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The Coptic doctrine on eternal damnation
14-09-2006, 04:01 PM,
The Coptic doctrine on eternal damnation
Lets go in at the deep end with a profound theological question. Christianity in general teaches eternal damnation for the unrepentant. In spite of Jesus' hard sayings eg Matthew 25, there's little in Scripture to support this view and there are other possibilities there. Your short evening prayer in "Our Daily Life includes, "for the dust in the grave offers no praise and among the dead there is no remembrance, neither in Hades does anyone give thanks." This quote from Psalm 6.2 reflects God's promise to Adam that he should surely die for disobedience, not be eternally punished. When Paul said that the wages of sin is death, perhaps he meant it at face value.

Scripture can also prove universal reconciliation. Paul says, "Far as in Adam ALL DIE, so in Christ will ALL be made alive. (1Cor 15.22). Also "and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood shed on the cross" (Col 1.20). Origen believed in universal reconciliation. He thought that eternal punishment for finite sin was unworthy of a loving God which is why the sacrifice of Christ covers all human sin. So did his follower Gregory of Nyassa.

The Fifth Ecumenical Council anathematised Origen and affirmed a belief in eternal damnation. Western Christianity, so much under the influence of Augustine has always taught a very harsh and IMO loveless view of the destiny of mankind. So what does the Coptic Church say on these things? As they weren't signatories to the Fifth Council, they can't be bound by its anathemas and I believe that Origen is still held in high esteem. Of the three possible interpretations of Scripture held by Christians through the ages, eternal damnation, conditional immortality or universal reconciliation, I am a universalist who believes in the cosmic significance of the cross in the ultimate resurrection of all creation. Yet I could accept the justice of conditional immortality. I will never be able to reconcile the idea of a God of pure love with a belief in eternal torment.
Yours in Christ

Messages In This Thread
The Coptic doctrine on eternal damnation - Paul Harrison - 14-09-2006, 04:01 PM
Salvation - John Charmley - 14-09-2006, 09:21 PM
[] - John Charmley - 15-09-2006, 09:49 AM
[] - Paul Harrison - 29-09-2006, 10:08 PM
[] - admin - 01-10-2006, 04:31 PM
[] - Paul Harrison - 03-10-2006, 08:20 AM
Eternal damnation - John Charmley - 11-10-2006, 09:30 PM
[] - Simon - 19-10-2006, 10:29 AM
Universal salvation - John Charmley - 19-10-2006, 05:57 PM

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