May 10, 2006
To Hell or Not to Hell?
The oh so contraversial Brian McLaren has contributed a three part series (so far) over hell to Leadership Blog.
Being a fan of McLaren and his contribution to theology, I like his thoughts. I think that Christianity needs to wrestle with hell. It it is healthy to question some of our Dante-esque views of hell.
In good McLaren fashion, Brian rejects the polars of universalism and exclusivism. More importantly, he wants to focus on how to bring in the kingdom on earth as it is in heaven, and how to act in that kingdom (or this kingdom now and not yet). McLaren's perspective is very pastoral in concern, in that he is more worried about ethics and actions than exclusivist theology.
Many of the reformers of the 17th century did not rewrite and challenge the theology of their day for fun, much of their struggle to reform was out of pastoral concern. In the tradition of the reformation, I think that McLaren is writing out of a pastoral concern, not just to shake things up or to be contraversial.
So, I stand next to McLaren on this issue, that we need to move past talking about who goes to heaven and goes to hell, and start bringing in the kingdom. The more important question is, "How do we go about bringing in the kingdom of heaven?"
After all that, I must admit, though, that I do have a theory of heaven and hell that connects to the kingdom. It's not the traditional view. It's not fully worked out, heck, it may be someone else's theology. I'll post about it another time, for now, read what BM says.