By Charles Seymour (auth.)
In A Theodicy of Hell Charles Seymour tackles essentially the most tough difficulties dealing with the western theistic culture: to teach the consonance among everlasting punishment and the goodness of God. Medieval theology tried to unravel the trouble by way of arguing that any sin, regardless of how moderate, advantages never-ending torment. modern thinkers, nevertheless, are inclined to put off the retributive point from hell totally. Combining historic breadth with specific argumentation, the writer develops a unique realizing of hell which avoids the extremes of either its conventional and smooth competitors. He then surveys the battery of objections ranged opposed to the potential for everlasting punishment and indicates how his `freedom view of hell' can face up to the assault. The paintings should be of specific significance for these drawn to philosophy of faith and theology, together with teachers, scholars, seminarians, clergy, and someone else with a private wish to come to phrases with this perennially demanding doctrine.
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Additional info for A Theodicy of Hell
Again, if Bob were sent to hell but had his torments mitigated, then it might be said that he would receive both eternal punishment (being sent to hell) and eternal reward (the lessening of his eternal punishment). But this way of satisfying both demands is arbitrary, since it could with equal plausibility be suggested that Bob should receive an eternal reward (going to heaven) and eternal punishment (a reduction in his heavenly blessedness). We would not want to hold that two eternal fates, one radically better than the other, both satisfy the requirements of justice, and since it is arbitrary to suppose one does and the other does not, we are forced to conclude that neither does.
But it is liberal in believing that at least some of the dead will have a chance after death to avoid hell. Nicodemus conceives of these as the righteous Jews like Adam or Noah who died before Christ, but we might extend the principle in a number of ways: to those who died after Christ but never heard of him, to those who heard of Christ but for some reason were unable to accept him, etc. This gospel shows that liberal versions of hell have early precedents in church history. Indeed, the principle of Nicodemus has been discerned by some in the First Letter of Peter, in which it is said that God "went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah.
26. Bernstein 73-83. 27. Plutarch 191. 28. Plutarch's Moralia, vol. VII, trans. Phillip H. : Harvard University Press, 1959) 279. 29. Plutarch 281. 30. Plutarch 279. 31. Bernstein 78. 32. Plato, Gorgias 525 b,c, trans. W. D. Woodhead, Plato: The Collected Dialogues, ed. Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairns (Princeton: Princeton up, 1989) 305. 33. Bernstein 154-202. 34. Ezek. 32: 22-32. 35. Bernstein 173. 36. Bernstein 174. The Biblical passage is Dan. 12: 1-10. 37. Homer,Iliad, trans. E. V. Rieu (New York: Penguin, 1982) 407.