Originally posted by sonship
If one takes seriously John’s claim that God is agape (and not just, say, loving), then all attributes of God (e.g., righteous/just) must be reflections of agape ... Retribution does not in any way serve love (or, necessarily, justice).
It is God's love to deter future worlds from going down the wrong path as Satan and his opposition p ...[text shortened]... and cast into a fire would.
It is very difficult to misunderstand this teaching.
You’re right that I’m being brief today (but thanks for the compliment).
It’s not a matter of relative strength among attributes; it’s a matter of an attribute needing to be understood in terms of
God’s essence. God’s righteousness, for example, must be an expression of God’s essence as agape
, regardless of whatever might otherwise be said about righteousness. We are limited in how we are to read any/all such attributes and activities of God, once we accept (if we do accept) that the qualitative nominative predicate in 1st John entails a statement of God’s essence. That means we need to interpret (an re-interpret, if necessary) other terms and texts in that light—even if it goes against what we have believed and assume.
Therefore, the consuming fire must be an expression of agape; likewise light. (Remember that judgment is neither the verdict nor the sentence, even in a juridical (pardon/punishment) model of salvation; in the healing model, it is diagnosis.)
It is not the tumors that weep, it is the patient that is undergoing the treatment. (Okay, I used a physical affliction, whereas hamartia
is a psychological/spiritual affliction.)
The explanation, as well as the parable seems clearly metaphorical—or do you believe that there are (wholly righteous) seeds that are “sons of the kingdom”, and (wholly wicked) seeds that are “sons of the evil one? Do you take “sons” literally or metaphorically? Do you ascribe to Calvinistic double predestination? [I mean those as serious questions, not just rhetorical or argumentative ones.]
I’ll think about your “future worlds”, but remember—the need to either destroy or punish eternally means that God is unable to heal the affliction. It also means that people must be in full knowing consciousness, with no impairment of their consciousness due to hamartia