Paperback ã Razing Hell ePUB å

Paperback ã Razing Hell ePUB å

Razing Hell [KINDLE] ❅ Razing Hell Author Sharon L. Baker – The idea of hell can haunt dreams and disturb sleep Many wonder at the justice or injustice of it all feeling confounded by a God who deems it necessary to send the majority of humanity to burn there The idea of hell can haunt dreams and disturb sleep Many wonder at the justice or injustice of it all feeling confounded by a God who deems it necessary to send the majority of humanity to burn there forever Seventy percent of Americans believe in hell as do ninety two percent of those who attend church every week Clearly it's a hot topic Baker offers readers a safe space to contemplate tough issues as they rethink traditional views of hell In her candid and inviting style Baker explores and ultimately refutes many traditional views of hell presenting instead theologically sound ways of thinking that are consistent with the image of God as a loving creator who desires to liberate us from sin and evil This is an excellent selection for general readers students pastors professors and grief counselors and will provide clarity for those with uestions about hell God's judgment and what happens to us when we die.

10 thoughts on “Razing Hell

  1. Vegantrav Vegantrav says:

    In Razing Hell Sharon Baker who teaches theology at Messiah College in Grantham Pennsylvania argues against the traditional Christian doctrine of hell She argues that hell is not a place of eternal torment Instead she views the language of hell as largely metaphorical the biblical passages that speak of hell refer to a purifying experience of judgment; although she does not state it explicitly her view of hell seems to be in some ways similar to the concept of purgatory hell cleanses us of our sins Throughout this book Baker's comments seem to imply that she is a universalist; however at one point she explicitly states that she is not a universalist due to her respect for free will she says that it is possible that some people even when presented with the overwhelming experience of God's presence and God's love will still choose to reject God and eternal life with God; such people she argues will not be tormented eternally in hell but rather will simply cease to exist Still in numerous other passages one gets the distinct impression that she believes that no one will ultimately reject God and that everyone will be saved; thus it might be best to describe Baker as a pragmatic universalist though in principle she is not a universalistBaker's main arguments against the traditional view of hell are arguments from justice it is unjust to punish and torment eternally people for sins committed in a temporal realm and sins that do not have eternal conseuences and arguments from the character of God God as revealed in Jesus Christ is the hermeneutical lens through which all Scripture should be read and interpreted and in light of the love and life and teachings of Christ the existence of hell as a place of eternal torment is impossible for it is not consistent with the loving merciful character of God as revealed in ChristBaker writes for an evangelical Christian audience so she accepts the authority of the Bible and she often uotes at length from the Bible Thus uite often this book reads as a sermon than as a theological treatise on hell For those of us who are not evangelical Christians this can become rather tedious at times but it is necessary that she respect and affirm this high view of the Bible in order to remain within her religious tradition and argue in favor of her unorthodox view of hellAs a former evangelical Christian myself I recognize in Baker a kindred spirit and I think that there are many many evangelical Christians who like Baker are scandalized by the traditional doctrine of hell and are looking for biblically sound ways to re interpret and do away with this horrific teaching of eternal damnation and for those Christians Baker's book as well as Rob Bell's book Love Wins provides a great argument

