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02:33 AM on 03/14/2011
This entire article is based on a false dichotomy: "The Doctrine of Hell" vs. "The Teachings of Jesus."

The truth is that Jesus was adamant about the existence and horrible reality of Hell. It's one of his most common teachings (Matthew 25:41, Luke 12:5, Matthew 25:46, Mark 9:44, Matthew 13:41-42, Luke 16:19-31, Matthew 5.21-22, Matthew 5.29-30, Matthew 23:33, among many other passages).

Whoever rejects the doctrine of hell rejects the teachings and authority of Jesus as revealed in the gospels.

Furthermore, without Hell, Christianity makes no sense. Who needs a savior when there's nothing to be saved from?
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mmkay
Holy Sith! 'mkay?
03:39 AM on 03/14/2011
Christianity makes no sense except where it talks about conduct. All the rest is balder, minus the dash.
05:31 AM on 03/14/2011
The Great Commandment is to love God and love your neighbor. I like to think that people don't need the fear of hell hanging over them in order to do that. If you're solely into Christianity because you're terrified of going to hell, I think you may have missed a big part of the overarching message.
02:13 AM on 03/14/2011
John 3:16 has a very different meaning when you bother to read one verse further (John 3:17). Apparently, according to Jesus, "all who believe in him" will have eternal life, whereas those who don't will be "judged."
ThinkCreeps
Seriously, it's time.
02:01 AM on 03/14/2011
Mmmm... not likely.

You can't fleece the flock into buying their way out of hell, if you tell them that no-one's going there after all. What is this? Socialism?
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Hregi Naldg
02:29 AM on 03/14/2011
Lol.
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FearlessFreep
A radical leftist with a JS Woodsworth avatar.
12:10 AM on 03/14/2011
Ronald Reagan made me believe in hell.
02:59 AM on 03/14/2011
Funny - Obama's doing the same for me.
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Hirnlego
03:25 AM on 03/14/2011
Is he too much like Bush?
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chipchuck
Rethink that...
11:52 PM on 03/13/2011
If believing in God, not believing in God, believing there is no God, believing in hell or not, motivates you to be kind to others, I say it's good.

That's the real point right? Be excellent to each other, and party on dudes?
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ecotopian
I am nerd, hear me geek
11:09 PM on 03/13/2011
Cosmos also means order in Greek. The opposite of cosmos is chaos, disorder. Or looked at another way, cosmos is heaven and chaos is hell. Isn't heaven supposed to be orderly and hell chaotic?
11:05 PM on 03/13/2011
***Does Anyone Go To Hell?***

No, they don't.
11:01 PM on 03/13/2011
The author should also have pointed out that the Greek word for "world" (kosmos) can also be equally translated as "age." By reading biblical passages with the word "age" instead of "world," it offers a very different perspective that must be considered to understand the text.
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lostnacfgop
Tiny Ripples of Hope from a Blue State's Red spot
10:53 PM on 03/13/2011
This line is very telling: "After all, and as many Evangelical Christians have argued, if you can go to heaven without believing in Christ, what's the point of faith in the first place?"

As a practicing Catholic, it has been intriguing to understand the Evangelical position of "accepting a personal savior" and "Inviting Him into my heart" as the vehicle for salvation, so much so that it begs a similar question, "If one can go to heaven simply by professing faith in Jesus, what's the point of life in the first place?" By implication, life must be more than simply uttering an important phrase - it has to be bound up with actions that put meaning and depth to that faith.
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Deacon2
Namaste y'all
10:46 PM on 03/13/2011
Why is it that God is mad at the same things that the Evangelicals are?
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10:17 PM on 03/13/2011
To me, a more relevant question would be whether one (like I) can go to hell, since that is what I would like. It is in hell that I expect to find great minds - philosophers and scientists, and great [pots and artists.

Why would I want to go to heaven, and have to deal with all kinds of priests?
03:08 AM on 03/14/2011
We are in hell when there are no artists!
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Indigo1941
Time traveler.
10:03 PM on 03/13/2011
Everybody goes to heaven except the people I don't like. They go to hell. 'Twas ever thus.
09:57 PM on 03/13/2011
Thank you for your thoughtful post. I cannot reconcile the God depicted in much of the bible with the life of Jesus. I like to think that pre-Christ, people were searching for God's character and were, most often, wrong. That's why Jesus wsa needed.
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bbriani3842
400+ yrs of science & STILL no evidence for a god
10:46 PM on 03/13/2011
If you cannot trust a book to tell you where you came from, how can you trust it tell you where you are going?
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Hregi Naldg
02:31 AM on 03/14/2011
hear hear
02:20 AM on 03/14/2011
Why not? Jesus warned about hell and punishment throughout the gospels.
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09:53 PM on 03/13/2011
I have long had a problem with the justice of infinite punishment for finite sins by fallible confused ignorant beings. This was a very interesting article and food for thought. Thanks much, David, for writing this.
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09:29 PM on 03/13/2011
"if you can go to heaven without believing in Christ, what's the point of faith in the first place?"

Well, if it is the right thing to do, you don't need Heaven. If it is the wrong thing to do, Heaven won't make it any better.

After all, what happened to the seething mass of humanity that existed BEFORE Christ? No Heaven for them at all? Tough lottery, that one ...
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bbriani3842
400+ yrs of science & STILL no evidence for a god
10:47 PM on 03/13/2011
Doesn't make any sense, does it?
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recless
Evidence first. Believe later. Maybe.
11:11 PM on 03/13/2011
Not sure it is religion's job is to make sense.