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9 responses to “Blog

  1. WILLIAM A PATTON

    April 18, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Dr. Dixon, Thank you for taking the time to review and write down your thoughts. While I did not read the book by Rob Bell I have heard much from both sides good and bad and the ugly. It is useful for me to be able to lovingly talk to individuals who are consumed with the idea that God would not allow terrible situations to happen in peoples lives. Your review is comprehensive but done with real Christian love. Attacking the message but not directly going after the author.
    A radical life lived for Christ is demanding and requires that we use all the skills and gifts God has given us to live life so that God is glorified.
    Stresses of life in many forms teach us that we need to depend more and more on God for his teaching, correction and direction in our lives. To be fully dependent on God is difficult and demands that I turn over every area to Him, daily. Thanks again.

     
  2. Nathan Tumey

    April 22, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Professor Dixon,
    First I want to thank you for your blog entries and your online review of “Love Wins”. I’ll start by saying that I have not read the book, but I have read several reviews from various pastors – some positive, some negative. There are two issues that I’ve been thinking a lot about as I’ve been researching Bell’s book and searching through the scripture about the teachings about hell.

    1) The opportunity for “post-mortem” salvation is hardly a new issue. I was first exposed to this line of thought while reading “The Great Divorce” by C.S. Lewis. Are Bell’s views really any different than Lewis’s? The evangelical Christian community has long-praised the writings of Lewis. But I wonder how many are aware of the view of Hell that he presents in “The Great Divorce”? It seems to me that scripture is largely silent on the issue of exactly what takes place after death. Certainly “post-mortem salvation” isn’t directly taught in scripture – however that doesn’t make it INCONSISTANT with scripture.

    2) Why are many evangelicals quick to condemn Bell’s theology – but equally quick to believe in an “age of accountability”? I spent a great deal of time a few years ago trying to search scripture for any evidence of this “age of accountability”. There is virtually none. I think that this is just a prop that Christians have used to make themselves “feel better” about Hell.
    This, of course, leads to an entirely different problem. Since I can’t justify an “age of accountability” with Scripture, I am left with only two choices: Either God condemns babies and children eternal torture OR he has an alternative option that is not elaborated in scripture. Can God choose to forgive those that have never asked for his forgiveness? During my nonproductive search for an “age of accountability” in scripture, I came across a reasonable amount of scriptural evidence that at least leaves open the possibility of salvation for those that may not believe in this lifetime (1st Timothy 4:10, Rom 9:16, Rom 11:32, Luke 23:34) Does this mean that he MUST save those? Absolutely not. But CAN he? My answer is yes.

    I understand (and believe) that scripture is God’s word to mankind. However, I also believe that part of the way in which we are “made in the image of God” is that we have a logical, creative, and reasonable thought process. How can I have faith in a God that sends infants, mentally challenged adults, and those who have never heard the truth to spend eternity being tortured? That’s just not a faith I feel proud to share with anyone. That’s not a God that I can look up to and respect. I wonder if that is the reason why (statistically speaking) so many more people come to faith in Christ as children. Kids are not quick to recognize the inconsistency (unfairness) of teachings about Hell that are prevalent in church. However, most adults recognize the implications of a belief in Hell and choose to have nothing to do with it.

    Lewis’s view of Hell (that the gates are locked from the INSIDE) is a reasonable view that, to me, balances scripture with logic. (both of which are gifts from God) Annihilism also seems to be a reasonable balance of the two. (Hell = separation from God. Life is created and sustained by God. Separation from God = annihilation / nothingness).

    I suspect that you have addressed many (or all) of these issues in your book about Hell. Thank you for your thoughtful commentary on this book.

     
    • larrydixon

      April 29, 2011 at 7:30 am

      Nathan:
      Thank you for your comments. Do you live in Columbia? Can we have lunch together sometime and talk about these questions. My CIU extension is: 807-5373.
      Blessings.
      Larry Dixon

       
      • Nathan

        May 7, 2011 at 4:33 am

        Larry, thanks. You can probably tell from my last name that I’m related to a couple people on campus! But, no I’m not in the Columbia area anymore.

        I enjoy your blog. Perhaps I’ll pick up your book sometime.

        My main point in the previous post is that there seems (to me) to be a bit of “middle ground” between eternal concious punishment and Universalism. You seem to paint this issue as black/white – but from my reading of Lewis (and from my reading of Scripture) there is seems to be some middle ground. That is where I’m planting my feet at the moment.

         
  3. Anonymous

    May 22, 2011 at 9:03 am

    you make me sick

     
    • dafoolchillypop

      May 3, 2012 at 4:52 am

      …you make me sick too, but I hadn’t (until now) thought of mentioning it on your BLOG. LOL!

       
  4. E. Stan Baldwin

    January 29, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Dr. Dixon,
    I really enjoyed the article on universalism in the winter Emmaus magazine. It brought back memories of your book on Heaven. I plan to get back to and review that book. I meant to tell you how much I enjoyed it but you understand how the memory of a senile old man works.
    Stan Baldwin

     
  5. Jake

    May 3, 2012 at 5:54 am

    I have been toying around with inclusivism lately. I can see Nathan’s point. I haven’t read your books on the subject, but I would like to dialogue with you about this sort of thing. Why are we, as Christians, so adamant about teaching hell as “eternal conscious torment”?

     
  6. Gwendolyn J Hoskins

    February 4, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    I know it would take Jesus’ character to be kind and gracious to the aparthied oppressors of Mandela’s Nation. President Mandela displayed those character qualities. Were Ronald Reagan and his wife Christians? When Reagan was President and coalitions were developing a front against the Hitler like regime of the South African Government, Ronald Reagan emphatically refused to support or participate in a US Economic Boycott against apartheid in spite of the murderous atrocities of that government against its Native people. He was clear along with some other suppose to be conservative evangelical Christians. So I am not sure how Christian a position that was. And what that means about these individuals and their spirituality. The Bible says, ” Do Justice and Love Mercy!” Reagan’s position did not fall on the side of justice or mercy for those oppressed under apartheid. Now Mrs. Reagan was an avid follower of the horoscopes and signs. Any Bible believing Christian who knows Scripture is keenly aware that this is a forbidden practice in the Old and New Testaments. Was she a believer who followed the stars? You see, some conservative evangelicals Christianize who they want to and question others integrity and character who do not fit into their social, political, and doctrinal frameworks. But since this is Black History Month, I will personally proclaim what the old Negro Spiritual said, ” referencing the slave masters.” Everybody talkin bout Heaven ain’t going there!” Just like those religious Pharisees who were not anything at all, ” Like Fair You See!”

     

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