Thursday, September 13, 2007
Abandon hope all who enter here?
CS Lewis described hell, "I willingly believe that the damned are, in one sense, successful, rebels to the end; that the doors of hell are locked on the inside. I do not mean that the ghosts may not wish to come out of hell, in the vague fashion wherein an envious man ‘wishes’ to be happy: but they certainly do not will even the first preliminary stages of that self-abandonment through which alone the soul can reach any good. They enjoy forever the horrible freedom they have demanded, and are therefore self-enslaved” (C S Lewis, The Problem of Pain). In other words, those in Hell would rather be there then in glory. I like the concept, but I'm not sure about it. Is hell a place where people are running further and further into God-forsakenness, or is hell a place where people are beating on the door of Heaven agonizing over their God-forsakenness? It's not a moot question: Do we present the gospel as a 'last chance' before eternal regret? Or is an unbeliever's rejection of the gospel a magnifying glass on the state of damnation of a soul which desires nothing else?