Link to the book. If you want to see it. http://books.google.com/books?id=gK5LoeW8J2YC&printsec=frontcover&dq=catholic+apologetics+handbook+answers&source=bl&ots=DxsH8mB3Wf&sig=NGqiwtFb-JwlgZ1jJodvNq2ZSLo&hl=en&ei=3MDhS8T5Bovg8QSPp5iBAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CCQQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q&f=false
This article may come off as being a bit sarcastic, but its really the best way to expose such ridiculus teachings.
1. To believe there is no hell presupposes that both Scripture and the Church lie, for both clearly teach the reality of hell. They are our authorities, our reasons, our premises for believing in hell. If they are wrong about hell, they could be wrong about anything and everything else.
Problem here is that
1. The scripture written in the original language does not teach hell everlasting punishment. In the scriptures, everlasting originally portrayed "Aion" and "Olam", which never spoke of Eternity. Im sure we know all about the real meaning of Aion/Olam.
2. The assumption that the Catholic Church is infallible. Well, we can pretty fairly say thats not the case. In their religious tradition, St. Peter supposedly went to Rome to establish the unbroken Papacy. However the scriptures seem to indicate that Peter was in Babylon and not in Rome.http://www.bible.ca/catholic-infallibility.htm
Plus hard archaeological evidence has found that Peter was buried in Jerusalem, not Rome like the pope claimed.
This is a pretty good source on the belief on Catholic infallibility.
Conclusion: The bible in its original non-biased translation neither teaches that everlasting punishment nor does it teach that the Roman Catholic Church is the one true church with the ability to judge what is truth and what is not.
2. If Scripture and the Church do not lie about what Jesus said about hell, then it presupposes that Jesus is the liar. For he was far more explicit and adamant about hell than anyone else in Scripture. If there is no hell, the fundamental reason why Christians believe anything-the authority of Christ-is denied
Once again, they are referring to the old myth that Jesus spoke more on hell than heaven. Yes Jesus did speak of Judgment in Gehenna. But Gehenna was understood to mean a place of purification to the Jews of the time. Jesus never even spoke of a literal burning pitt popular in pagan mythology. However Jesus did talk about Judgment quite a bit and how many would have to go through judgment before being saved. And another side note is language and bible scholars know the difference between hades/sheol and Gehenna. Apparently tradition did not care to see the differences.
3. If we drop hell because it is unbearable to us, that presupposes the principle that we can change whatever doctrines we find unbearable or unacceptable; in other words, that doctrine is negotiable. Christianity then becomes a human ideology, not a divine revelation-a set of humanly chosen ideals and ideals rather than propositional data. There is then nothing new or surprising to learn. Doctrine becomes a nose of wax to be twisted into any shape we choose. Try this principle out in any other branch of knowledge and see whether it makes a difference. In addition to these three presuppositions, there are also seven disastrous consequences of dropping the belief in hell. Continuing on with our list of ten issues.
Thats calling the kettle black. I think it already was a human ideology when Pagan hell mythology butted its way in. Enough said.
4. If there is no hell, life's choices no longer make an infinite difference. The height of the mountain and the depth of the valley, the importance of winning and the importance of losing a war or a game-these two things are relative to each other and measure each other. Drop hell, and heaven becomes a bland automatic anything and everything for anyone and everyone. The razor-edge drama of life is blunted into a flat, save plain. We can see in the difference hell makes by comparing Hindu or Buddhist cultures. In these Eastern religions there is no eternal hell, only temporary purgatories or reincarnations. The difference this makes to life here is striking. Drama, especially tragedy, is something the West has specialized in and excelled at because it has theological roots in the doctrine of hell. C.S. Lewis said he never met a person who had a lively belief in heaven who did not also have a lively belief in hell. "If a game is to be taken seriously, it must be possible to lose it."
1. Where in the bible do lifes choices need to make an infinite difference in eternity?
2. What biblical proof(Valid) can we claim that this 70-100 year period determines your eternal destiny?
3. Drop hell and heaven is bland and anything goes? Well, heaven sounds like a big gladiator arena with Hell being the ring where we get to have a blast from the stands watching the damned in pain. Sounds like a certain medieval picture of the last judgment. So I guess no watching suffering sinners from your luxury boxes would make heaven so boring.
