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Author Topic: Any other church father clearly claiming that God's enengies is hell to sinners?  (Read 2966 times) Average Rating: 0
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walter1234
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« on: January 04, 2013, 08:31:06 AM »

Quote
St. Isaac the Syrian:
''I also maintain that those who are punished in Gehenna are scourged by the scourge of love. Nay, what is so bitter and vehement as the torment of love? I mean that those who have become conscious that they have sinned against love suffer greater torment from this than from any fear of punishment. For the sorrow caused in the heart by sin against love is more poignant than any torment. It would be improper for a man to think that sinners in Gehenna are deprived of the love of God. Love is the offspring of knowledge of the truth which, as is commonly confessed, is given to all. The power of Love works in two ways: it torments sinners, even as happens here when a friend suffers from a friend; but it becomes a source of joy for those who have observed its duties. Thus I say that this is the torment of Gehenna: bitter regret. But love inebriates the souls of the sons of Heaven by its delectability.''


Quote
St Gregory the Theologian:
God Himself is Paradise and punishment for man, since each  tastes God's energies according to the condition of his soul.


Except St Isaac and St Gregory, is there any other church father directly and clearly claiming that God and God's love is the paradise and hell for the men in his/her written works? Can anybody quote some of them?
« Last Edit: January 04, 2013, 08:47:47 AM by walter1234 » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2013, 01:23:52 PM »

St. Paul the Apostle in his 2nd Epistle to Thessalonians says pretty much the same thing. Read "2 Thess 1: 3-10" and pay special attention to verse 9
Quote
These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day.

St. Paul the Apostle tells us "Our God is a consuming fire."  (Hebrews 12:29)

Prophet and King David tells us the same thing in Psalm 68. Read it carefully
Quote
As wax melts before the fire,
So let the wicked perish at the presence of God.

But let the righteous be glad;
Let them rejoice before God;
Yes, let them rejoice exceedingly.

https://sites.google.com/site/syrianorthodox/home/articles/heaven-and-hell

« Last Edit: January 04, 2013, 01:30:27 PM by dhinuus » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2013, 02:10:42 PM »

Hmm, I didn't know God offered His energies to sinners. This is a bit strange. I knew His presence was known by those in Hell, but not in a direct way, through His Energies. I thought hell was separation from God, even though those in hell perceived His presence (more like an "absent presence"). I'd like to hear more also. St. Gregory is the one who says this. St. Isaac seems to talk about love, not Energies. Or maybe it's the way I am phrasing things, the way I am using the terminology in my own personal way.  Smiley
« Last Edit: January 04, 2013, 02:14:04 PM by IoanC » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2013, 02:17:42 PM »

This post by minasoliman might be of interest to you:

Ah yes, but many mystics of the Church also gave the explanation that Hell was the Love of God burning on rejecting hearts, manifest as "wrath."

If you can provide more than two saints on this point I will be impressed.

The two most clear ones are St. Isaac of Nineveh and St. Gregory of Nyssa, but they may also be disregarded for their belief in apokatastasis.  St. Isaac (Homily 48) for instance says:

Quote from: Kalomiros' 'The River of Fire'
Those who are suffering in hell, are suffering in being scourged by love.... It is totally false to think that the sinners in hell are deprived of God's love. Love is a child of the knowledge of truth, and is unquestionably given commonly to all. But love's power acts in two ways: it torments sinners, while at the same time it delights those who have lived in accord with it.

St. Gregory of Nyssa (On the Soul and Resurrection):

Quote
But whenever the time come that God shall have brought our nature back to the primal state of man, it will be useless to talk of such things then, and to imagine that objections based upon such things can prove God’s power to be impeded in arriving at His end. His end is one, and one only; it is this: when the complete whole of our race shall have been perfected from the first man to the last,—some having at once in this life been cleansed from evil, others having afterwards in the necessary periods been healed by the Fire, others having in their life here been unconscious equally of good and of evil,—to offer to every one of us participation in the blessings which are in Him, which, the Scripture tells us, “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,” nor thought ever reached. But this is nothing else, as I at least understand it, but to be in God Himself; for the Good which is above hearing and eye and heart must be that Good which transcends the universe. But the difference between the virtuous and the vicious life led at the present time will be illustrated in this way; viz. in the quicker or more tardy participation of each in that promised blessedness. According to the amount of the ingrained wickedness of each will be computed the duration of his cure. This cure consists in the cleansing of his soul, and that cannot be achieved without an excruciating condition, as has been expounded in our previous discussion.

The other Cappadocian fathers (St. Basil and St. Gregory Nazienzen respectively) did not say that Love is the one that's revealed as wrathful, but they do say that the same Divine Fire that illuminates the saints torments the sinners:

Quote from: Kalomiros' 'The River of Fire'
"I believe that the fire prepared for the punishment of the devil and his angels is divided by the voice of the Lord. Thus, since there are two capacities in fire, one of burning and the other of illuminating, the fierce and scourging property of the fire may await those who deserve to burn, while illuminating and radiant warmth may be reserved for the enjoyment of those who are rejoicing." (Homily on Psalms, 28.6)

Quote from: Kalomiros' 'The River of Fire'
"O Trinity, Whom I have been granted to worship and proclaim, Who will some day be known to all, to some through illumination, to others through punishment!" (Or. 23.13, On peace 3, PG 35, 1165B)

As you can see, I have to admit that I haven't read most of these quotes primarily, and while I don't necessarily find "The River of Fire" a fair assessment of what he's trying to teach, I think these quotes however speak volumes of the mystery of God's nature.
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2013, 02:34:47 PM »

This is from theologian Fr. Dumitru Staniloae, one of the most respected theologians of the 20th century. I translated it from Romanian:

He is describing the concept of St. Maximus the Confessor: The souls that are in hell must move their power, because they don't have within themselves infinity (from God, that can satisfy all wishes); yet, in another way, they are not within an infinity in which their powers can move in a stable manner, because they are outside of God and they do not tend towards Him, either, but move within a tormenting restlessness, not stabilizing themselves in the God's infinity. The soul in hell must move, but since it's not moving towards its desired target in which its movement would find accomplishment and stabilize, its movement, from which it cannot escape, is a torment because it is useless, without a target. More so, the soul moves form one thing to another without ceasing to exist.

St. John of Damascus says that the torments are caused by the unsatisfied passions. I can't offer a quote, but just read it in a Romanian article.

I'd be careful about introducing the concept of Energies. Not saying it's not so, but we may not understand things the right way.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2013, 02:44:34 PM by IoanC » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2013, 02:45:38 PM »

This is from theologian Fr. Dumitru Staniloae, one of the most respected theologians of the 20th century. I translated it from Romanian:

He is describing the concept of St. Maximus the Confessor: The souls that are in hell must move their power, because they don't have within themselves infinity (from God, that can satisfy all wishes); yet, in another way, they are not within an infinity in which their powers can move in a stable manner, because they are outside of God and they do not tend towards him, either, but move within a tormenting restlessness, not stabilizing themselves in the God's infinity. The soul in hell must move, but since it's not moving towards its desired target in which its movement would find accomplishment and stabilize, its movement, from which it cannot escape, is a torment because it is useless, without a target. More so, the soul moves form one thing to another without ceasing to exist.

St. John of Damascus says that the torments are caused by the unsatisfied passions. I can't offer a quote, but just read it in a Romanian article.

I'd be careful about introducing the concept of Energies. Not saying it's not so, but we may not understand things the right way.

Frankly from what you have posted by Fr. Dumitru Staniloae, his work doesn't seem that great. In fact, in the excerpt you posted by him on the Trinity, it came close to heresy and I don't use that word lightly.
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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2013, 02:46:21 PM »

Hmm, I didn't know God offered His energies to sinners.

How else are "sinners" sustained or do sinners encounter anything?
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2013, 02:48:49 PM »

This is from theologian Fr. Dumitru Staniloae, one of the most respected theologians of the 20th century. I translated it from Romanian:

He is describing the concept of St. Maximus the Confessor: The souls that are in hell must move their power, because they don't have within themselves infinity (from God, that can satisfy all wishes); yet, in another way, they are not within an infinity in which their powers can move in a stable manner, because they are outside of God and they do not tend towards him, either, but move within a tormenting restlessness, not stabilizing themselves in the God's infinity. The soul in hell must move, but since it's not moving towards its desired target in which its movement would find accomplishment and stabilize, its movement, from which it cannot escape, is a torment because it is useless, without a target. More so, the soul moves form one thing to another without ceasing to exist.

St. John of Damascus says that the torments are caused by the unsatisfied passions. I can't offer a quote, but just read it in a Romanian article.

I'd be careful about introducing the concept of Energies. Not saying it's not so, but we may not understand things the right way.

Frankly from what you have posted by Fr. Dumitru Staniloae, his work doesn't seem that great. In fact, in the excerpt you posted by him on the Trinity, it came close to heresy and I don't use that word lightly.

I very much doubt it because Fr. Staniloae is so big and never got any criticism.  And, I read it also before I posted it. Which one was it? And what are you disagreeing with?
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2013, 02:50:57 PM »

Hmm, I didn't know God offered His energies to sinners.

