You may not feel ready to experience heaven or hell quite yet but Undeceptions listeners certainly had a lot of questions about it! In this season’s Q&A episode, John Dickson attempts to answer at least some of the questions you’ve thrown at us this year.
This episode is brought to you by Zondervan Academic’s How NOT to read the Bible by Dan Kimball.
- Is the punishment of Hell proportional to our acts on Earth?
- Are there levels of Heaven?
- Why do we know so little about Heaven?
- What are we to think of God who is always present, even in the face of evil and abuse?
- Why is it considered Good News, if so many who don’t believe will end up in Hell?
- Do we lose our free will in heaven?
- Are demons real?
- Should Christians eat meat?
- Is there any benefit in reading the Apocrypha?
- Even if I believed in God, why would I believe in the Christian God? What makes Jesus so special as opposed to, say, Islam?
- Has the modern church tried to white-wash Jesus?
- Is the church trying too hard in its attempts to persuade same-sex attracted church people to live holy lives rather than relying on God and the power of the gospel?
- What should we do about the health, wealth and prosperity gospel?
We had so many questions from Season 3 that we couldn’t fit them all into the podcast episode. So, here are a few extra questions that John answered this season.
Eternity, Universalism and David Bentley Hart
The highly regarded scholar David Bentley Hart’s somewhat recent translation of the New Testament translates the Greek work ‘aion’ [i-on] or ‘aionios’ [i-on-ios] to be the more temporal description of ‘of the Age’ rather than the traditional ‘eternal’.
This seemingly impacts the well-established Christian doctrines of heaven and hell. Is the claim of life eternal through Jesus now seriously up for debate?
Here are a few interesting links on this question:
- Read David Bentley Hart’s translation of the New Testament
- A review of Bentley Hart’s translation in The Atlantic
- More about Universalism.
- How Universalism, ‘the Opiate of the Theologians,’ Went Mainstream, Christianity Today.
Did Paul write the Book of Hebrews?
“I just listened to the first podcast – Old Papers. I had always thought Paul wrote Hebrews, lately my various pastors have suggested ‘no Paul did not write Hebrews.
“Hearing that Hebrews was in these old papers of Paul’s writings made me think, mmm . I wonder what the answer is?”