4. Anything goes? really? Last I checked the bible says God will judge us to burn out our sins, not let them coexist in some torture chamber. Anything goes is just the rant of an ignorant hellwisher. Heard that one enough "Without hell, no one can be punished" Once again, there is just punishment, not some of your wishful sick fantasies.
5. First off, there was performing drama in Eastern Culture long before Western Culture. Learn some historical facts first.
6. Secondly, Western Drama came from Greece in ancient times long before Christian hell philosophy. It was more focused on Romance, and heroic sagas, not some Mythological fire pit.
7. The doctrine of Eternal torment is so important just so "Dantes Divine Comedy" can be written. No hell=no Dantes divine comedy. Oh! what a horrible world that would be. No stories about some horrible inferno to make up more hell mythology. boohoo! By that reasoning the Holocaust was actually a blessing in disguise, because had it not been for the slaughtering of all those people, we would never be able to have such a production as Schinlers List. Well many Jews, Gypsies and other peoples were killed and tortured, and caused a major war, but its all good, because we got to produce shinlers list. See the flawed reasoning?
8. Where are the scriptural claims and not the lunatic rantings of someone who is in some delusion that Hell created great Dramas and that society would be lost without Shakespeare, and more ignorant historical claims against Eastern Philosophy?
5. If salvation is universal and automatic, then ultimately there is no free will. We may still be free to choose between one road to heaven and another, but we are not free to choose destinations or directions on the road-forward versus backward, up versus down, good versus evil. It is no accident that those Eastern religions do not teach hell also do not teach free will. Free will and hell go together; scratch the idea of free will and you will find underneath it the necessity of hell.
1. Who is freely going to choose hell? No one. According to Gregory of Nyssa, Origen and other Universalists, we did have free will, but we would eventually choose heaven after learning in judgment.
2. But unlike the popular creeds which teach absolute free will such as the quoted area, the bible does not teach thathttp://www.tentmaker.org/articles/savior-of-the-world/FreeMoralAgent-Eby.html
3. Free will so important? So basically your outside watching your three year old, and you let him/her run in the street only to be hit by a car and killed, all because you wanted to respect the little boys free will even though he only ran in the street out of curiosity, not an intent on being killed. Call child services. So an all loving god is going to let one of his ignorant children who got into sin out of pure curiosity and you are going to let him/her go to hell forever just to respect their "Free" will. Yeah, ignorance does not give out free will, only free impulses.
6. The same Eastern religions that teach there is no hell also teach there is no absolute morality, no real and objective opposition between good and evil. Morality becomes then only this-worldly and pragmatic-at most a means for purifying the mind from desire so that we can attain the enlightmenment of seeing the truth of pantheism. A real, objective opposition between good and evil. Morality becomes then only this-worldly and pragmatic-at most a means for purifying the mind from desire so that we can attain the enlightenment of seeing the truth of pantheism. A real, objective opposition between good and evil is incompatible with pantheism. If everything is God, there can be nothing else, nothing anti-God.
1. Eastern Religions Im pretty sure teach hell. Not to mention their descriptions of hell are much more graphic than the depictions from the bible. Secondly, Eastern Faith teaches that Hell is only temporary just as the original bible teaches.
2. Moral Relitivism? Nah! Eastern faiths teach no such thing. In fact, I've found that Eastern faith has a very strict code against harming any forms of life. Funny thing is those hell believers have committed the most autrocious and horrible acts. The Crusades, because those Heathens, Muslims, Jews and Eastern Orthodox were nothing but dung deserving of Everlasting torments. Lets violently kill them. Wait a minute. Jesus was strictly against violence, and the bible is pretty anti-murder. So it appears God does not condone Murder or Violence in any way.
3. No real objective between good and evil? And why do both Hindus and Buddhists believe that bad behavior in this life leads to finite punishments in the next life until they are reborn again? Yeah, I really want to go to their hell or be born as an outcast living on the streets.
