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Shadows of Divine Things

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Location: Texas, United States

This site is devoted to theological and philosophical investigations of the spiritual meanings of life, current events, music, spiritual growth, nature, and learning to be attuned to listening to the 'language of God.' The name of this blog comes from one of Jonathan Edwards's journals which he called 'Shadows of Divine Things,' and later renamed 'Images of Divine Things.' As a Christian I am continously on a spiritual journey to grow more into the image of Christ, to understand what it means to be crucified with Christ. To seek the truths of the Christian Faith is of upmost importance, and to know that any truths that are found outside of Christianity are present there because they ultimately point to God. I have an M.A. in theology and apologetics and I completed one year of graduate studies in Philosophy at Marquette University.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

About "Hell"

Last night, our usual group of resident theologians gathered for our usual discussion group. The topic at the end of the evening was “hell.” Several questions were raised about what hell actually is, and what the experience of hell would (or possibly will) be. Some of these questions included, “Will hell be permanent (will it be forever), or is it only for a short period of time?” or “Is hell a conscious decision on the part of the person who will suffer it?” etc.

While I honestly do not think we (theologically or otherwise) truly know too much about hell, I still think the best explanation of what hell is, is this. I believe hell is when a person has seen God for who He truly is (the beatific vision, if you will), thus having a full desire for God, and then being removed from Him. Thus, that person is left alone with the full knowledge of who God truly is, having seen Him, and has the greatest possible desire for God but this desire will never be attained or satisfied because the person has been removed (or separated) from that.

Several ideas were thrown on the discussion table about how hell is possibly total self absorption to the point of complete inward desperation. However, if all one knows is self, and one never knows God or being in the presence of God, how is this hell? Moreover, this idea does not seem far too removed from how many people actually are today in this presence life. Anyway, last night’s discussion really made me think, so I thought I would post a few short and quick thoughts here to possibly get some feedback on the issue. So if you feel inclined to do so, please post your thoughts on this issue in the comments.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

A Necessary Read

Over at Faith and Theology Kim Fabricius is at it again. He has posted an article on penal substitution (substitionary atonement), you can read it here.

Speaking of necessary reads, I happened to head over to a local bookstore and in their theology section landed on two excellent books that were too good to pass up; The Theology of Schleiermacher by Karl Barth and Foundations of Dogmatics vol. I by Otto Weber.