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hilary | Sat, 08/06/2011 - 08:40 | Permalink

what about the "....and does it matter?" part of your title? Maybe what matters is not whether Bell or Chan wins on points, but whether an exegetical wrangle over Gehenna is a neat way of avoiding questions like why we don't have sermons on hell today? As a preacher, what would you want to say about these passages from Mark and Matthew? Bell moves on to the resurrection, and says "This is crucial for understanding the story, because the story is about Jesus' listeners at that moment. The story, for them, moves from then to now. Whatever the meaning was for Jesus' first listeners, it was directly related to what he was doing right there in their midst." Is he saying that we can't understand the rescue of God unless we understand the wrath of God? So do we have to scare people into the kingdom? Do we need a doctrine of Hell before we can preach salvation?

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