4. incompatible with pantheism? Purifying the mind to recieve enlightenment? Nothing anti-God? If the universe has anti-God figures, then why is is when God created the world, he saw that it was good? Let us make man in our own image. Okay, man did fall, but I think that this was all part of the plan so we could grow and develop spiritually. But according to the scriptures, God would be "All in All", and "Reconciling all things to himself". According to the scriptures in the end everything would be of God. And pantheism some major heresy? I suppose they had never heard of "I am the vine and you are the branches". If I am correct, the branches are still part of the vine, just lesser. So if Jesus is calling himself the vine, and we are the branches, it looks as if we are offshoots of God, along with all of creation.
7. If there is no hell to be saved from, then Jesus is not our Savior but only our teacher, prophet, guru or model.
1. Jesus came to save us from death, not everlasting life in some hellfire pit. "The wages of sin is death." Christ saved us from Sheol, the grave. And the grave would be cast into the lake of fire. So essentially Christ did save us from something, but not unending pain.
2. Once again they assume without the notion of unending torment Christ cannot be savior. If anything, no everlasting torture means Christ is "The savior of all men". Plus the scriptures tell us "As in Adam all die, so shall in Christ all be made alive". The teaching of an endless hell therefore makes God out to be only a partial savior.
3. Obviously they are confusing No hell with no punishment at all. Talk about black and white reasoning.
8. If there is no hell. a religious indifference follows. If faith in Christ as Savior is not necessary, we should recall all the missionaries and apologize for all the martyrs. What a waste of passion and energy and time and life! If there is no such thing as fire, fire departments are a distraction and a waste.
1. Yes, faith in Christ is necessary, but not everyone would be saved at the same time. Once again you are following the Dogma of only being able to be saved during this life.
2. I dont see the Catholic Church doing a very good job of performing missionary work. And if what you mean by missionary work by going into Mexico and the United states and killing anyone who did not worship as you as missionary work, you have a lot to learn about Christ. Neither Jesus or his apostles spread Christianity by violent means. However ancient civilizations at that time killed anyone who did not worship their gods. It does not sound like Jesus missionary work, but Neros missionary work. Plus much of the time, less aggressive missionaries just went into villages and baptised them just to save them from hell. However the indigenous people ended up continuing their old customs, as we call them "nominal Catholics".
3. You assume the martyrs of the Early Church were all soul winners like todays "Christians". St. Steven, Origen, St. Paul and many other anonymous and known were not believers in everlasting punishment. It sounds like they were spending their time preaching of a God of love who would save the whole world, not just their people. The pagans did not like having to be equal to all other peoples, nor did the religious powers like being challenged, so kill off these inclusive preachers. However once Rome took over and the "Everlasting Torment" doctrine became the new official orthodox belief, all the martyrs disappeared. Now anyone who opposed the Pope was seen as a threat to salvation to those that showed loyalty to him. Sounds like Imperial Religion is back with a Christian mask.
4. You assume that our preaching is only purposed to save people from hell. WRONG! Jesus came to save us and bring us to a higher existence, not to save us from unending torture. But the purpose hear and now is to preach of an inclusive love, not scare people. Psychologists even agree people respond better to love than fear. "Perfect love casts out all fear".
9. If salvation is automatic, Christs sacrificial death was not what Christ himself said it was: necessary, planned, the culmination of his whole earthly life and his reason for coming from heaven to earth. Instead, it was a stupid mistake, a tragic accident. (This idea is devastatingly satirized in C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce. Chap 5).
1. Once again, Salvation is deliverance from Sin and death, not a pit of fire.
2. Salvation is not automatic but does not have an expiration date like you claim.
3. Not to mention, salvation for all means that Christs sacrificial death was a full sucess just like Adams first sin.
10. If there is no reason for believing in the detested doctrine of hell, there is also no reason to believing in the most beloved doctrine of Christianity: that God is love. The beloved doctrine is the reason critics most frequently give for disbelieving the detested doctrine, yet the two stand on exactly the same foundation.
1. God is love, and a belief that he could throw you into a pit of fire cannot be reconciled. No one with any amount of sane reasoning could see the logic in that idea.
2. Once again, you are making the claim that Jesus preached more about hell based on your Jerome translated bible, not the original Greek and none of mans traditions telling you how to understand the bible.