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« When We Sin… the Land Suffers. | Main | What Does a Clerical Collar Say? Part 2 »

May 16, 2004

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Yes! Thank you for a beautiful post that captures what Willard is talking about. Discipleship is salvation. Beautiful.

"Discipleship is salvation"

Yes,it is beautiful...and much needed.

But do you think the discipleship-salvation relationship might be unsettling to the sola gratia crowd, especially those who see salvation as a "decision" rather than a process?

the discomforts of heaven? how will we ever get converts with that kind of theology?!?!?! :)

great thoughts chris!

The teaching that heaven and hell are actually the same "place" (ie the fire of the love of God) is actually very patristic.

To those who love Him, the fire will be experienced as warmth, light, etc....to those who hate Him, the fire will be expereinced as a torment....

"The teaching...is actually very patristic."

That's interesting, Karl. Who would one of the earliest leading voices be in this regard?

O how I long to be consumed by God's fire! To have the last of my flesh burned away by his holiness, to be made truly pure...this will truly be paradise.

Saint Peter the Damascene writes:

"We all receive God’s blessings equally. But some of us, receiving God’s fire, that is, His word, become soft like beeswax, while the others like clay become hard as stone. And if we do not want Him, He does not force any of us, but like the sun He sends His rays and illuminates the whole world, and he who wants to see Him, sees Him, whereas the one who does not want to see Him, is not forced by Him."

God is a loving fire, and He is a loving fire for all: good or bad. There is, however, a great difference in the way people receive this loving fire of God.

Saint Basil the Great: "The sword of fire was placed at the gate of paradise to guard the approach to the tree of life; it was terrible and burning toward infidels, but kindly accessible toward the faithful, bringing to them the light of day."

Saint Isaac the Syrian: "Those who are suffering in hell, are suffering in being scourged by love.... It is totally false to think that the sinners in hell are deprived of God’s love. Love is a child of the knowledge of truth, and is unquestionably given commonly to all. But love’s power acts in two ways: it torments sinners, while at the same time it delights those who have lived in accord with it"

Thanks, Karl!

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