Jesus’ parable of the sheep and the goats (Mt 25:31ff.) is often cited as the key verse for the idea that there is an eternal hell. But if you look at the verses closely and not just read them superficially, you will discover that this is not the case. In fact, the opposite is true: the verses give hope for a future reconciliation of all people with Jesus.[Read more…] about Does the parable of the sheep and the goats teach hell or universal reconciliation?
The word “hell” doesn’t exist in the Bible!
Whenever I am asked my opinion on the subject of hell, I usually answer with a counter-question: “What hell do you mean?” The word hell doesn’t exist in the Bible! Rather, there are 4 different words in the Bible, all of which have a different meaning, but unfortunately, all of them are often translated with the word hell. However, none of these 4 words has the meaning we often associate with the word hell. These 4 biblical words are often translated as hell:
For me, the belief in an eternal hell has never been a problem. I’ve talked about hell more than any other Christian I’ve known. The teaching that God will reconcile all human beings with himself was a dangerous heresy for me. Here I want to explain 13 reasons why I can no longer believe in eternal torture, but am convinced that in the end, God will reconcile all people with himself.[Read more…] about 13 reasons why I believe that in the end, Jesus will reconcile all people to himself
There are different images of God in the Bible. How do we know what God really is like? What is the standard by which we evaluate different images of God in the Bible? Is there a revelation from God that trumps all others?[Read more…] about The only way to know God’s character for sure!
In this world, we are often confronted with intense suffering and immense pain. Child abductions, abuse, domestic violence, addictions, natural catastrophes, accidents and crippling diseases are only a few of the evils that occur all the time in this World. But why does God not stop all of that?[Read more…] about Why does God not stop evil and suffering?
C.S. Lewis rightly highlights that “Putting on Christ…is not one among many jobs a Christian has to do; and it is not a sort of special exercise for the top class. It is the whole of Christianity (2009:195).” The heart of Christianity is to imitate Christ. But how can it be that Mahatma Gandhi said: “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.“ How can it be that many Christians don’t reflect Christ anymore? This article suggests that to successfully imitate Christ, we need a new vision of how it would look like if Jesus would be incarnated in the here and now. This article will suggest helpful questions we need to ponder to gain a fresh vision of what Jesus would do today in our world.[Read more…] about How would it look like if Jesus would be incarnated here and now?
A quick book review of How the Bible Actually Works (by Peter Enns)
Peter Enns masterfully argues in his book How the Bible Actually Works that the Bible is not a divine rulebook that gives clear guidance for every question of life. Rather the Bible is supposed to help us grow in wisdom so that we can know God how he truly is and make decisions in life that reflect his character well. Enns phrases it like this:[Read more…] about Reimagining God for the here and how – a biblical responsibility?
The parable of the rich man and poor Lazarus is often used to justify the teaching of eternal suffering in hell. This article explores if this is reasonable and how the parable should be understood best.[Read more…] about The Rich Man and Lazarus
Didn’t Jesus teach hell himself? What about “whoever says ‘Fool’ will be sent to fiery hell” (Mt 5:22 NET)? How does that fit together with the reconciliation of all people? By giving the Old Testament background of Gehenna, I’ll show that Jesus didn’t teach eternal punishment in hell but imminent national judgement.[Read more…] about The meaning of Gehenna in the teachings of Jesus
Sometimes I hear people say that the idea of God saving everyone (The Victorious Gospel) is a rather modern idea. Nothing could be further from the truth. Actually, the Victorious Gospel was not only a doctrine a few exotic believers held but it was taught at most theological schools in the first five centuries.[Read more…] about Was the Doctrine of Universal Reconciliation the Dominant Belief of the Early Christians?
In the Bible there are many Bible passages that indicate that one day God will reconcile all people with himself, draw them to himself, and he will be Lord over everything and everyone. Here is a small selection of such Bible passages.[Read more…] about Scriptures that point toward the salvation of every person