Saturday, December 06, 2003

"He who does not believe in universal restoration is an ox, he who teaches it is an ass"--Karl Barth

The character of God's judgment matters immensly in this discussion. Some versions of judgment view it as God allowing sinners to continue their way. This permission or release Jonathan Edwards captures well: "The wicked, when they are cast into hell, will continue sinning still. Yea, they will sin more than ever; their wickedness will be unrestrained.” [The “Miscellainies,” 574]. This differs from the permission of which the Bible and Protestant Orthodoxy spoke of in the permission God grants sin in the world.

The advantages of this view of course maintains a sort of "it's their own damn fault." Disadvantages accrue in the implications of God's action apart from Christ--in deed, the crucial question of God saving us despite our rebellion and against our wills applies to this view of justice.

The judgment rendered, as Aquinas frames it, appropriate to the humanity of Jesus in his cross points the way forward. Of what use is the invading reality of forgiveness if there remains a further judgment coming? What relationship does that judgment have?

Thus judgment in the eschatological sense truly obtains a different metaphor than judicial seat or bench. Instead, judgment attains the iconography of a wedding banquet.

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