Call it God. Cosmic Justice. Karma. Or, what goes around comes around. Since the beginning of time, people have believed that this world is heading somewhere. And the Ancient Jews, Steve comments, were no different.
As the song goes “Ooo, Heaven is a place on earth!” But aside from 80’s classic, is this actually a fundamental theological point?
Love never fails. It’s become a platitude familiar to so many of us, as Christians. But do we actually believe that to be true? Or, is it true for everyone? Or just a select number of really good Christians.
Hell is perhaps one of the most polarising topics within the church, and the way it’s been represented often damages our witness as Christ-followers. It’s for that reason that Steve has been dedicating weeks of Chalke Talk to explore it.
This week Steve continues on from last week with how we've misunderstood the doctrine of hell, particularly what Paul thinks about it.
The judgement of God, and often his followers, is frequently cited as the main reason that turns people away from Christianity. A religion that is meant to be about love, it seems, cannot be about judgement as well.
It’s a common misconception, and common because we often don’t realize we’re making it.
Steve asks, this week, Why do we think Paul thought like us? Paul wasn’t westerner, a modernist, liberal nor a conservative. He was deeply a product of his culture, and his encounter with the gospel.
Following on from last week’s Chalke Talk, questioning why an often misinterpreted idea of the afterlife still makes its home in mainstream Christianity, Steve asks is every exclusion a failure of love?
Would God, who is described as the definition of pure love, punish people with infinite and eternal torment based on decisions and actions taken in their few short years of life on earth?
Or, similarly, did Paul understand God to be vengeful and bigoted, as he is often painted, or a God that loved each of and believes in each of us to start with?
Steve argues, this week, that the notion of eternal torment has left our culture deaf to the real message of the gospel, one which is so desperately needed: love.
And with this episode of Chalke Talk, he explores, as he has in previous episodes and throughout his most recent best-selling book, The Lost Message of Paul, how we’ve got it wrong and what we need to do to get it right.