How else are "sinners" sustained or do sinners encounter anything?

That's the thing. They are not sustained. They lost communion with God. They receive Him in the manner that they are open to Him, aka zero. They know He is present and this is what torments them, but they can't really experience Him. That would mean that they are either in Heaven, or that God is purposefully torturing them with His goodness.
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« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2013, 02:51:53 PM »

I'd be careful about introducing the concept of Energies. Not saying it's not so, but we may not understand things the right way.

I would too. It is a manner of understanding God specific to a time, place, and rarefied discussion. The background to understand the development of the problem which introduced energies is lacking in nearly everyone who use the term and from what I have read in most who were developing this line of thought to begin with.

When theology meets philosophy expect nothing but bad most of the time. The recent "philosophical" threads around here attest to that.
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« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2013, 02:53:11 PM »

St. Dionysius' discussion of evil in On the Divine Names probably forms the background to a lot of theologizing on this question. It's well worth reading the whole book.
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« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2013, 02:53:21 PM »

Hmm, I didn't know God offered His energies to sinners.

How else are "sinners" sustained or do sinners encounter anything?

That's the thing. They are not sustained. They lost communion with God. They receive Him in the manner that they are open to Him, aka zero. They know He is present and this is what torments them, but they can't really experience Him. That would mean that they are either in Heaven, or that God is purposefully torturing them with His goodness.

God creates and sustains all. Or is there creation which is independent of God?

God tortures.
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« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2013, 02:53:47 PM »

I'd be careful about introducing the concept of Energies. Not saying it's not so, but we may not understand things the right way.

I would too. It is a manner of understanding God specific to a time, place, and rarefied discussion. The background to understand the development of the problem which introduced energies is lacking in nearly everyone who use the term and from what I have read in most who were developing this line of thought to begin with.

When theology meets philosophy expect nothing but bad most of the time. The recent "philosophical" threads around here attest to that.

I agree with you. Personally, I will keep philosophy to a minimum in the future. I find that it only aids me and my own understanding. I wish people would apply their own philosophy and rely upon God more than my personal explanations (of which I am convinced).
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« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2013, 02:54:54 PM »

St. Dionysius' discussion of evil in On the Divine Names probably forms the background to a lot of theologizing on this question. It's well worth reading the whole book.

Read Aristotle and Plato for a decade or so first.
Then Plotinus for a year or so.
Then well, let's not kid ourselves, no one is doing the above.
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« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2013, 02:55:19 PM »

Hmm, I didn't know God offered His energies to sinners.

How else are "sinners" sustained or do sinners encounter anything?

That's the thing. They are not sustained. They lost communion with God. They receive Him in the manner that they are open to Him, aka zero. They know He is present and this is what torments them, but they can't really experience Him. That would mean that they are either in Heaven, or that God is purposefully torturing them with His goodness.

God creates and sustains all. Or is there creation which is independent of God?

God tortures.

God does not sustain people who refuse Him; that would mean He is crazy. At least to me and what I've gathered so far. God tortures? I sure hope not.
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« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2013, 02:56:29 PM »

Hmm, I didn't know God offered His energies to sinners.

How else are "sinners" sustained or do sinners encounter anything?

That's the thing. They are not sustained.

Insofar as they exist, they are sustained by God. As St. Dionysius says, nothing existing is entirely deprived of good, since existence comes from the One who emanates and is above existence.
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« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2013, 02:57:29 PM »

St. Dionysius' discussion of evil in On the Divine Names probably forms the background to a lot of theologizing on this question. It's well worth reading the whole book.

Read Aristotle and Plato for a decade or so first.
Then Plotinus for a year or so.
Then well, let's not kid ourselves, no one is doing the above.

I love them all, which makes me love St. Dionysius all the more.
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« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2013, 02:57:38 PM »

Hmm, I didn't know God offered His energies to sinners.

How else are "sinners" sustained or do sinners encounter anything?

That's the thing. They are not sustained. They lost communion with God. They receive Him in the manner that they are open to Him, aka zero. They know He is present and this is what torments them, but they can't really experience Him. That would mean that they are either in Heaven, or that God is purposefully torturing them with His goodness.

God creates and sustains all. Or is there creation which is independent of God?

God tortures.

God does not sustain people who refuse Him; that would mean He is crazy. At least to me and what I've gathered so far. God tortures? I sure hope not.

So you agree there is creation independent of God?

God tortures. It's all over the Bible. But we'll leave that for now.
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« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2013, 02:58:42 PM »

Hmm, I didn't know God offered His energies to sinners.

How else are "sinners" sustained or do sinners encounter anything?

That's the thing. They are not sustained.

Insofar as they exist, they are sustained by God. As St. Dionysius says, nothing existing is entirely deprived of good, since existence comes from the One who emanates and is above existence.

But that can mean protection from afar, not being directly sustained. Those in hell are dead.
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« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2013, 02:59:23 PM »

And if one disagrees with Fr. Staniloae he should read St. Maximus the Confessor. He is the one Fr. Staniloae was representing.
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« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2013, 03:02:16 PM »

Hmm, I didn't know God offered His energies to sinners.

How else are "sinners" sustained or do sinners encounter anything?

That's the thing. They are not sustained.

Insofar as they exist, they are sustained by God. As St. Dionysius says, nothing existing is entirely deprived of good, since existence comes from the One who emanates and is above existence.

This is ridiculously extraneous of course and likely a horrible way of understanding Christianity. Perhaps neo-Platonists needed this sort of Gospel, but it is time to let it pass with its time.

That all comes from God is not predicated on any notions of good but is simply a statement of fact in Judeo-Christian-Islamisry.
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« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2013, 03:03:53 PM »

This is from theologian Fr. Dumitru Staniloae, one of the most respected theologians of the 20th century. I translated it from Romanian:

He is describing the concept of St. Maximus the Confessor: The souls that are in hell must move their power, because they don't have within themselves infinity (from God, that can satisfy all wishes); yet, in another way, they are not within an infinity in which their powers can move in a stable manner, because they are outside of God and they do not tend towards him, either, but move within a tormenting restlessness, not stabilizing themselves in the God's infinity. The soul in hell must move, but since it's not moving towards its desired target in which its movement would find accomplishment and stabilize, its movement, from which it cannot escape, is a torment because it is useless, without a target. More so, the soul moves form one thing to another without ceasing to exist.

St. John of Damascus says that the torments are caused by the unsatisfied passions. I can't offer a quote, but just read it in a Romanian article.

I'd be careful about introducing the concept of Energies. Not saying it's not so, but we may not understand things the right way.

Frankly from what you have posted by Fr. Dumitru Staniloae, his work doesn't seem that great. In fact, in the excerpt you posted by him on the Trinity, it came close to heresy and I don't use that word lightly.

I very much doubt it because Fr. Staniloae is so big and never got any criticism.  And, I read it also before I posted it. Which one was it? And what are you disagreeing with?

Gotta run for a long while, I'll search to see if I can find the post I found a little problematic and bump in a minute.
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« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2013, 03:07:53 PM »

"And some things, indeed, participate in the Good entirely, whilst others are deprived of It, in a more or less degree, but others possess a more obscure participation in the Good; and to the rest, the Good is present as a most distant echo. For if the Good were not present according to the capacity of each, the most Divine and honoured would occupy the rank of the lowest. And how were it possible that all should participate in the Good uniformly, when not all are in the same way adapted to its whole participation?

"Now, this is the exceeding greatness of the power of the Good, that It empowers, both things deprived, and the deprivation of Itself, with a view to the entire participation of itself. And, if one must make bold to speak the truth, even the things fighting against It, both are, and are able to fight, by Its power. Yea rather, in order that I may speak summarily, all things which are, in so far as they are, both are good, and from the Good; but, in so far as they are deprived of the Good, are neither good, nor do they exist."
- St. Dionysius

Yes, orthonorm, I'm aware of your objections to continuing neo-Platonic influence in Christian theology. But, like it or not, it's pretty much indelibly left its mark. I for one, coming from a (loosely speaking) pagan philosophical background, really dig Platonism and think it integrates well with the gospel, with certain adjustments of course.
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« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2013, 03:13:14 PM »

"And some things, indeed, participate in the Good entirely, whilst others are deprived of It, in a more or less degree, but others possess a more obscure participation in the Good; and to the rest, the Good is present as a most distant echo. For if the Good were not present according to the capacity of each, the most Divine and honoured would occupy the rank of the lowest. And how were it possible that all should participate in the Good uniformly, when not all are in the same way adapted to its whole participation?

"Now, this is the exceeding greatness of the power of the Good, that It empowers, both things deprived, and the deprivation of Itself, with a view to the entire participation of itself. And, if one must make bold to speak the truth, even the things fighting against It, both are, and are able to fight, by Its power. Yea rather, in order that I may speak summarily, all things which are, in so far as they are, both are good, and from the Good; but, in so far as they are deprived of the Good, are neither good, nor do they exist."
- St. Dionysius

Yes, orthonorm, I'm aware of your objections to continuing neo-Platonic influence in Christian theology. But, like it or not, it's pretty much indelibly left its mark. I for one, coming from a (loosely speaking) pagan philosophical background, really dig Platonism and think it integrates well with the gospel, with certain adjustments of course.

