Tuesday, August 19, 2008

His Mercy Endureth For Ever

This phase occurs at least 41 times (or more, depending on how you count) in Holy Scripture.

Matthew Gallatin's latest podcast discusses how the penal substitution theory of atonement depicts a changing God (and how ironic that is, given that this theory also relies upon the Platonic God of Perfect Order). This alone, he points out, is enough to refute that theory.

But what interested me most about this talk was a different point I've never heard anyone mention before. It has to do with the Platonic belief that the soul is naturally immortal.

Orthodoxy insists this is not the case. St. Paul writes that Christ alone has immortality. (I Timothy 6:16) Immortality is a divine attribute, like being eternal. "I am the way and the truth and the life," says Christ, and, "I am the resurrection and the life." Christ, by His resurrection, has shared His immortality with the whole human race, conferring it upon one and all. Nevertheless, it is still in God alone we live and move and have our being. (Acts 17:28) God's gift of life is ongoing; He sustains us in life at every moment, and if He should stop for an instant, we would all perish.

Some of us may turn this gift of immortality to our own everlasting regret, which is entirely and in every sense our own doing.

Here's the point: if it were God's doing (as a reaction to sin), this would mean God was every moment keeping the damned alive in hell specifically for the purpose of everlastingly tormenting them. He wouldn't even be merciful enough to let them just die.

2 comments:

Tony-Allen said...

Some of this is touched in The River of Fire too, right?

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Yes, and I have a link to that. Unfortunately, some excellent points in that lecture are couched in very strident terms, quite off-putting rhetoric.