I am picking up where I left off yesterday regarding Kevin De Young’s review of Rob Bell’s Love Wins … De Young claims that there are “exegetical problems” with Bell’s take on scriptures that indicate the reconciliation of all things. I am including in this blog a wonderful video I found on youtube, which is jam-packed full of Amazing Hope for the whole world. This is your homework for today, my Berean friends, watch this video and ask yourself one question: What on God’s green earth would motivate someone to perform exegetical gymnastics to make each “all” and “every” into merely “some” or “not every”? I’ll even make your homework very easy for you by answering the question, that is, they would go through all this trouble in order to protect the traditional teaching of eternal torment. Just remember that if even one of these scriptures actually means what it appears to mean, then there is a Biblical basis for Bell’s claims. Now the majority of proof texts for eternal torment, on the other hand, disappear by clarifying one word. No exegetical gymnastics required. (And that word happens to take center stage in the suspicious translation tampering attempt by the evil Emperor Justinian that I mentioned in a previous blog.) But that’s another blog for another day.
De Young claims, “If eternal life is equivalent to saying the age to come, then Jesus is the master of redundancy.” Are you sure you want to pull the redundancy card, De Young? Because the eternal torment defenders will seriously have a much bigger problem with this… Perhaps readers will recall seeing the words “forever and ever” generously peppered through most modern Bible translations. By the time the Greek makes its way past the Latin Vulgate, Emperor Justinian, and the Dark Ages, it says “forever and ever.” The thing is, that second “ever” is actually a plural word. So if we are sticking with the erroneous “forever” thing, then it would say, “forever and everS.” How many forevers are there? Really, there is not a problem at all with Mark 10:30, see for yourself in the literal translation. De Young doesn’t like the idea that Jesus is promising a life that continues throughout the entire age to come, because he has been trained to believe and teach ideas that ignore the age to come and lump it together with this “eternity” idea where the Churchians get to abandon the world and begin their eternal life just before the shit hits the fan for the rest of us. Nice, huh? God is doing something right now, which will affect the near future of all mankind. We need to get our heads out of the “forever/eternal” clouds long enough to wrap our brains around this. God has rolled up His sleeves, and He is getting His hands dirty in the here and now. God established a “Plan of the Ages” for a reason. Stop ignoring the ages, people – this is exciting stuff!
Lastly, De Young suggests that all things reconciled to God actually means that some are reconciled in joyful worship while others are reconciled in just punishment. Let’s set aside the outlandish idea that infinite punishment for finite offenses is just, and focus on a particularly strongly worded scripture. Do a word for word study on Isaiah 45:21-23. You will see that everyone is worshipping and declaring in a celebration of God’s glory. God isn’t moving their lips for them while their hearts are far from Him. God swears by Himself. That’s some pretty heavy stuff, there. But, hey, De Young, if you want to explain to God why you tried revoking His word “that cannot be revoked,” go for it.