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Reply Topic: Re: Al Mohler/Chris Date Unbelievable Debate
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[quote="kgddds" post=3033]Wow, Chris, that's pretty significant to engage in a debate with Dr. Mohler. Some of my thoughts and impressions... I found Dr. Mohler frequently stating that the "most [b]natural[/b] reading of the Scripture" as being support for the validity of the traditional interpretation. He also frequently relied upon the "most [b]common[/b] reading of the Scripture" through church tradition as support for that interpretation. These are fine methods of interpretation if the "most natural" and the "most common" interpretations have behind them valid assumptions. Dr. Mohler said that "there is a Biblical [b]assumption[/b] that, at least part of what it means, to be made in the image of God is that there is a gift of life that is beyond this life." Dr. Mohler also said that "it means for God to create as creatures who are not made for this life only, but for an eternity." Time and time again the traditionalist will start with the assumption that the soul is immortal and say the Bible clearly supports this belief, where it does not. They read Scripture with the assumption that immortality exists for everyone and cyclically support that belief with Scripture interpreted with that assumption. I would like to ask this question of the traditionalist: At what point in reading the Bible are you convinced that the soul is immortal? This "assumption" then is stated as a foundational truth—that the Bible teaches we have a soul and that our soul was made to live forever, that our soul never dies. Screeeeeeeeeech! Wait a minute! Assumptions cannot be changed into foundational truth. For if they are, you run the risk of misinterpreting Scripture with an error that seems "natural" and becomes "common" and with a little time becomes "traditional." A foundational truth is produced from the Bible and originates from nowhere else. Using the Bible to support assumptions (like unconditional immortality) does not make those assumptions foundational truth. But the belief of ECT seems to require unconditional immortality as a foundational truth. Just take a look at these sermon notes from a sermon on hell from a traditional perspective of hell: "The Bible teaches that we are more than just physical beings—we are body and spirit. The Bible teaches that we have a soul and that our soul was made to live forever. That’s a foundational truth as we study the after life: Your soul never dies." If it were true that the soul never dies and that immortality is certain for everyone (and not conditional), I would agree with Dr. Mohler and others that a very natural reading of Matthew 25:46 could be some sort of conscious punishment. Maybe interpreted something like this: "Then they [the unrighteous people who must live on forever in immortality] will go away to [a tormented state of] eternal punishment [that therefore requires a place of eternal existence], but the righteous [who also have immortal souls] into [a gloriously blessed] eternal life [with Christ because of Christ]." Or perhaps more simply: "Then they will go away to [an] eternal [tormented life of] punishment [in hell], but the righteous to [a glorious] eternal life [with God]." So the problem (the crux of the debate) is with the assumption of soul immortality adopted as being a foundational truth. This pins in the interpretation of Matthew 25:46 to mean what the traditionalist see as an obvious and natural meaning, and that it would be silly to believe otherwise. Of course, other problems arise from the belief that "to be made in the image of God is that there is a gift of life that is beyond this life" in that death must be defined as something that allows for the continuance of the soul. Death can only then mean a separation of sorts because it cannot be anything other than that. So, in a convoluted way, it becomes natural and obvious and then common and traditional and foundational to believe death is separation. Error begets error. And error is dependent upon error where the belief of ECT requires the belief in the immortality of everyone's soul. In this dependent cycle of error, ECT then becomes a support for the [false] reality of immortality (where the "eternal punishment" supports the belief of unconditional immortality of the soul). I find the traditional belief understandable, yet contorted in the sense there has to be significant theological gyrations to explain how it fits with PURPOSE, GLORY, and JUSTICE. Ken [color=#0000ff]Matthew 25:46 NIV  “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. ”[/color][/quote]
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Dr. Al Mohler & Chris Date debate
"Should Christians rethink Hell?" on
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