Later perhaps . . .
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« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2013, 03:15:31 PM »

This is from theologian Fr. Dumitru Staniloae, one of the most respected theologians of the 20th century. I translated it from Romanian:

He is describing the concept of St. Maximus the Confessor: The souls that are in hell must move their power, because they don't have within themselves infinity (from God, that can satisfy all wishes); yet, in another way, they are not within an infinity in which their powers can move in a stable manner, because they are outside of God and they do not tend towards him, either, but move within a tormenting restlessness, not stabilizing themselves in the God's infinity. The soul in hell must move, but since it's not moving towards its desired target in which its movement would find accomplishment and stabilize, its movement, from which it cannot escape, is a torment because it is useless, without a target. More so, the soul moves form one thing to another without ceasing to exist.

St. John of Damascus says that the torments are caused by the unsatisfied passions. I can't offer a quote, but just read it in a Romanian article.

I'd be careful about introducing the concept of Energies. Not saying it's not so, but we may not understand things the right way.

Frankly from what you have posted by Fr. Dumitru Staniloae, his work doesn't seem that great. In fact, in the excerpt you posted by him on the Trinity, it came close to heresy and I don't use that word lightly.

I very much doubt it because Fr. Staniloae is so big and never got any criticism.  And, I read it also before I posted it. Which one was it? And what are you disagreeing with?

Gotta run for a long while, I'll search to see if I can find the post I found a little problematic and bump in a minute.

Here is the thread in which the quote occurred that especially jumped off the screen at me. If you want, we can take it up in that thread. (FWIW, I haven't read the entire work, I am just saying that more than a few times some your quotes from the Father seem a little problematic, this seemed the worst of them all.)

Dimitru Staniloae says:
Quote
Through grace the Spirit eliminates the distance between our 'I' and His 'I', creating between us and the Father through grace, the same relationship He has by nature with the Father and the Son.


Wow! ... this is just so aweome!

IoanC,

This is the problematic quote. Sorry, I thought you provided. I guess Theophan_C found it within a link you provided or it is in the split thread.

Here is the quote with the proper attribution:

Quote
“Through grace the Spirit eliminates the distance between our “I” and His “I,” creating between us and the Father, through grace, the same relation He has by nature with the Father and the Son” (Staniloae, 1994, The experience of God: Revelation and knowledge of the Triune God, p. 248).
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« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2013, 03:20:42 PM »

I do know that IoanC isn't exaggerating when he speaks of Fr. Dumitru being respected. Fwiw, I've read that book and didn't remember anything particularly troubling, though that quote is something that could/should be discussed further... 
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« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2013, 03:29:50 PM »

So, my understanding is that God offers His energies to those in Hell out of the same love He has for those who love Him. That's the whole beauty of it and greatness of God. He offers the Energies as a gift, not as a torment. And by the way, His Energies are not tormenting; they are the same Energies He offers to those is Heaven and causes them to rejoice. That's the thing -- if only those in hell would wish to accept, but they don't because they hate God's Energies. They call light darkness and darkness light. So, there is this sort of separation because of it. God will not force Himself though He does offer Himself. Again, the Energies are not tormenting in nature since they cause the righteous to rejoice. The way they are perceived is tormenting to sinners.
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« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2013, 01:02:32 PM »

I remember one of the saints also said that Hell is not the real fire or the fire we can understand. And it is the fire that God knows.However, he did not clearly say that that fire is God's presence.

Only st basil, st Gregory, st isaac  said that Hell is the presence and love of God, but not the real fire in their written works?

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« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2013, 01:11:40 PM »

I think Saint Philotheos in his on watchfulness alludes to something like that, but I am at a loss for a reference.
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« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2013, 01:41:57 PM »

Only st basil, st Gregory, st isaac  said that Hell is the presence and love of God, but not the real fire in their written works?

This is incorrect.  Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2013, 03:01:17 PM »

Only st basil, st Gregory, st isaac  said that Hell is the presence and love of God, but not the real fire in their written works?

This is incorrect.  Smiley

Which church father also teach that  hell is God Himself in their written works?
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« Reply #31 on: January 05, 2013, 04:22:07 PM »

I'm not sure, but just because I'm not sure that doesn't mean those are the only ones... Wink
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« Reply #32 on: January 05, 2013, 05:23:09 PM »

Hmm, I didn't know God offered His energies to sinners.

How else are "sinners" sustained or do sinners encounter anything?

That's the thing. They are not sustained. They lost communion with God. They receive Him in the manner that they are open to Him, aka zero. They know He is present and this is what torments them, but they can't really experience Him. That would mean that they are either in Heaven, or that God is purposefully torturing them with His goodness.

God creates and sustains all. Or is there creation which is independent of God?

God tortures.

God does not sustain people who refuse Him; that would mean He is crazy. At least to me and what I've gathered so far. God tortures? I sure hope not.

Is the eternal life so fundamentally different than this life, in which God certainly does sustain sinners? And if He only sustains them in this life for the purpose of repentance, why is His sustainance still necessary for the righteous in eternity? To say that, somehow, God ceases to sustain His creation veers too closely to annihilationsim for me.
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« Reply #33 on: January 05, 2013, 09:07:32 PM »

Rev 14:10
The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
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« Reply #34 on: January 05, 2013, 11:13:37 PM »

Quote
St Gregory the Theologian:
God Himself is Paradise and punishment for man, since each  tastes God's energies according to the condition of his soul.

What is the source of this quotation?  Thanks.
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« Reply #35 on: January 05, 2013, 11:18:12 PM »

Rev 14:10
The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

Not surehow this quote addresses specifically the topic at hand. Maybe with some commentary?
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« Reply #36 on: January 06, 2013, 12:13:44 AM »

Quote
St Gregory the Theologian:
God Himself is Paradise and punishment for man, since each  tastes God's energies according to the condition of his soul.

What is the source of this quotation?  Thanks.

A google search didn't bring up a source, just lots of people quoting it, or quoting parts of it. I think the quote in the OP is just a summation of something that was said, or a paraphrase even. A number of people who quote the text cite this page as a source... perhaps the author of the article could be contacted?
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« Reply #37 on: January 06, 2013, 11:03:35 PM »

Rev 14:10
The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
Not surehow this quote addresses specifically the topic at hand. Maybe with some commentary?

My point was that it says that the torment will happen "in the presence of the Lamb", but the only Orthodox commentary I can find (that of St Andrew) doesn't address what it means for it to happen "in the presence of the Lamb", but while saying "in the presence of" does not necessarily say that the Lord's presence is what causes the torment.

But I did find this in the same commentary on Rev 19:11-12, which may be of interest here.

Quote
And the white horse is the future joy of the saints, upon which he is carried to judge the nations impartially, I think by his watchful, providential power throwing out flames of fire, which to the righteous illuminate but do not burn, but to the sinners burn and do not illumine.

You can find a link to download the translation I used here.
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« Reply #38 on: January 06, 2013, 11:33:01 PM »

Rev 14:10
The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
Not surehow this quote addresses specifically the topic at hand. Maybe with some commentary?

My point was that it says that the torment will happen "in the presence of the Lamb", but the only Orthodox commentary I can find (that of St Andrew) doesn't address what it means for it to happen "in the presence of the Lamb", but while saying "in the presence of" does not necessarily say that the Lord's presence is what causes the torment.

But I did find this in the same commentary on Rev 19:11-12, which may be of interest here.

Quote
And the white horse is the future joy of the saints, upon which he is carried to judge the nations impartially, I think by his watchful, providential power throwing out flames of fire, which to the righteous illuminate but do not burn, but to the sinners burn and do not illumine.

You can find a link to download the translation I used here.

Thanks.

Wonder if there's any explanation of the eternal sufferings from Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos or Nikolaos Vasiliades.
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« Reply #39 on: January 07, 2013, 06:22:06 AM »

Rev 14:10
The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
Not surehow this quote addresses specifically the topic at hand. Maybe with some commentary?

My point was that it says that the torment will happen "in the presence of the Lamb", but the only Orthodox commentary I can find (that of St Andrew) doesn't address what it means for it to happen "in the presence of the Lamb", but while saying "in the presence of" does not necessarily say that the Lord's presence is what causes the torment.

But I did find this in the same commentary on Rev 19:11-12, which may be of interest here.

Quote
And the white horse is the future joy of the saints, upon which he is carried to judge the nations impartially, I think by his watchful, providential power throwing out flames of fire, which to the righteous illuminate but do not burn, but to the sinners burn and do not illumine.

You can find a link to download the translation I used here.
You mean most Orthodox commentaries shows that the Lord's presence is the cause of the torments in Genhanna,except St.Andrew?
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« Reply #40 on: January 07, 2013, 11:38:11 PM »

You mean most Orthodox commentaries shows that the Lord's presence is the cause of the torments in Genhanna,except St.Andrew?

