Eschatology and Theology

There is no more important question in Christian theology today than coming to terms with the doctrine of hell. While that may seem like a bit of an overstatement, regardless of what is said and preached about God being merciful and loving, if the doctrine of hell is not brought into the affirmation in a truly integrated way, then it will leave people wondering if God really is merciful and loving. If we cannot preach and teach about hell in a way that is coherent with the biblical affirmation that God is love, then the lingering image of a vengeful and angry God will get in the way of our proclamation. Here is what I have discovered: Our vision of how things will end is actually what determines what we really think about who God is and what God is like. To put it in words that would make my seminary professors proud, our eschatology determines our theology. This means our exploration of hell is actually nothing less than an exploration into the very heart and character of God.

— Heath Bradley, Flames of Love, p. 29

[Photo: Hug Point, Oregon, November 10, 2015]

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