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?
All right. Here is my first question to throw around to everyone: "Why am I not Roman Catholic?" (of course, if you are, help us understand why you are and why we should be(?)) Sounds like an easy question, but not so easy. Let me ask a few penetrating questions to get us going. These are all questions I've heard in different forms... Does Christ not have only one church? Does Rome not have the only consistent historical connection to the early church? Did not Rome determine the new Testament cannon of Scriptures? Does not Rome have what so many evangelicals lack: mystery, awe, contemplation, etc.? One more, does our theology go asunder so irreparably? Consider these Evangelical favorites: J RR Tolkien, G K Chesterton, and Mother Theresa. Are they not a sterling model of Christian imagination , thinking and service ? Hope this gets some discussion going.