All I said was that that particular commentary didn't say anything one way or the other in reference to those words in that particular verse. But I did find a passage in the same commentary relating to a different verse that was relevant to the discussion.
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« Reply #41 on: January 08, 2013, 01:39:10 PM »

 
St. Paul the Apostle in his 2nd Epistle to Thessalonians says pretty much the same thing. Read "2 Thess 1: 3-10" and pay special attention to verse 9
Quote
These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day.

Some bible version  add a word 'away' on the 2thess1:9, and turn the sentence as ' away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power' .

Can anybody check what  original text (Greek) is on 2thess 1:9?
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« Reply #42 on: January 08, 2013, 07:15:12 PM »

Except St Isaac and St Gregory, is there any other church father directly and clearly claiming that God and God's love is the paradise and hell for the men in his/her written works? Can anybody quote some of them?

I suspect you will aren't going to find many Church Fathers who say that it is the love of God that causes the sufferings of the damned.  As you note, St Isaac says this explicitly; but as far as I can determine, most Church Fathers speak of hell either as the absence of God or as an actual physical fire.  A couple of years ago I tried to do a review of patristic texts, and I posted some of my results on the Monachos site.  Also see the immediate response of Hieromonk Irenei Steenberg in the same thread.

I like St Isaac's description of hell and invoke it frequently, but I'm reluctant to say that it expresses THE position of the Fathers.  
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« Reply #43 on: January 08, 2013, 09:45:59 PM »

Some bible version  add a word 'away' on the 2thess1:9, and turn the sentence as ' away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power' .

Can anybody check what  original text (Greek) is on 2thess 1:9?

According to my concordance, that word means "away from".
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« Reply #44 on: January 09, 2013, 02:17:10 AM »

Some bible version  add a word 'away' on the 2thess1:9, and turn the sentence as ' away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power' .

Can anybody check what  original text (Greek) is on 2thess 1:9?

According to my concordance, that word means "away from".

Except St Isaac and St Gregory, is there any other church father directly and clearly claiming that God and God's love is the paradise and hell for the men in his/her written works? Can anybody quote some of them?

I suspect you will aren't going to find many Church Fathers who say that it is the love of God that causes the sufferings of the damned.  As you note, St Isaac says this explicitly; but as far as I can determine, most Church Fathers speak of hell either as the absence of God or as an actual physical fire.  A couple of years ago I tried to do a review of patristic texts, and I posted some of my results on the Monachos site.  Also see the immediate response of Hieromonk Irenei Steenberg in the same thread.

I like St Isaac's description of hell and invoke it frequently, but I'm reluctant to say that it expresses THE position of the Fathers.  

That mean hell is away from GOd's presence and absence of His presence according to the orginal text of  2 thess 1:9?

And expect St Isaac ,most church father think that hell is absence of God and His love , and God will use true fire to torture His enemies?
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« Reply #45 on: January 09, 2013, 02:33:43 AM »

Here is the definition for "from" (apo) according to Strong's Concordance

Quote
a primary particle; "off," i.e. away (from something near), in various senses (of place, time, or relation; literal or figurative):--(X here-)after, ago, at, because of, before, by (the space of), for(-th), from, in, (out) of, off, (up-)on(-ce), since, with. In composition (as a prefix) it usually denotes separation, departure, cessation, completion, reversal, etc.

And the definition for "presence" (prosopon)

Quote
from pros - pros 4314 and ops (the visage, from 3700); the front (as being towards view), i.e. the countenance, aspect, appearance, surface; by implication, presence, person:--(outward) appearance, X before, countenance, face, fashion, (men's) person, presence.
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« Reply #46 on: January 09, 2013, 12:18:20 PM »

Except St Isaac and St Gregory, is there any other church father directly and clearly claiming that God and God's love is the paradise and hell for the men in his/her written works? Can anybody quote some of them?

I suspect you will aren't going to find many Church Fathers who say that it is the love of God that causes the sufferings of the damned.  As you note, St Isaac says this explicitly; but as far as I can determine, most Church Fathers speak of hell either as the absence of God or as an actual physical fire.  A couple of years ago I tried to do a review of patristic texts, and I posted some of my results on the Monachos site.  Also see the immediate response of Hieromonk Irenei Steenberg in the same thread.

I like St Isaac's description of hell and invoke it frequently, but I'm reluctant to say that it expresses THE position of the Fathers.  

You mean most church Fathers support modern Protestant's understanding of hell (like Sinners in the hand of angry God, hell is a created place, fire in hell is the physical fire,etc) rather than Orthodoxy? Undecided Huh

Do other Orthodox Christians here agree it?
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« Reply #47 on: January 09, 2013, 12:20:14 PM »

Whatever Hell may be or may not be (I've already told you all I know in prev. posts Smiley), Heaven and Hell are spiritual, not physical. This is what The Church stresses, to the best of my knowledge.
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« Reply #48 on: January 09, 2013, 12:28:30 PM »

Quote
St Gregory the Theologian:
God Himself is Paradise and punishment for man, since each  tastes God's energies according to the condition of his soul.

What is the source of this quotation?  Thanks.

I found the source:  *Life After Death* by Met Hierotheos (p. 259).  It is not actually a quotation of St Gregory.  It is the Metropolitan's interpretation of St Gregory.   
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« Reply #49 on: January 09, 2013, 12:58:01 PM »

Except St Isaac and St Gregory, is there any other church father directly and clearly claiming that God and God's love is the paradise and hell for the men in his/her written works? Can anybody quote some of them?

I suspect you will aren't going to find many Church Fathers who say that it is the love of God that causes the sufferings of the damned.  As you note, St Isaac says this explicitly; but as far as I can determine, most Church Fathers speak of hell either as the absence of God or as an actual physical fire.  A couple of years ago I tried to do a review of patristic texts, and I posted some of my results on the Monachos site.  Also see the immediate response of Hieromonk Irenei Steenberg in the same thread.

I like St Isaac's description of hell and invoke it frequently, but I'm reluctant to say that it expresses THE position of the Fathers.  

You mean most church Fathers support modern Protestant's understanding of hell (like Sinners in the hand of angry God, hell is a created place, fire in hell is the physical fire,etc) rather than Orthodoxy? Undecided Huh

Do other Orthodox Christians here agree it?

Where in what Father said do you draw that conclusion?
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« Reply #50 on: January 09, 2013, 01:26:49 PM »

Quote
The thesis that Hell is "heaven experienced differently" is a view that one finds expressed by many contemporary theologians and preachers, Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant. This has in fact been my view for the past twenty-five years or longer. Given my belief that God's infinite and unbounded love for humanity is unconditional and unmerited, it seems logical to conclude that the damned suffer because they hate God. Just as many find sitting through opera to be intolerable, so the damned find being in the presence of God to be unendurable torment. God does not punish; we punish ourselves by rejecting God and his mercy.

But I still have a couple nagging questions about it this understanding of Hell.
 
First, does it accord with the teaching of Jesus and the New Testament? The contemporary position puts God into a passive position: God does not "condemn" to Hell; he does not punish; rather, he "permits" the sinner to eternally reject his love and mercy. It is the sinner who damns himself. Yet in Jesus' parable of the Last Judgment (Matt 25), the Son of Man is cast into an active role: "Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." Perhaps the words of judgment can be interpreted as mere ratification that the damned have chosen their damnation; but it's more difficult, I think, to construe the eternal fire of which Jesus speaks as being God himself. Similarly, in Jesus' parable of the wedding feast (Matt 22), it is the king who orders the man without the wedding garment to be bound hand and foot and cast into the outer darkness. Consider St Gregory Palamas's interpretation of this parable:
Quote
In the earlier passage the Lord commanded that the tares be bundled up first, then thrown into the fire. Now He first orders that the man be bound hand and foot, then that he be cast into outer darkness. In both cases, He adds that there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, so hell-fire must be the same as outer darkness. As that darkness is without any gleam of light, why is it not called "innermost" darkness rather that "outer"? God is the true, eternal light without evening, where the spirits of the just are now, and later the saints will dwell bodily. He is the Sun of righteousness. People who live impure, unjust lives are outside this Sun and its light even now, but in this life they do have the hope of repentance, and enjoy the light of the visible sun and the consolation of the rest of God's creation, while the Lord in His love for mankind forbears, patiently awaiting their conversion. However, any who do not repent here will be deprived then of God's tolerance and long-suffering, and the pleasure of His visible creation. They will find themselves much further away from God, bereft of hope, and will be handed over to eternal punishment. So they are without the true light now, but then, as we have said, they will be even further removed from it and will be delivered up to that darkness far outside the light, to unmitigated suffering and anguish. ...

