I knew, of course, that I had been deeply disturbed by the images of Hell, as portrayed by a recent 'Judgement House' event. But I guess I didn't realize that it had become a constant weight on my soul. Wrestling through all that has helped me to realize just how deeply we are effected by Greek philosophy here in the west. As westerners when we hear the words Holy, Just, Righteous we automatically think in legal terms. That paradigm is greco-roman in origin and carries with it the though that God is more of a singular entity, than Trinity. It's an important distinction to make; if God is a singular entity then a legal/moral being would make the most sense. But the Father, Son, and Spirit is Trinity -- a community. That means that the Father, Son, and Spirit are relational at their core, just as we are. Now look at the terms Holy, Just, and Righteous in relational terms instead of legal terms. They take on whole new meanings. Holy - whole, beautiful, perfect community. Just - setting things right, a promise to restore all things. Righteous - relationally right.
Just some thoughts that have helped me to see our true Father a bit better.
This is a bit random, but I just had to post this quote from C. Baxter Kruger talking about the idea the God punishes Jesus for our sin:
There is no forgiveness in that model. God doesn't forgive you, Jesus suffers your punishment. That's not forgiveness is it? It's justice; there's not any forgiveness there. Now, I know that rocks your world -- I hope it does.
Just another reason why I believe the Cross was a cure for our sin, rather than satisfying God's supposed 'need' to punish.