Hell: Fashioned by Created Beings

HT to Sarah for this great three minute clip from Anglican Bishop NT Wright on the topic of Hell. Here is an interesting excerpt from what he said in the video:
Its a matter of deep down somewhere, there is a rejection of the good creator God, then that is the choice humans make. In other words, I think the human choices in this life really matter. Were not just playing a game of chess, where tomorrow morning God will put the pieces back on the board and say, Okay that was just a game. Now we're doing something different. The choices we make here really do matter.
Over the past several years I have had many conversations with blog friends about whether Hell exists or not. I have learned a lot through these discussions. One false image that I have had to redefine for some is the idea that God inflicts suffering and torment on people.

Many have picked up what I believe to be a false teaching that paints God as an angry entity that "sends people to hell".. often sincere believers reject this image of God and embrace an ultimate reconciliation view because of it. What I usually say is that suffering and torment come from within creation before one dies.. God does not inflict suffering and torment.. and I see nothing to indicate that it will also be that way after death. In a sense Hell is a place fashioned by created beings.

I agree with Bishop Wright.. choices in this life really matter.. life is not a game.. I think that the road to hell is taken one choice at a time. Okay if you disagree.. I will enjoy the dialog and hope to learn from it.


  1. Thank you, KB. Last Sunday I preached on Jesus suffering, and noted that his suffering was chosen, which distinguishes it from suffering that is inflicted. Makes a big difference.

  2. Any place without God and Jesus would be hell.

  3. I agree with you that our unbelief is what sends us to hell.

    Though this has to be balanced out with God's wrath, and propitiation.

  4. I believe C.S. Lewis said that in the end there are two kinds of people, those who say "THY will be done" and those who say "MY will be done". I think the good Bishop and C.S. Lewis got it right.


  5. There are a whole lot of people who believe that all but the elect will populate Hell and that they have no chance of getting a get out of Hell card from God. According to that branch of the Church, those unfortunate souls were predestined to go there. As A.W. Pink said, "Here's a little secret about God: He DOESN'T love everybody!" I don't happen to agree with him, or with much of Calvinist/Reform theology that promotes the God Who sends people to Hell "for His own purposes".

    I look forward to watching the video later when I have more time.

  6. Gary.. I like what Scot McKnight recently said..

    "My current view is a mix to be honest. While I have traditionally held to Wesley's views that indeed the fires and agony are of mental (not actual) nature, with literal physical torture being a remnant of the church fathers and the early Roman Catholic church. I am increasingly drawn to an annihilation view in some regards, ala Greg Boyd. I believe that God's sentence is eternal, in that it is never altered or reversed, but at some point in order for God to be truly God and for their truly to be a new heaven and a new earth then sin must be utterly destroyed and made as though it never was, or am I missing something?"

    ..I found his thoughts to be a bit.. well.. thought provoking :)

  7. This was a great post! I agree with you 100 percent about the issue of hell. today matters. Hell is a reality, we have often just missed what the bible actually has to say about it. great video by the "Bish."


I love to get comments and usually respond. So come back to see my reply.
You can click here to see my comment policy.