Aug 21, 2012

Defending damnation

Justin Taylor, an editor at Crossway and blogger at The Gospel Coalition, defending the doctrine of eternal damnation:


Taylor notes:
"If I had a 'do over' I might have challenged the premise of the analogy: if a father can rescue his children from destruction but only saves some we consider him morally culpable, but in the Christian worldview we are rebelling against the Judge and receive a free offer of mercy which we reject. Instead, I focused on the underlying issue I see at play not only in this debate but in so many aspects of progressive revisionism: namely the desire to create God in our own image."
This is an insanely difficult argument to make, that an all-power, all-loving God wills (or even just allows) everlasting punishment. There are ways to make the argument easier -- e.g. freewill, even if that just pushes the problem back, rather than resolving it.

Taylor, to his credit, doesn't try to shirk the task.

His ultimate argument is against the arguments, it seems to me. He doesn't want to "justify the ways of God to man," ala Milton, but to defend God against the claim justifications are needed. Taylor's point is traditional Christian theology rejects antropocentric standards.

I'm not convinced Taylor actually rejects all anthropocentrism, including the anthropocentric standards of justice, the standards of a judge, king, etc. But this is the argument he's advancing.

He's advancing his anti-anthropocentrism, even, it seems, to the point of discounting the anthropocentrism of the incarnation. Where some take up this issue of hell by attempting to explicate judgement/grace from the ethics of Jesus, as Jesus is understood as the ultimate revelation of God, Taylor states, "I think that is inverting the proper Creator-creature relationship."