Thursday, July 05, 2007

Hell of a question

We had a useful discussion yesterday in the Discipleship Explored homegroup about heaven and hell, but I don't think I answered this one very well. Someone asked, what is the point of the bodies of the damned being raised and reunited to their souls just so that they can be tortured even more / in a new way?

I mumbled something about the Bible said it happens this way and maybe its connected to this physical creation being redeemed and God achieving his purposes for his world, not being beaten by sin. What should I have said?


Anonymous said...


Assuming that the q isn't doubting eternal conscious punishment, but just whether there's any need to give them a body in which to be punished, I wonder if the answer is something to do with personal continuity. The person is punished for sins committed in the body, so it seems appropriate that they're punished in the body. One's personal identity at death is the sum of one's life lived in the body, so in order for someone to be fully themselves (and so fully and justly punished for their sins), they need a body. Perhaps.


dave williams said...

Also there must be some continuity. Even at the point of eternal punishment there is an element of God's creation purposes being fulfilled. So whatever happens to those who are punished, they do not become unhuman.

Furthermore I wonder to what extent humans can have any conscious existance without bodies -but I tread even further into the realms of speculation I fear!

dave williams said...

On a related question. I have been asked -and aim to tackle this in ten minutes on Sunday

"Did Jesus go to Hell"

How would you answer that?

Anonymous said...

Augustine, City of God, book 13 - something to do with a soul needing a body in order to feel certain things. Or something. RPHT with GW, 2005 - remember?!

Michael McClenahan said...

This may, or may not help, on the question regarding Christ and hell - it is an interesting sermon anyway!