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Thursday, May 24, 2007

More fun from Wycliffe

Apparently, '95% of people facing hell unless the message of the gospel is brought to them.' - Richard Turnbull, principal of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.

To be fair, if you are of that mindset then that must be true. But, more excitingly, this is the welcome return of hell fire preaching!

Just to point out one issue from Wycliffe's website:

We offer a wide range of ministerial, academic, full-time and part-time theology courses that enable Christians to exercise their ministry more effectively in...the academy.

Now, and I think I am being serious here, what percentage of the academy are facing hell?

And if I am not being serious, be fair: you've got Christopher Hitchens on religion...

Ok, here are some serious reports:

Stephen Bates, 'Theologian damns most Britons to hell' Guardian

The speech is available here:


Anonymous red devil said...

I'm glad I heard the good news when I was much younger and don't now face the prospect of being condemmed to watching city play.

May 25, 2007

Anonymous Christopher Shell said...

OK then - two questions:
(1) What (by NT criteria) would be the correct percentage, if not 95%?
(2) Doesn't it occur to any of us that belief in and about hell fluctuates according to what is socially tolerable? Which is, obviously, a completely irrelevant criterion. Does anyone seriously think that hell (should it exist) obligingly shrinks and grows according to the prevailing Zeitgeist?
(3) Why is it that people who can speak with fear, trembling, awe and even good old-fashioned seriousness about this topic (not to mention other topics) strike me in general as more mature and wiser people than those that don't or can't?
(4) Separation from God, and likewise closeness to God, are an unavoidable reality. Each of us stands at a different degree of closeness to any given entity, and even to any given non-real idea. Once we die - well, you are more optimistic than I if you think we can change our degree of closeness. It will be written indelibly into the way that the time-space universe is. And given that the universe is the masterpiece beyond all masterpieces, we will be either adorning it or besmirching it. Does that not matter, or am I wrong for suggesting we should broaden our horizons and introduce a bit more awe, not to mention seek out the psychological/sociological roots of lack of awe?
There- that got everyone thinking. Or preferably praying.

May 25, 2007

Anonymous Hugh said...

You and I are two, James, so just keep counting. When you find a biblical scholar who isn't going to hell, worry about his/her scholarship. Indeed, hell may turn out to be one eternal bible study group, given the people who will likely end up there. We all know the devil is a scripture scholar of the first order. I bet this blog's being read there even as we speak. Come to think of it, darkly handsome, demon football player, Man U supporter, brilliant biblical iconoclast - is that sulphur, or just your aftershave?

May 25, 2007

Blogger James Crossley said...

Wow, I am in esteemed company.

Christopher, seeing as you are the only serious one...from his perspective, well, maybe he is right. I can't and won't knock him for being consistent but it is an argument I can only have on the textual level. Otherwise, coming from outside then I can only really poke fun and nothing much more. The more liberal wing need to debate the issues you (rightly) raise. Maybe people who talk about such topics are more mature but it cannot have an impact on me unless I convert.

Then aren't there some universalistic tendencies in Paul, perhaps, or is every knee bowing more threatening? I dunno. Then all Israel being saved too? Literally all Jews, maybe, esp. when compared and contrasted with the phrase in m. Sanhedrin 10:1 (I think). Is there some ambiguity? It's late, I'm guessing, but as it's late...

Red Devil, I'm not sure you've heard the full message - wretched thing - because to account for a bigger percentage...Liverpool. Did I mention that they lost?

Hugh, see you in...ok, ok...if you are lucky then I'll let you know what my aftershave is. Doubt you could afford it, mind you.

Do agree that you paint a realistic picture of hell though.

May 25, 2007

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

It's where my wife tells me I'm going.

May 27, 2007

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

But then where else would you go if you believed the original prophet of the New Testament kernal documents was one Judas, and that the historical Jesus, John the Baptist and Paul were subsequent fabrications? So I see a real alternative history.

Why worry about hell in the hereafter? You don't have to look too far in this world to find it.

May 27, 2007

Blogger Noël said...

I think I've made it to hell early. It's called the Politics Department.

May 28, 2007

Blogger Roger Pearse said...

Ah demonisation for failing to conform -- what would we do without it?

Quite why someone should be pilloried for expressing Christian views I am not sure!

Stephen Bates, the author of the piece, has run a series of articles attempting to promote sodomy in the church of England. In view of this campaign, and the role of Wycliffe in resisting this, this particular report seems intended to intimidate people at Wycliffe from resisting this agenda.

All very tawdry. Isn't it fortunate that, however determined we are to sin, we will always find someone to tell us it's fine -- unless, of course, that sin happens to be societally unacceptable, when we will find no mercy whatever.

June 04, 2007

Blogger James Crossley said...

Geoff,you wife must be mistaken, surely!

Noel, come on, politics are part of the one big Sheffield family.

Roger, I'm not quite sure what you mean by promoting sodomy in the church of England.

June 05, 2007


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