  2. Rod Rod says:

    Should I be nice and compassionate or brutally nasty? Hmmmmmmm? Mostly NASTY DI cannot believe that Sharon Baker is a professor of theology ANYWHERE Although it does say assistant on the back cover of the book In order to be a proper Christian theologian you do have to deal with the Bible as a whole and that is the problem with this silly little bookTo sum up her thinking There is no Hell or eternal punishment mostly? We would all realize this if we just read the Bible through Hippy Jesus' eyes or lenses she likes to say But what we really have here is a lady who thinks people should read the Bible through Sharon L Baker's lens She indeed has made a God in her own image A hippy Jesus that just lovesloveslovesThe problem is she has to ignore about a 3rd of the Bible to pull off this illusion She claims the bad bits of the Bible are not what God intended So verses like this2 Kings 101730And when he came to Samaria he struck down all who remained to Ahab in Samaria till he had wiped them out according to the word of the Lord that he spoke to ElijahNow Jehu had stationed eighty men outside and said “The man who allows any of those whom I give into your hands to escape shall forfeit his life” 25 So as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering Jehu said to the guard and to the officers “Go in and strike them down; let not a man escape” So when they put them to the sword the guard and the officers cast them out and went into the inner room of the house of Baal 26 and they brought out the pillar that was in the house of Baal and burned it 27 And they demolished the pillar of Baal and demolished the house of Baal and made it a latrine to this day28 Thus Jehu wiped out Baal from Israel 30 And the Lord said to Jehu “Because you have done well in carrying out what is right in my eyes and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in my heart your sons of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel”So what exactly is in God's heart? Not what Sharon tells us in her book Her God is not a sovereign and Holy deity that has carefully given his word to his people for centuries Her pet god is a poorly thought out deity that ignores a great deal of scripture Even New Testament scripture likeActs 5 But a man named Ananias with his wife Sapphira sold a piece of property and kept back some of the price for himself with his wife’s full knowledge and bringing a portion of it he laid it at the apostles’ feet But Peter said “Ananias why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land?4“While it remained unsold did it not remain your own? And after it was sold was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God” And as he heard these words Ananias fell down and breathed his last; and great fear came over all who heard of it The young men got up and covered him up and after carrying him out they buried himI'm pretty sure Mrs Baker's Jesus would never murder someone for fudging on a bit of money Hippy Jesus doesn't do things like that I doubt Sharon has spent much time reading the end of the bible Revelation chapter 19 and 20 don't portray hippy Jesus as very loving and all forgiving It's fascinating that Sharon claims Hell could be standing in the presence of God and being cleansed by his fire That's a possibility Doesn't fit very well with luke 16 Lazarus and the Rich man in HellThe problem is many other scholars try to say that Hell is Gehenna like a burning garbage dump That's not a very nice way to portray the presence of God Personally I ignore both scholars in that areaSharon really wants Jesus to be a pacifist Yet Jesus made Satan demons fighting angels etc And who presents the first weapon in the Bible? God and his angelsGenesis 32424 After sending them out the Lord God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden And he placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of lifeI doubt very much that hippy Jesus would be running around handing out flaming swords to protect a garden and tree DSharon sounds like a very nice compassionate person But you can't have love without protection I hate liberal Christian thinkingso annoying And God protects his children

  3. Amanda Amanda says:

    This book offers thoughtful academic critiue of traditional interpretations of hell and offers alternative perspectives that create harmony between Gods divine justice love and reconciliation without ignoring the troublesome passages that seem to conflict I appreciated this thoughtful work as I am reconstructing my belief systems after toxic church and I would highly recommend this book to anyone trying to follow Jesus

  4. Raborn Raborn says:

    This book is than meets the eye Not only does Sharon help us take a second look at what we believe about hell but her understanding of justice is worth the price of admission alone Great book

