Monday, December 10, 2012

Hell - Barron, Voris, Martin, Jersak, Dart, Lazar and Alfeyev

RealClearReligion - Saving the Hell Out of You by Father Robert Barron
To be sure, the conviction that Hell is a crowded place has been contested from the earliest days of the Church, and Martin fully acknowledges this. Origen, St. Gregory of Nyssa and St. Maximus the Confessor all held to some form of universalism, that is to say, the belief that, at the end of the day, all people would be gathered to the Lord...
Comments by Dr. Ralph Martin on Fr. Robert Barron’s Review of Will Many Be Saved? by Ralph Martin

Theology: Is Hell Crowded or Empty? by Father Robert Barron

Where did Fr. Barron get his views on Hell from? He is from the Communio school of thought, i.e. Balthasar, etc. Where did Balthasar get his thought from? From doing Ressourcement (Return to the Sources) and his study of Origen, St. Maximus the Confessor, St. John of Damascus, etc. So Fr. Barron is helping the West (Roman Catholics and Protestants) to recapture some of the beauty and truth from the East.

Hurts and Hopes Regarding the Recent Debates on Hell by Mnsr. Charles Pope

Catholic Courses - The Four Last Things: Reflections on Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell by Professor Regis Martin, S.T.D.

Regis Martin talks Death, Poetry and Frisbee…

The Torment of Being Forever Alone
“What is hell?” asks Dostoevsky. “It is the suffering of being unable (indeed, unwilling) to love.”

The Clarion Journal - Why we need the language of hell - Kevin Miller

Hellbound? the movie

Hellbound? Official Theatrical Trailer HD from Kevin Miller on Vimeo.

The best answers about The Four Last Things (Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell) can be found in the East.  They do not dogmatise theological speculation about it but allow mystery to remain. 

Orthodox Christian Information Center - Death and the Future Life

I especially encourage everyone to read Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev's book on the topic below.  He looks at this topic from the perspectives of Sacred Scripture, Tradition and the Liturgy. He is very, very good, the best I have ever read on it. 

Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: Christ the Conqueror of Hell - The Descent of Christ into Hades in Eastern and Western Theological Traditions

An Online Orthodox Catechism adopted from ‘The Mystery of Faith’ by Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev
Death and resurrection

The Last Judgment

‘What is Hell?’

‘...A new heaven and a new earth’


Michael Maedoc said...

Thanks for this post and all the links. I must say we need the dogmatic and reasoned debate and the opinions from both sides. Their reasonable arguments are part of what establishes our grasp of the depth of the mystery. There's probably too much posturing in this debate.

I've always appreciated St. Leonard of Port Maurice who recognizes the importance of the possibility that many are in Hell:
"What is the use of knowing whether few or many are saved? Saint Peter says to us, "Strive by good works to make your election sure." When Saint Thomas Aquinas's sister asked him what she must do to go to heaven, he said, "You will be saved if you want to be." I say the same thing to you, and here is proof of my declaration. No one is damned unless he commits mortal sin: that is of faith. And no one commits mortal sin unless he wants to: that is an undeniable theological proposition. Therefore, no one goes to hell unless he wants to; the consequence is obvious. Does that not suffice to comfort you? Weep over past sins, make a good confession, sin no more in the future, and you will all be saved. Why torment yourself so? For it is certain that you have to commit mortal sin to go to hell, and that to commit mortal sin you must want to, and that consequently no one goes to hell unless he wants to. That is not just an opinion, it is an undeniable and very comforting truth; may God give you to understand it, and may He bless you."

I'll take a look at that book.

Jules Aimé said...

I started off really wanting to be on Father Barron's side but have to say that I found Michael Voris more convincing.

Ultimately, doesn't it boil down to this: Regardless of how many other people are or are not going to hell, I might very well end up there.

Anonymous said...

Thanks David! Voris's critique of Fr. Barron and Von Balthasar is one of the most intellectually dishonest I've seen in some time. Not because he's necessarily wrong, but because he wholly fails to address what they actually say. Instead, he addresses what they "must" be saying.

The crux of their argument as I understand it (and wholly unaddressed by Voris) is this: The Church prays that all are saved, and what the Church prays for Christians must hope for.

And a related point (again unaddressed by Voris) is this: The Church teaches that we cannot know with certainty that any particular person is eternally damned, and we can therefore hope that each particular person is saved. If we can hope that each and every particular person is saved, we can hope that all of them are.

And if there is hope, there must be prayer. If there is prayer, there must be hope.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Jules. I agree entirely. I seem to recall one of the Jesuits' maxims as being assuming the best intentions about every person. I wish I knew how St. Ignatius said it.

I agree with the contention of this blog that the East has a lot to say to the West regarding this subject. While the East has no definitive model regarding much of anything in theology and preferring "mystery" (and this is a good thing), I personally find the "River of Fire" thesis compelling myself.

Sometimes, in my more somber and pessimistic moments, I come to conclusion the only way the Church can reclaim the world is a thorough ressourcement from the Orthodox Churches - only possible with full reunification of the Churches.

I can only pray and hope.