Who will withstand the Lord's anger? Who will endure the accusation and shame which the Lord indicated to us in the Gospel through His words in the parable to the man wearing sin's ugly garb? Who will be able to bear that wrathful divine sentence, of the angels' violent haste to carry it out, as they snatch the condemned man from the company of the righteous, separating him as tares from wheat, bind him without mercy and thrust him, alas, into hell? Who can endure that outer darkness for ever without light, the unceasing inconsolable turmoil of extreme grief, the gnashing and grinding of teeth, the continuous unbearable pain of being burned by the unquenchable fire? What sort of fire is that which burns physical beings and bodiless spirits, causing hurt while keeping them alive for ever, and which melts the fiery element of our own bodies, according to the words of Scripture: "The elements shall melt with fervent heat"? How much worse will the agony be because there is no hope of deliverance! Nor shall we see to what level of evil we have sunk, for that fire is completely without light. (Homily 27: 10-12)

http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?6446-Fr-Hopko-and-the-wrath-of-God&p=87107&viewfull=1#post87107

Quote
Second, would most of the Church Fathers have agreed with the view that Hell is Heaven experienced differently, or to put it differently, do the majority of the Church Fathers understand the fire of hell as identical to the fire of God's love? I am not a patristic scholar, nor have I read an extended treatment of the beliefs of the Church Fathers on matters eschatological. Last month I decided to go through all the citations included in the three volume The Faith of the Early Fathers that speak of Hell, as well as the citations included under the topic of Hell in John R. Willis's The Teachings of the Church Fathers. Using florilegia is always hazardous: (a) they are inescapably selective and (b) the excerpted texts are ripped from their literary context and therefore are easily mis-read. Acknowledging these cautions, I did not find a single text where the fire of Hell is clearly and unmistakably identified with God or God's presence or God's love. I did not find a single text that clearly states that the damned suffer because they hate the love of God. A couple come close, perhaps; but none are as clear on this as St Isaac the Syrian is, and most appear to say just the opposite.

http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?6446-Fr-Hopko-and-the-wrath-of-God&p=87107&viewfull=1#post87107



Quote
Here are three texts I found that might be invoked in support of the thesis that Hell is Heaven differently experienced:
 
St Basis the Great:
Quote
"The voice of the Lord divides the flame of fire." ... I believe that the fire prepared in punishment for the devil and his angels is divided by the voice of the Lord. Thus, hence there are two capacities in fire, one of burning and the other of illuminating, the fierce and punitive property of the fire may await those who deserve to burn, while its illuminating and radiant part may be reserved for the enjoyment of those who are rejoicing. (On Psalm 28, no. 6)
Basil does not explicitly identify the fire with God, but given that this fire both punishes and illumines, perhaps one might argue that Basil implies an identification of sorts.

St Gregory Nazianzen:
Quote
I know a cleansing fire which Christ came to hurl upon the earth; and He Himself is called Fire in words anagogically applied. ... I know also a fire that is not cleansing but avenging, that fire either of Sodom, which, mixed with a storm of brimstone, He pours down on all sinners, or that which is prepared for the devil and his angels, or that which proceeds from the face of the Lord and burns up His enemies all around. And still there is a fire more fearsome that these, that with which the sleepless worm is associated, and which is never extinguished but belongs eternally to the wicked. All these are of destructive power, unless even here someone may prefer to understand this in a more merciful way, worthy of Him who chastises. (Oration on Holy Baptism 40.36)
Note the distinction between the Christ's cleansing, purifying fire, with which he might be identified, and the avenging, retributive, inextinguishable fire that is poured out on the obstinately wicked. The latter must be considered to be a purely destructive power, unless, Gregory obliquely intimates, one believes in the apocatastasis.

St John Damascene:
Quote
We shall rise again, therefore, our souls united again to our bodies, the latter now made incorruptible and having put corruption aside; and we shall stand before the awesome tribunal of Christ. And the devil and his demons, and the man that is his, the Antichrist, and the impious and the sinners shall be consigned to everlasting fire, not material fire such as we know, but such fire as God would know. (The Source of Knowledge 3.4.27)
St John here asserts that the fire of hell is not a material fire but rather a fire known only to God (a spiritual fire?). But he does not explicitly identify this fire with God himself.
http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?6446-Fr-Hopko-and-the-wrath-of-God&p=87107&viewfull=1#post87107

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« Reply #51 on: January 09, 2013, 01:50:24 PM »

Continue ( Most important part, here shows that the written works of the church fathers which tell us that hell is the absence of God and God will show infinite angry and hatred to His enemies, take revengue on them , punish and torture them actively with ?real? fire , without any mercy forever and ever in hell)  :

Quote
Several of the Fathers speak of Hell as separation from God:
St Basil the Great:
Those who have grieved the Holy Spirit by their evil ways, or have not increased the talents they were given, will be deprived of what they received, and their share of grace will be given to others, or as one of the Gospels says, they will be completely cut to pieces, meaning that they will be separated from the Spirit forever. ... It is as I have said: the cutting to pieces is eternal separation of the soul from the Spirit. At present, before the day of judgment comes, even though the Spirit cannot dwell within those who are unworthy, He nevertheless is present in a limited way with those who have been baptized, hoping that their conversion will result in salvation. On the day of judgment, however, He will be completely cut off from the soul that has defiled his grace. That is why Scripture says that in hell no one confesses God and in death none can remember Him, since the Spirit's help is no longer present. (On the Holy Spirit 40)

 St Irenaeus:
 And to as many as continue in their love towards God, does He grant communion with Him. But communion with God is life and light, and the enjoyment of all the benefits which He has in store. But on as many as, according to their own choice, depart from God, He inflicts that separation from Himself which they have chosen of their own accord. But separation from God is death, and separation from light is darkness; and separation from God consists in the loss of all the benefits which He has in store. Those, therefore, who cast away by apostasy these forementioned things, being in fact destitute of all good, do experience every kind of punishment. God, however, does not punish them immediately of Himself, but that punishment falls upon them because they are destitute of all that is good. Now, good things are eternal and without end with God, and therefore the loss of these is also eternal and never-ending. It is in this matter just as occurs in the case of a flood of light: those who have blinded themselves, or have been blinded by others, are for ever deprived of the enjoyment of light. It is not, [however], that the light has inflicted upon them the penalty of blindness, but it is that the blindness itself has brought calamity upon them: and therefore the Lord declared, "He that believes in Me is not condemned," [John 3:18-21], that is, is not separated from God, for he is united to God through faith. On the other hand, He says, "He that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God;" that is, he separated himself from God of his own accord. "For this is the condemnation, that light has come into this world, and men have loved darkness rather than light. For every one who does evil hates the light, and comes not to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that does truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that he has wrought them in God. (Against Heresies V.27)


Many more patristic texts can be invoked to support the thesis that Hell is divine punishment imposed by God:
 St Hippolytus of Rome:
Standing before [Christ's] judgment, all of them, men, angels, and demons, crying out in one voice, shall say: "Just is your judgment!" And the justice of that cry will be apparent in the recompense made to each. To those who have done well, everlasting enjoyment shall be given; while to the lovers of evil shall be given eternal punishment. The unquenchable and unending fire awaits these latter, and a certain fiery worm which does not die and which does not waste the body, but continually bursts forth from the body with unceasing pain. No sleep will give them rest; no night will soothe them; no death will deliver them from punishment; no appeal of interceding friends will profit them. For neither are the righteous any longer seen by them, nor are they themselves worthy of remembrance. (Against the Greeks 2)

St Cyprian of Carthage:
An ever-burning Gehenna and the punishment of being devoured by living flames will consume the condemned; nor will there be any way in which the torments can ever have respite or be at an end. Souls along with their bodies will be preserved for suffering in infinite agonies. ... The grief at punishment will then be without the fruit of repentance; weeping will be useless, and prayer ineffectual. Too late will they believe in eternal punishment, who would not believe in eternal life. (To Demetrian 560)

Oh, what a day that will be, and how great when it comes, dearest brethren! when the Lord begins to survey His people and to recognize by examining with divine knowledge the merits of each individual! to cast into hell evildoers, and to condemn our persecutors to the eternal fire and punishing flame! ... When that unveiling has come and when the brightness of God shines about us, honored by the condescension of the Lord, we shall be as blessed and joyful as they will remain guilty and miserable--those deserters of God and rebels against God, who have done the will of the devil, so that it is necessary for them to be tortured along with him in the unquenchable fire. (Letter to the People of Thibar 579)

St Cyril of Jerusalem:
We shall be raised, then, all having eternal bodies, but not all with bodies alike. If a man is righteous, he shall receive a heavenly body, so that he may be able to converse worthily with the angels. But if a man is sinful, he shall receive an eternal body fitted to endure the penalties of sin, so that he may burn in the eternal fire without ever being consumed. (Catechetical Lectures 18.19)