  5. Seth Pierce Seth Pierce says:

    In the opening of this convoluted mess the author states I am very concerned about remaining faithful to scripture; but am concerned about remaining faithful to the God of love xiv which proves extremely telling on the author's bias Baker hates the idea of retributive justice in the Bible and yet does very little to really deal with the texts that suggest such a model While many texts are uncomfortable to read especially when they convict me we can't throw things out because they are uncomfortable It also sets up a false dichotomy between God and His Word Now I must say I am not a traditionalist or a universalist when it comes to the doctrine of hell and I find common ground with the author in tearing down what I believe is an unbiblical model for judgment However the author skips over so many relevant texts makes repeated anecdotal claims regarding what she perceives to be future judgment and even outright ignores the uestions asked by her students recorded in the book Baker attempts to build a hybrid of universalism and annhilationism and in my opinion fails miserably I would rather read a book on traditionalism or universalism because they provide a coherent system and arguments than what is given here Some of the highlights include uoting a literary critic who suggests that societies create scapegoats in order to justify violence and that is how we arrive at the modern traditionalist view of hell While this may the case and I may even agree with her in the modern portrait of hell she uses it as a way to sweep aside the retributive justice in scripture The problem is she never once deals with the sanctuary system in the OT which according to scripture was instituted by God Its a glaring omission She also acknowledges difficult texts that highlight divine violence but then skirts most of them and ignores all the imprecatory Psalms in favor of the ones that fit her anti violence worldview She claims that the worldview of the ancients was that both good and bad came from God and therefore we can skirt around the militant passages of scripture because that is simply a product of culture But the same argument could be applied to Baker and the modern reader who are uncomfortable with violence She even goes so far as to say where there's violence justice is absentThe book is rarely exegetical She suggests that when Jesus reads from Isaiah in Luke 4 that He intentionally leaves out the verse concerning the day of vengeance in order to reinterpret the OT and give us the Jesus lens to look through when dealing with difficult passages She suggests that His omission communicates that the concept of vengeanceretributive justice is faulty However a simpler interpretation of the passage is that Jesus omitted the phrase because when He was speaking He was not announcing the vengeance of the eschaton He only read the scripture that was being fulfilled before the eyes of the people namely that the time had come to preach liberation and freedom The reason He left out the day of vengeance was not because it was falseirrelevant but because it wasn't the time for its fulfillment yet Baker argues for an almost purgatorial style judgment where everyone will be given a second chance to stand before God have all the sin burned away in His presence then be able to make a choice as to whether or not to join God's side this she argues is how she avoids universalism The problem is that she never establishes a biblical argument for a second chance for everybody regardless of how they lived To her credit she acknowledges this as an issue but then says that the space in this book doesn't allow for a treatment of the issue and says she will write another book later To me this is appalling scholarship You can't just not explain a key pillar of your theological framework one critical enough to make the whole structure collapse by saying you ran out of room She makes statements about how God's forgiveness is not dependent upon our response and cites an author who says the only sin in the world is forgiven sin She also says forgiveness leads to repentance a surprising statement for a Wesleyan scholar who should distinguish between prevenient gracerepentanceforgiveness She builds this off a misreading of 2 Cor 5v19 where Christ is reconciling Himself to the world and Rom 5v8 where God showed His love for us that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us This comes close to universalism only saved by her yet unestablished second chance theology and doesn't take into consideration that there is a difference between making a way for someone to be reconciledforgiven and having them actually accept that way I could go on but this book is so full of this kind of thing that I may never finishI did give two stars because I agree with the author that people have a choice God's primary motive in judgmentjustice is reconciliation and that sinners will not burn forever in conscious torment I also do not like the violence in scripture but its there and it must be dealt with However this book feels like the blog of a graduate student than the work of a PhD teaching at a university It needs a lot of work and the author cannot be let off the hook just because its not written for a scholarly audience No writing scholarly doesn't mean you sacrifice contentargument it simply means you make the language understandable you still need to answer the uestions and be comprehensive if you are building a comprehensive biblical theology of hell

  6. Wouter Wouter says:

    a very accessible book on the 'problem of hell' advocating a restorative view of hell and thus a universalist solution to the problem of hell This is done in a conversational style aimed at a general public from an evangelical point of view with that confessional audience in mind

  7. Kay Smeal Kay Smeal says:

    Baker lays out a Theology of Love How can we believe in a God who is all powerful all loving all knowing and yet believe that God damns people to eternal hell? The picture just doesn’t line up Baker with the help of three people takes it step by step and piece by piece Starting with the traditional view and ending with the alternative view and what that means for how we live out or lives A well thought out biblically sound argument for God’s love to prevail even in the afterlife whatever that may look like

  8. Andrew Marr Andrew Marr says:

    Although there is much biblical and church historical scholarship behind this book it does not read as a scholarly book Rather it is a readable introduction for any Christian interested in the subject of Heaven and Hell Baker takes us step by step through what the Bible really says about the possibilities of the afterlife especially as they apply to commonly held but not really as biblically based views as some think through a superficial look at the texts and through listening to hellfire preachers The most helpful book on this subject for the general reader and the specialist that I know of

  9. Mark Schlatter Mark Schlatter says:

    Somewhat in the same vein as Rob Bell's Love Wins a re exploration of the mainstream thought on the Christian Hell and a reinterpretation that focuses on God's grace and inclusive reconciling In some ways a deeper work than Bell's think of it as a 12 week Sunday school class compared to Bell's sermon series but also uite repetitive The framing notion of the author speaking to three of her friends about the subject felt awkward to me However some of the arguments especially those on forgiveness preceding repentance are uite powerful

  10. Zack Zack says:

    A new perspective on the doctrine of Hell I liked it The style was very conversational Only negative is that I think it takes a long to for her to build her case for a restorative understanding of punishment in hell rather that the traditional retributive view

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