Monday Musings for August 06, 2018

Good morning, Musers,

If God is a God of love, then he would never send people to hell! That’s one of the more common objections to God and the Gospel, but it’s really a logical softball. You see, when a holy God administers love among volitional beings, the results will be necessarily messy… and that’s the part that trips people up. We should expect life to be messy. Why? No free will, no mess… but no free will, no love… and any love worth having requires that hell exists.

Here’s an example. I love my family… and I’ve done many “uncomfortable” things to them over the years. Why? Because I’m an adult! If I didn’t apply critical thinking to the distribution of the family’s goods and our moral well-being, we’d be in freefall… and what kind of father would I have been if I had not taken care of business? Not one that models God.

Now, a little indulgence is part of love. But total indulgence is folly… and the notion that people have a right to live their lives without being confronted by hurtful truths is ludicrous. Responding to negative feedback is the algorithm for growth — and that’s the only path to maturity. Helping children become responsible adults should be every parent’s overarching objective because this is the kind of love that God has for us (Hebrews 12:6). Therefore, true love involves discomfort — both here, and for some, in the hereafter.

But there are a few other issues about God, love and hell that need exploring… like if God is omnipresent, doesn’t that mean that he exists in hell too? That’s a fair question, and we’ll explore that today. And also, if God’s love is infinite, doesn’t it extend to the people in hell? That’s another fair question which we’ll tackle. But first, some disquieting news: there are plenty of things that God cannot do.

God cannot make a square circle… nor can he make a married bachelor… not can he make A to be non-A at the same place and time… nor can he create a rock so big he can’t move it… but neither can anyone else — and that’s the tell. These are all unreasonable constructs, and God is reasonable (Isaiah 1:18). But how do we know this for sure? The universe he created reflects his nature (Romans 1:18-20)… and it tells us that even God’s attributes have logical limits.

Let’s apply this principle to his omnipresence. Since our holy God created a moral universe, it is reasonable that he set up a place where he would never be as the place to deal with sin for eternity. This does not mean he is not omnipresent. It just means that unatoned sin is mutually exclusive with his holiness. That is the nature of both God and sin. As such, God being in hell would be like a square circle. The words make it sound like it might be a possibility… but it’s not.

Infinite love would work the same way. Just because love is said to be infinite, this does not mean that it can force an entity into an illogical construct. According to the rules of the game, people choose to spend eternity with God or away from him. So, you cannot say God’s love is not infinite when it will not violate the logical boundaries set up by free will.

Does all this sound interesting? Then, come on up and enjoy the musings.

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