St Jerome:
There are many who say there are no future punishments for sins nor any torments extrinsically applied, but that sin itself and the consciousness of guilt serve as punishment, while the worm in the heart does not die, and a fire is kindled in the mind, much like a fever, which does not torment the ailing person externally but punishes, even bodies by its seizures, without the application of any torments that might be brought to bear from without. These arguments and fraudulent fancies are but inane and empty words having the semblance of eloquence of speech but serving only to delude sinners; and if they give them credence they only add to the burden of eternal punishment which they will carry with them. (Commentary on Ephesians 3.5.6)
St Augustine:
 Why can we not say that even incorporeal spirits are able to be afflicted in some real ways, however, remarkable, with the punishment of corporeal fire, if the spirits of men, certainly themselves incorporeal, are able now to be contained in corporeal members, and in the future will be able to be bound indissolubly to the bonds of their own bodies? ... Gehenna, the which is called also a slough of fire and brimstone, will be a corporeal fire and it will torture the bodies of the damned, either of both men and of demons, the solid bodies of men and the ethereal bodies of demons; or the bodies of men only, with their spirits, while of the demons, their spirits without bodies shall so cleave to the corporeal fires as to feel their punishment but not so as to give them life. But there will be one fire for both, as Truth itself has declared. (The City of God 21.10.1)


 St Gregory the Great:
When we say that a spirit is held fast by fire, we mean that it is in torment of fire by seeing and by feeling. For it begins to suffer from the fire when it sees it; and when it sees itself attacked by the flames, it feels itself burning. That is how a corporeal thing burns an incorporeal one: an invisible burning and pain is received from a visible fire, and an incorporeal mind is tortured by the incorporeal flame of a corporeal fire. From the words of Scripture, however, we are able to gather that the soul suffers not only by seeing but also by experiencing. ... If the Devil and his angels, although they are incorporeal, are to be tortured by a corporeal fire, what wonder if souls, even before they are reunited with their bodies, can feel corporeal torments? (Dialogues 4.29)

Some think that hell is in a definite place on the earth, but others suppose that it is under the earth. It does seem to me, however, that if we call something infernal because it is situated in a lower position, then hell ought to be infernal to the earth, just as the earth is infernal to the heavens. (Dialogues 4.43)

http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?6446-Fr-Hopko-and-the-wrath-of-God&p=87107&viewfull=1#post87107




Akimel quoted  the above church father's written works and supported that Hell is the absence of God , the infitate angry and hatres of God,punitive , retributive. And people in hell would tortured with physical fire foreover in manachos sites. ( Hope that you won't mind I point your posts from monachos sites and your name out, I just want to learn and see the view of the others about hell ! Smiley  )

Do you agree with it and this interpretation of Church Fathers' written works about hell?
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« Reply #52 on: January 09, 2013, 02:06:59 PM »

For those who might find it of interest.  St Andrew of Caesarea wrote one of the earliest commentaries on the Apocalypse.  It is available online.  I have not read it, but according to Fr Brian Daley (The Hope of the Early Church), St Andrew understands the divinely ordained eternal punishment of hell to be punitive and retributive, not medicinal and therapeutic.  And that really is the question, isn't it? 
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« Reply #53 on: January 09, 2013, 02:17:16 PM »

For those who might find it of interest.  St Andrew of Caesarea wrote one of the earliest commentaries on the Apocalypse.  It is available online.  I have not read it, but according to Fr Brian Daley (The Hope of the Early Church), St Andrew understands the divinely ordained eternal punishment of hell to be punitive and retributive, not medicinal and therapeutic.  And that really is the question, isn't it? 

That is the commentary I quoted in reply 37. I haven't read the whole commentary, but from what I have looked at (which is unfortunately only a few passages), he does describe hell as punitive and retributive, but at the same time says that the same fire that burns sinners is the same fire that illumines the saints.
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And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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« Reply #54 on: January 09, 2013, 02:28:40 PM »

This is from theologian Fr. Dumitru Staniloae, one of the most respected theologians of the 20th century. I translated it from Romanian:

He is describing the concept of St. Maximus the Confessor: The souls that are in hell must move their power, because they don't have within themselves infinity (from God, that can satisfy all wishes); yet, in another way, they are not within an infinity in which their powers can move in a stable manner, because they are outside of God and they do not tend towards him, either, but move within a tormenting restlessness, not stabilizing themselves in the God's infinity. The soul in hell must move, but since it's not moving towards its desired target in which its movement would find accomplishment and stabilize, its movement, from which it cannot escape, is a torment because it is useless, without a target. More so, the soul moves form one thing to another without ceasing to exist.

Frankly from what you have posted by Fr. Dumitru Staniloae, his work doesn't seem that great. In fact, in the excerpt you posted by him on the Trinity, it came close to heresy and I don't use that word lightly.

This may very well be the fault of the translation. If there had been a reference, I could have checked. Is it from his Dogmatic Theology or some other work?
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« Reply #55 on: January 09, 2013, 07:03:33 PM »

For those who might find it of interest.  St Andrew of Caesarea wrote one of the earliest commentaries on the Apocalypse.  It is available online.  I have not read it, but according to Fr Brian Daley (The Hope of the Early Church), St Andrew understands the divinely ordained eternal punishment of hell to be punitive and retributive, not medicinal and therapeutic.  And that really is the question, isn't it? 

That is the commentary I quoted in reply 37. I haven't read the whole commentary, but from what I have looked at (which is unfortunately only a few passages), he does describe hell as punitive and retributive, but at the same time says that the same fire that burns sinners is the same fire that illumines the saints.

I think that sums it up, from what I have read of the Church's teaching on hell. But from that and the Lord's words about it in the Gospel, I don't favor drawying the schewed conclusion that "we are sinners in the hands of an angry God." We are sinners, of course, but 1. we do not ascribe human passions to God and 2. God is the lover of mankind, who came to save us, who desires our salvation, and who works His will for salvation in ways past our understanding. As the master of life and death, he takes life from someone at His time. He is a just judge, but He is not indiferent. His justice is not human justice, after all. But it is utterly just so that no demons may have any kind of case. His mercy is also not human mercy, and He pours it out to such an extent and purpose that no one need have reason to feel ashamed or afraid of retribution when he approaches in penitence. I think, frankly, that information about the last judgment and heaven and hell is deliberately vague. That God has revealed only what is enough and no more. It is quite an easy thing for Him to counfound human intelligence, and He does this for His good purpose.

In Orthodoxy there are dichotomies--things which while appearing opposite, are both equally true. God is merciful; God is just. God is transcendent, God is imminent. God is unapproachable; God dwells in our very hearts.

Many non-Orthodox writers who speak of God tend only to focus on one thing or the other, giving a skewed teaching.
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« Reply #56 on: January 09, 2013, 07:10:08 PM »

St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco when he said that Hades is a state of the soul.
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« Reply #57 on: January 10, 2013, 12:43:06 AM »

A number of church fathers teach 'orginal sin'. A number of them teaches purgatory or toll house. Some , like origen even teach universalism. These teachings are not adopted by Orthodoxy as well.Do we really need to take every church fathers' words about afterlife/hell so seriously?

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« Reply #58 on: January 10, 2013, 12:57:01 AM »

A number of church fathers teach 'orginal sin'. A number of them teaches purgatory or toll house. Some , like origen even teach universalism. These teachings are not adopted by Orthodoxy as well.Do we really need to take every church fathers' words about afterlife/hell so seriously?



What do you mean by "original sin."

Also, you're the one who asked the original question.

Anyway, in Orthodoxy we use the consensus of the fathers. And, along with that, we do take the Fathers seriously because they were holy men.
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« Reply #59 on: January 10, 2013, 02:55:18 AM »

A number of church fathers teach 'orginal sin'. A number of them teaches purgatory or toll house. Some , like origen even teach universalism. These teachings are not adopted by Orthodoxy as well.Do we really need to take every church fathers' words about afterlife/hell so seriously?



What do you mean by "original sin."

Also, you're the one who asked the original question.

Anyway, in Orthodoxy we use the consensus of the fathers. And, along with that, we do take the Fathers seriously because they were holy men.

Orginal Sin which St Augustine and some latin church fathers taught .


Quote
Several of the Fathers speak of Hell as separation from God:
St Basil the Great:
Those who have grieved the Holy Spirit by their evil ways, or have not increased the talents they were given, will be deprived of what they received, and their share of grace will be given to others, or as one of the Gospels says, they will be completely cut to pieces, meaning that they will be separated from the Spirit forever. ... It is as I have said: the cutting to pieces is eternal separation of the soul from the Spirit. At present, before the day of judgment comes, even though the Spirit cannot dwell within those who are unworthy, He nevertheless is present in a limited way with those who have been baptized, hoping that their conversion will result in salvation. On the day of judgment, however, He will be completely cut off from the soul that has defiled his grace. That is why Scripture says that in hell no one confesses God and in death none can remember Him, since the Spirit's help is no longer present. (On the Holy Spirit 40)

