Whereas the first and second episodes in this series offer synopses of a conservative and moderate/traditionalist perspectives on hell, this one introduces us to what I consider to be a “revisionist” approach. The goal of the revisionist isn’t to preserve the Christian tradition or to retranslate it. Rather, the goal is to reinvent Christianity for today.
Reinvention isn’t simply making things up as we go along. Rather the process of reinvention takes seriously that which has gone before. It looks at previous theology in context and it tries to understand “why” the theology is as it is. It asks: What is the theology trying to do for its adherents as they make sense of their lives? Then, it asks: Is there a way to linguistically meet that human need in a way that is culturally appropriate today? So, while while approach recognizes and respects past Christian articulations, it doesn’t privilege them.
Because this is the overall perspective I promote, this episode and the next will focus on a postmodern, revisionist, reinvention of “hell”.
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