This week Steve continues on from last week with how we've misunderstood the doctrine of hell, particularly what Paul thinks about it.
The judgement of God, and often his followers, is frequently cited as the main reason that turns people away from Christianity. A religion that is meant to be about love, it seems, cannot be about judgement as well.
It’s a common misconception, and common because we often don’t realize we’re making it.
Steve asks, this week, Why do we think Paul thought like us? Paul wasn’t westerner, a modernist, liberal nor a conservative. He was deeply a product of his culture, and his encounter with the gospel.
Following on from last week’s Chalke Talk, questioning why an often misinterpreted idea of the afterlife still makes its home in mainstream Christianity, Steve asks is every exclusion a failure of love?
Would God, who is described as the definition of pure love, punish people with infinite and eternal torment based on decisions and actions taken in their few short years of life on earth?
Or, similarly, did Paul understand God to be vengeful and bigoted, as he is often painted, or a God that loved each of and believes in each of us to start with?
Steve argues, this week, that the notion of eternal torment has left our culture deaf to the real message of the gospel, one which is so desperately needed: love.
And with this episode of Chalke Talk, he explores, as he has in previous episodes and throughout his most recent best-selling book, The Lost Message of Paul, how we’ve got it wrong and what we need to do to get it right.
Back from a summer break, this week Steve continues to explore what the bible actually teaches – or doesn’t teach – about Hell and the idea, as the medieval church put it, of ‘perpetual punishment with the devil’ for those were ‘unworthy of Christ’.
Although the apostle Paul is often thought of as the number one preacher of post-mortem damnation, once you stop long enough to take a real look at his writing you are in for a rather big surprise.
What made Paul think what he thinks about hell?
This week Steve ventures on to a new topic with Chalke Talk: the afterlife. More specifically, what was the context for Paul's understanding of it and how have we come to understand it. Or rather, misunderstand it.
In previous episodes, Steve has questioned the centrality of the cross to Christianity. The cross is nothing without redemption, Steve suggests.
And this week is no different when it comes to some of the most misunderstood writings of the Apostle Paul. One of them being, “We preach Christ Crucified.” The gospel we are often told is as simple as ABC:
Megalomaniac may seem like a big word, but it’s at the heart of this week’s Chalke Talk.
It means someone who had an obsessive desire for power, many times, at all costs. And unfortunately, that's often how God has been understood. Love is an afterthought to a legalistic God who's otherwise concerned with his people subjecting to and honouring him.