 St Irenaeus:
 And to as many as continue in their love towards God, does He grant communion with Him. But communion with God is life and light, and the enjoyment of all the benefits which He has in store. But on as many as, according to their own choice, depart from God, He inflicts that separation from Himself which they have chosen of their own accord. But separation from God is death, and separation from light is darkness; and separation from God consists in the loss of all the benefits which He has in store. Those, therefore, who cast away by apostasy these forementioned things, being in fact destitute of all good, do experience every kind of punishment. God, however, does not punish them immediately of Himself, but that punishment falls upon them because they are destitute of all that is good. Now, good things are eternal and without end with God, and therefore the loss of these is also eternal and never-ending. It is in this matter just as occurs in the case of a flood of light: those who have blinded themselves, or have been blinded by others, are for ever deprived of the enjoyment of light. It is not, [however], that the light has inflicted upon them the penalty of blindness, but it is that the blindness itself has brought calamity upon them: and therefore the Lord declared, "He that believes in Me is not condemned," [John 3:18-21], that is, is not separated from God, for he is united to God through faith. On the other hand, He says, "He that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God;" that is, he separated himself from God of his own accord. "For this is the condemnation, that light has come into this world, and men have loved darkness rather than light. For every one who does evil hates the light, and comes not to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that does truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that he has wrought them in God. (Against Heresies V.27)


Many more patristic texts can be invoked to support the thesis that Hell is divine punishment imposed by God:
 St Hippolytus of Rome:
Standing before [Christ's] judgment, all of them, men, angels, and demons, crying out in one voice, shall say: "Just is your judgment!" And the justice of that cry will be apparent in the recompense made to each. To those who have done well, everlasting enjoyment shall be given; while to the lovers of evil shall be given eternal punishment. The unquenchable and unending fire awaits these latter, and a certain fiery worm which does not die and which does not waste the body, but continually bursts forth from the body with unceasing pain. No sleep will give them rest; no night will soothe them; no death will deliver them from punishment; no appeal of interceding friends will profit them. For neither are the righteous any longer seen by them, nor are they themselves worthy of remembrance. (Against the Greeks 2)

St Cyprian of Carthage:
An ever-burning Gehenna and the punishment of being devoured by living flames will consume the condemned; nor will there be any way in which the torments can ever have respite or be at an end. Souls along with their bodies will be preserved for suffering in infinite agonies. ... The grief at punishment will then be without the fruit of repentance; weeping will be useless, and prayer ineffectual. Too late will they believe in eternal punishment, who would not believe in eternal life. (To Demetrian 560)

Oh, what a day that will be, and how great when it comes, dearest brethren! when the Lord begins to survey His people and to recognize by examining with divine knowledge the merits of each individual! to cast into hell evildoers, and to condemn our persecutors to the eternal fire and punishing flame! ... When that unveiling has come and when the brightness of God shines about us, honored by the condescension of the Lord, we shall be as blessed and joyful as they will remain guilty and miserable--those deserters of God and rebels against God, who have done the will of the devil, so that it is necessary for them to be tortured along with him in the unquenchable fire. (Letter to the People of Thibar 579)

St Cyril of Jerusalem:
We shall be raised, then, all having eternal bodies, but not all with bodies alike. If a man is righteous, he shall receive a heavenly body, so that he may be able to converse worthily with the angels. But if a man is sinful, he shall receive an eternal body fitted to endure the penalties of sin, so that he may burn in the eternal fire without ever being consumed. (Catechetical Lectures 18.19)

St Jerome:
There are many who say there are no future punishments for sins nor any torments extrinsically applied, but that sin itself and the consciousness of guilt serve as punishment, while the worm in the heart does not die, and a fire is kindled in the mind, much like a fever, which does not torment the ailing person externally but punishes, even bodies by its seizures, without the application of any torments that might be brought to bear from without. These arguments and fraudulent fancies are but inane and empty words having the semblance of eloquence of speech but serving only to delude sinners; and if they give them credence they only add to the burden of eternal punishment which they will carry with them. (Commentary on Ephesians 3.5.6)
St Augustine:
 Why can we not say that even incorporeal spirits are able to be afflicted in some real ways, however, remarkable, with the punishment of corporeal fire, if the spirits of men, certainly themselves incorporeal, are able now to be contained in corporeal members, and in the future will be able to be bound indissolubly to the bonds of their own bodies? ... Gehenna, the which is called also a slough of fire and brimstone, will be a corporeal fire and it will torture the bodies of the damned, either of both men and of demons, the solid bodies of men and the ethereal bodies of demons; or the bodies of men only, with their spirits, while of the demons, their spirits without bodies shall so cleave to the corporeal fires as to feel their punishment but not so as to give them life. But there will be one fire for both, as Truth itself has declared. (The City of God 21.10.1)


 St Gregory the Great:
When we say that a spirit is held fast by fire, we mean that it is in torment of fire by seeing and by feeling. For it begins to suffer from the fire when it sees it; and when it sees itself attacked by the flames, it feels itself burning. That is how a corporeal thing burns an incorporeal one: an invisible burning and pain is received from a visible fire, and an incorporeal mind is tortured by the incorporeal flame of a corporeal fire. From the words of Scripture, however, we are able to gather that the soul suffers not only by seeing but also by experiencing. ... If the Devil and his angels, although they are incorporeal, are to be tortured by a corporeal fire, what wonder if souls, even before they are reunited with their bodies, can feel corporeal torments? (Dialogues 4.29)

Some think that hell is in a definite place on the earth, but others suppose that it is under the earth. It does seem to me, however, that if we call something infernal because it is situated in a lower position, then hell ought to be infernal to the earth, just as the earth is infernal to the heavens. (Dialogues 4.43)


How do these church fathers' written works aligh with Traditional understanding of hell in Orthodox Church (e.g Hell is the love, mercy, goodness, truth, light,glory and presence of God that cause the torments)?
Protestant Christians does not study or emphasize the works of Church work. How come their teaching of hell can be  closer to church fathers?
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« Reply #60 on: January 10, 2013, 05:19:49 AM »

Correct:
The works of church work= the works of church( fathers)
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« Reply #61 on: January 10, 2013, 06:20:59 AM »

A number of church fathers teach 'orginal sin'. A number of them teaches purgatory or toll house. Some , like origen even teach universalism. These teachings are not adopted by Orthodoxy as well.Do we really need to take every church fathers' words about afterlife/hell so seriously?



What do you mean by "original sin."

Also, you're the one who asked the original question.

Anyway, in Orthodoxy we use the consensus of the fathers. And, along with that, we do take the Fathers seriously because they were holy men.

Orginal Sin which St Augustine and some latin church fathers taught .


Quote
Several of the Fathers speak of Hell as separation from God:
St Basil the Great:
Those who have grieved the Holy Spirit by their evil ways, or have not increased the talents they were given, will be deprived of what they received, and their share of grace will be given to others, or as one of the Gospels says, they will be completely cut to pieces, meaning that they will be separated from the Spirit forever. ... It is as I have said: the cutting to pieces is eternal separation of the soul from the Spirit. At present, before the day of judgment comes, even though the Spirit cannot dwell within those who are unworthy, He nevertheless is present in a limited way with those who have been baptized, hoping that their conversion will result in salvation. On the day of judgment, however, He will be completely cut off from the soul that has defiled his grace. That is why Scripture says that in hell no one confesses God and in death none can remember Him, since the Spirit's help is no longer present. (On the Holy Spirit 40)

 St Irenaeus:
 And to as many as continue in their love towards God, does He grant communion with Him. But communion with God is life and light, and the enjoyment of all the benefits which He has in store. But on as many as, according to their own choice, depart from God, He inflicts that separation from Himself which they have chosen of their own accord. But separation from God is death, and separation from light is darkness; and separation from God consists in the loss of all the benefits which He has in store. Those, therefore, who cast away by apostasy these forementioned things, being in fact destitute of all good, do experience every kind of punishment. God, however, does not punish them immediately of Himself, but that punishment falls upon them because they are destitute of all that is good. Now, good things are eternal and without end with God, and therefore the loss of these is also eternal and never-ending. It is in this matter just as occurs in the case of a flood of light: those who have blinded themselves, or have been blinded by others, are for ever deprived of the enjoyment of light. It is not, [however], that the light has inflicted upon them the penalty of blindness, but it is that the blindness itself has brought calamity upon them: and therefore the Lord declared, "He that believes in Me is not condemned," [John 3:18-21], that is, is not separated from God, for he is united to God through faith. On the other hand, He says, "He that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God;" that is, he separated himself from God of his own accord. "For this is the condemnation, that light has come into this world, and men have loved darkness rather than light. For every one who does evil hates the light, and comes not to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that does truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that he has wrought them in God. (Against Heresies V.27)


Many more patristic texts can be invoked to support the thesis that Hell is divine punishment imposed by God:
 St Hippolytus of Rome:
Standing before [Christ's] judgment, all of them, men, angels, and demons, crying out in one voice, shall say: "Just is your judgment!" And the justice of that cry will be apparent in the recompense made to each. To those who have done well, everlasting enjoyment shall be given; while to the lovers of evil shall be given eternal punishment. The unquenchable and unending fire awaits these latter, and a certain fiery worm which does not die and which does not waste the body, but continually bursts forth from the body with unceasing pain. No sleep will give them rest; no night will soothe them; no death will deliver them from punishment; no appeal of interceding friends will profit them. For neither are the righteous any longer seen by them, nor are they themselves worthy of remembrance. (Against the Greeks 2)

