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How Wickedness Gets Its Reward
Job 20: 1-29

A pastor in the United States has just published a book that begins by questioning whether people who have not believed in Christ will go to hell. The pastor is someone with his finger on the pulse of U.S. culture, and he has been able to build up a huge congregation. The publishers also knew how to work the book’s potential, issuing a spoiler video on the Internet a couple of months before the book came out and ensuring that it caused a lot of buzz and a lot of fuss before anyone could actually buy it. So I am among the many people who are writing about the book without having read it, but I am not critiquing the book. I’m simply noting an aspect of its cultural context— which is that hell is not an idea we care much for. Things have changed a lot since Jonathan Edwards’s day. A friend of mine is fond of affirming that the reason God punishes people is a desire to purify, which means it’s not really punishment but chastisement. The idea of punishment is unfashionable, in general and in religion...

Publisher: SPCK - view more
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