As a college student, and over in Belgium on a mission trip where I learned so much about the bigness of the Church, I was fortunate enough to be able to sit daily and listen to John R.W. Stott preach.
He said something that has never left me, and it pertains to what we are discussing in this series of blogs about Dark Thoughts.
Here it is — and I paraphrase: “Anyone who speaks about hell as the fate of any human being, the sorts we talk to and live with, and doesn’t do so with tears shouldn’t be talking about hell.”
Which brings to mind the famous words of CS Lewis in The Weight of Glory on how we should look at all those around us — as either potential beings of glory or beings of absolute horror. I believe Lewis is right here.
The reason we should “hope” is because of the sheer horror of what this all might mean. This isn’t so much about who’s got the text right as it is coming to terms with the gravity of human existence. Because of its gravity, we need to keep this conversation going so we can listen and learn to see what the Scriptures are teaching us.