St Cyprian of Carthage:
An ever-burning Gehenna and the punishment of being devoured by living flames will consume the condemned; nor will there be any way in which the torments can ever have respite or be at an end. Souls along with their bodies will be preserved for suffering in infinite agonies. ... The grief at punishment will then be without the fruit of repentance; weeping will be useless, and prayer ineffectual. Too late will they believe in eternal punishment, who would not believe in eternal life. (To Demetrian 560)

Oh, what a day that will be, and how great when it comes, dearest brethren! when the Lord begins to survey His people and to recognize by examining with divine knowledge the merits of each individual! to cast into hell evildoers, and to condemn our persecutors to the eternal fire and punishing flame! ... When that unveiling has come and when the brightness of God shines about us, honored by the condescension of the Lord, we shall be as blessed and joyful as they will remain guilty and miserable--those deserters of God and rebels against God, who have done the will of the devil, so that it is necessary for them to be tortured along with him in the unquenchable fire. (Letter to the People of Thibar 579)

St Cyril of Jerusalem:
We shall be raised, then, all having eternal bodies, but not all with bodies alike. If a man is righteous, he shall receive a heavenly body, so that he may be able to converse worthily with the angels. But if a man is sinful, he shall receive an eternal body fitted to endure the penalties of sin, so that he may burn in the eternal fire without ever being consumed. (Catechetical Lectures 18.19)

St Jerome:
There are many who say there are no future punishments for sins nor any torments extrinsically applied, but that sin itself and the consciousness of guilt serve as punishment, while the worm in the heart does not die, and a fire is kindled in the mind, much like a fever, which does not torment the ailing person externally but punishes, even bodies by its seizures, without the application of any torments that might be brought to bear from without. These arguments and fraudulent fancies are but inane and empty words having the semblance of eloquence of speech but serving only to delude sinners; and if they give them credence they only add to the burden of eternal punishment which they will carry with them. (Commentary on Ephesians 3.5.6)
St Augustine:
 Why can we not say that even incorporeal spirits are able to be afflicted in some real ways, however, remarkable, with the punishment of corporeal fire, if the spirits of men, certainly themselves incorporeal, are able now to be contained in corporeal members, and in the future will be able to be bound indissolubly to the bonds of their own bodies? ... Gehenna, the which is called also a slough of fire and brimstone, will be a corporeal fire and it will torture the bodies of the damned, either of both men and of demons, the solid bodies of men and the ethereal bodies of demons; or the bodies of men only, with their spirits, while of the demons, their spirits without bodies shall so cleave to the corporeal fires as to feel their punishment but not so as to give them life. But there will be one fire for both, as Truth itself has declared. (The City of God 21.10.1)


 St Gregory the Great:
When we say that a spirit is held fast by fire, we mean that it is in torment of fire by seeing and by feeling. For it begins to suffer from the fire when it sees it; and when it sees itself attacked by the flames, it feels itself burning. That is how a corporeal thing burns an incorporeal one: an invisible burning and pain is received from a visible fire, and an incorporeal mind is tortured by the incorporeal flame of a corporeal fire. From the words of Scripture, however, we are able to gather that the soul suffers not only by seeing but also by experiencing. ... If the Devil and his angels, although they are incorporeal, are to be tortured by a corporeal fire, what wonder if souls, even before they are reunited with their bodies, can feel corporeal torments? (Dialogues 4.29)

Some think that hell is in a definite place on the earth, but others suppose that it is under the earth. It does seem to me, however, that if we call something infernal because it is situated in a lower position, then hell ought to be infernal to the earth, just as the earth is infernal to the heavens. (Dialogues 4.43)


How do these church fathers' written works aligh with Traditional understanding of hell in Orthodox Church (e.g Hell is the love, mercy, goodness, truth, light,glory and presence of God that cause the torments)?
Protestant Christians does not study or emphasize the works of Church work. How come their teaching of hell can be  closer to church fathers?

I am asking you to provide sources from all those copied paragraphs.
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« Reply #62 on: January 10, 2013, 06:34:00 AM »


I am asking you to provide sources from all those copied paragraphs.

http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?6446-Fr-Hopko-and-the-wrath-of-God&p=87107&viewfull=1#post87107
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« Reply #63 on: January 10, 2013, 06:41:47 AM »


Thank you.
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« Reply #64 on: January 10, 2013, 11:45:13 AM »

Walter, I think you are a bit over your head in theology. One canot ever fully assess Orthodoxy--certainly not from outside, and certainly not intellectually. It is difficult to have a discussion on theology because the Orthodox and the Protestants and Roman Catholics speak two different theological languages. If you were to sort all this out at the point which you're at now, you would be even more confused. Again, the best way is to go to Church. To slowly gain experiential knowledge. To study one thing at a time. Otherwise, it's like we're running around in circles.
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« Reply #65 on: January 10, 2013, 12:00:02 PM »

Walter, I think you are a bit over your head in theology. One canot ever fully assess Orthodoxy--certainly not from outside, and certainly not intellectually. It is difficult to have a discussion on theology because the Orthodox and the Protestants and Roman Catholics speak two different theological languages. If you were to sort all this out at the point which you're at now, you would be even more confused. Again, the best way is to go to Church. To slowly gain experiential knowledge. To study one thing at a time. Otherwise, it's like we're running around in circles.

It's exactly what I would like to suggest to Walter, too.  Smiley These are actually hard questions that most importantly God has to reveal the answer to or illumine our minds according to the spirit of The Fathers. People will offer different opinions or sources of information that even they might not be sure of or get wrong, or appear to be in contradiction. So, simpler things would probably help more, such as: having faith in God's love regardless of whether you understand what The Fathers say about hell, and obtaining the Grace of The Holy Spirit, Who leads us to all Truth.
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« Reply #66 on: January 10, 2013, 12:33:25 PM »

Start struggling about God's unconditional love due to the church fathers' teaching about Hell which I / akimel quoted above!!! : Undecided Embarrassed Cry
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« Reply #67 on: January 10, 2013, 01:03:09 PM »

Maybe you could start with The Bible. I have found this slide that quotes every time "love" is mentioned in The Bible. Maybe you could meditate on these since they were inspired by God: http://www.slideshare.net/AllanaMovie/love-as-mentioned-in-the-bible-12146642
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« Reply #68 on: January 10, 2013, 01:27:55 PM »

Maybe you could start with The Bible. I have found this slide that quotes every time "love" is mentioned in The Bible. Maybe you could meditate on these since they were inspired by God: http://www.slideshare.net/AllanaMovie/love-as-mentioned-in-the-bible-12146642

Quote
St Gregory Nazianzen:
I know a cleansing fire which Christ came to hurl upon the earth; and He Himself is called Fire in words anagogically applied. ... I know also a fire that is not cleansing but( avenging ), that fire either of Sodom, which, mixed with a storm of brimstone, He pours down on all sinners, or that which is prepared for the devil and his angels, or that which proceeds from the face of the Lord and burns up His enemies all around. And still there is a fire more fearsome that these, that with which the sleepless worm is associated, and which is never extinguished but belongs eternally to the wicked. All these are of destructive power, unless even here someone may prefer to understand this in a more merciful way, worthy of Him who chastises. (Oration on Holy Baptism 40.36) 

Slide 26 ( http://www.slideshare.net/AllanaMovie/love-as-mentioned-in-the-bible-12146642  )says that love does not seek vengeance. Why would St Gregory teach that a loving God would prepare a fire that is avenging to take revenge on His enemies?
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« Reply #69 on: January 10, 2013, 01:40:43 PM »

Maybe you could start with The Bible. I have found this slide that quotes every time "love" is mentioned in The Bible. Maybe you could meditate on these since they were inspired by God: http://www.slideshare.net/AllanaMovie/love-as-mentioned-in-the-bible-12146642

Quote
St Gregory Nazianzen:
I know a cleansing fire which Christ came to hurl upon the earth; and He Himself is called Fire in words anagogically applied. ... I know also a fire that is not cleansing but( avenging ), that fire either of Sodom, which, mixed with a storm of brimstone, He pours down on all sinners, or that which is prepared for the devil and his angels, or that which proceeds from the face of the Lord and burns up His enemies all around. And still there is a fire more fearsome that these, that with which the sleepless worm is associated, and which is never extinguished but belongs eternally to the wicked. All these are of destructive power, unless even here someone may prefer to understand this in a more merciful way, worthy of Him who chastises. (Oration on Holy Baptism 40.36) 

Slide 26 ( http://www.slideshare.net/AllanaMovie/love-as-mentioned-in-the-bible-12146642  )says that love does not seek vengeance. Why would St Gregory teach that a loving God would prepare a fire that is avenging to take revenge on His enemies?

It is avenging according to those who perceive it. If you are insane enough to consider the love of God evil, then it will burn you (spiritually). I mean suppose I give to you an apple and you say it is very good and you eat it. Well, if someone else comes along and says that apples are the most horrible things, then they will be tormented by the presence of that apple.  Smiley But how insane is that? What can you do for that person? Nothing. God is not going to call His love bad for the sake of others who don't like it. God continues to be love, it's not negotiable.  Smiley
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