nature of gehenna. Is it the “fire” of everlasting torture or is it the “fire” that consumes?

    In the final anaysis, this question can only be settled by an exegesis of the biblical texts. However we all come to these texts with a preunderstanding influenced by our theological, ethical, hermeneutical, social, economic, political and cultural presuppositions. So a neutral reading of the text is not entirely possible.

    We may never come to an agreement on the nature of Jesus’view of hell, but we should, at least, try to align our presuppositions so that they are consistent with the vision of the canonical Jesus. And I think this was what David Griffin was trying to convey.

    Many thanks to him for his challenging and stimulating article.

    Shalom,
    John Arthur

  4. Hi Nathan,

    What a great article by Chris Marshall on “Care for Creation: Paul’s Theology of Cosmic Redemption.”

    His holistic view of Paul’s theology of redemption (which includes not only individual salvation but also the renewal of social structures and the healing of the whole creation) is an evangelical and anabaptist antidote to much of popular evangelical thinking.

    Popular evangelicalism with its body/soul dualism, its adherence to western individualism and its overemphasis on retributive divine justice and punishment is a major reason for its lack of emphasis on social justice and the care of creation.

    In some quarters, emphasis on Dispensationalism means an overemphasis on escaping the great tribulation and this does not encourage interest in creation care.

    Shalom,
    John Arthur

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