DOCTRINE OF HELL: ARGUMENTS IN FAVOR AND AGAINST RESTORIANISM
Doctrine of Hell: Restorianism
The traditional doctrine of Hell perplexes many Christians, including myself, as it seems that the majority of the world would be banished to fiery pit of despair for all of eternity. I was raised with the Restrictivist view that not everyone is provided with the opportunity to be saved—that only those who had accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior during their time on earth can be spared from such a fate. I had often worried about friends and family members who have died without doing so, despite having lived what I perceived to be “good” lives. I could not grasp how a loving God could consign those who were dealt with finite capabilities, reasoning and access to the knowledge to an eternal hell. However, I also have difficulty accepting Universalism as it does not provide me with a convincing argument that reconciles our free will with that of God's. Consequently, I currently hold only a few propositions that serve as puzzle pieces for an incomplete view of hell and are based on the pre-established views that were presented in the readings. While I cannot fully commit to a particular view of hell, I hold certain propositions that I gathered from my limited understanding of the Divine based on scripture, reason, and experience.
Different views about Hell
Despite holding different views of hell, restrictivists, restorianists and universalist all believe that there exists hell in some form or the other. Scripture in this regard, especially the teachings of Jesus and the various descriptions provided in the New Testament, provide some support for its existence. Hell is described as a place, which will be there after life full of torment and agony. This brings to mind another question concerning hell i.e. who is condemned to hell?
However, not all Christians hold the existence of hell as truth. People who believe in annihilatation and ultra-universalism deny the existence of hell. Annihilationists provide an alternative view of hell, where God, in all of his love and mercy, would rather annihilate those who reject him than let them suffer. Ultra-Universalism holds that because God loves us, there is no need for humans to experience any suffering in hell, and we are all automatically reconciled with him. Both reason that the concept of hell is incompatible with the reality of a loving and just God. However, there are several problems with this view. Ultra-universalism lacks biblical support, while annihilationism only consider verses that refer to hell as a state of destruction, while disregarding others that tell of an actual place with constant suffering. These verses can also be interpreted in such a way that supports the existence of hell. Another problem that arises is that both views sacrifice our free will and seems to undermine our actions in the present life.
God does not consign us to Hell; we choose to be in it by continually rejecting God. In the traditional Christian faith, there are only ...