Dive Deep with George Emmert & Lance Phelps

Hosted ByGeorge Emmert & Lance Phelps

Dive Deep explores culture from a Christian worldview.

Coffee Break – Why did God Create Humans to be Sent to Hell?

# Front Matter

Today Lance takes a look at the question: Why did God Create Humans to be sent to hell?

He unpacks three answers to this question and explores the ramifications of the metaphysics of the will.

## This is a serious Topic

– the reality is that this question touches on aspect of our worldview that inform us on the very nature of God’s goodness. The question of the nature of the will, though central to this issue, is nevertheless used by us to understand God’s relationship to the problems of evil. And it can be an upsetting experience to have these assumption challenged.

## This Topic is surrounded by Mystery from every view point.

– We have to walk a line here that puts us between two extremes when we talk about this topic: the “complete” answer, that leaves nothing to mystery, and the mysterious answer, that leaves it all to mystery. The bible is somewhere in between these two extremes.

– But every approach to this question claims some sort of mystery at one point or another. This is not bad on the face of it but it is a dangerous place to be: to claim mystery where the Word of God has spoken or to claim revelation where the Word of God has not Spoken are two errors that we must avoid.

# Three Approaches to this question

## 1) He didn’t. He took a chance that we would go to hell by giving us [[Libertarian Free Will]] and discovered after we chose where we were headed. (Open Theism)

– This is the most logically complete and consistent viewpoint in terms of faithfulness to LFW. Given LFW as a presupposed non negotiable this is the conclusion that one must come to in order to be truly faithful to LFW.

– John Frame has a good quote on this in his Systematic Theology:

> As with open theists Pinnock and Rice, libertarians tend to make their view of free will a nonnegotiable, central truth, with which all other theological statements must be made consistent. Libertarian freedom then takes on a kind of paradigmatic or presuppositional status. But as we have seen, libertarianism is unscriptural. It would be bad enough merely to assert libertarianism contrary to the Bible. But making it a central truth or governing perspective is very dangerous indeed. An incidental error can be corrected without much trouble. But when such an error becomes a major principle, a grid through which all other doctrinal statements are filtered, then a theological system is in grave danger of shipwreck.

### Why is this view wrong?

– This view is simply wrong for several reasons.

– First: It is simply miles away from *quite* a few basic biblical doctrines such as the sovereignty of God, the omniscience of God, and the nature of time itself regarding God.

– Second: This view relies and assumes that LFW is an nonnegotiable central truth. But this is untenable considering the Bibles take on the nature of the will. Not only does the Bible never affirm LFW in a few spots it explicitly denies core aspect of LFW. And the other doctrines conflict with LFW on a deep level.

## 2) He didn’t. While He knew how we would choose he nevertheless did not choose for us and gave us Libertarian Free Will. How that works in light of God’s Sovereignty is a mystery but we have perfect freedom to choose either hell or heaven. (Classical Arminianism)

– This is the most common view of faithful Christians’ that nevertheless cannot get on board with the conclusions of the Calvinist.

– This is also the view that can be follow throughout history all the way back to the early church fathers.

– It must be noted that even though this view, married as it is to LFW, can be found in the early Christian writers it would be a an error to declare LFW to be true based on that fact. If that were true then it would prove too much. Read Justine Martyr, Origin, and many others to a smaller degree and you will find beliefs that are simply counter to the scriptures.

– Further, and the reason we find error in the early Christians, the assumption is commonly (in keeping with the Roman tradition) to see them as more pure believers in their worldview assumption. But if we read them with an eye on worldview we see that they were heavily influenced but the cultures that they were in. LFW was a common pagan philosophical belief in that day that the early believers used as a crutch even though it was not found in the scriptures.

### Why is this view wrong?

– For much the same reason as the Open theists. But, thankfully, this view seeks to be faithful to the scriptures overall. There are distortions on secondary issues but it is no where near as bad.

## 3) He did so for his Glory. We might have Free Agency but God ordained nevertheless that there would be some created that would freely choose to reject him and some that would freely choose to accept him. He created some as examples of his grace and some as examples of his wrath. (Soft Deterministic Calvinism)

– This view is difficult for many to accept on the face of it as it does not allow for LFW which is commonly used in the worldviews of today to alleviate most issues pertaining to the problems of evil. So, removing that possible explanation, and especially replacing it with the Glory of the Lord being the only visible purpose for this terrifying reality, causes most people to chafe and reject this out of hand.

– Yet there are issues with rejecting this view point:

– The Bible is shot through with examples and references to God’s complete Sovereignty.

– This view, when worded this way, is a literal word for word quotation of Romans 9. Further, given the meaning of the words here and the contextual meaning of the same words in Romans 9, the Bible makes this same statement. And to add insult to injury Romans 9 itself directly invalidates LFW, the cornerstone of Open Theism and the crutch of Arminianism.

– To demand that LFW must be the solution to the problem’s of evil also faces some deep issue:

– Such a demand reveals a heart that does not value the glory of God as much as it values the glory of man.

– How can I make such an assertion?

– When someone asks this question it is common to use LFW to settle their heart on this matter. And so I have seen quite a few people draw comfort from LFW. But assume that you used God’s glory as the sole reason and the idea that was supposed to bring comfort to the heart. Would it? Not for most. It would bring consternations and indignation. But this is a *major* problem in and of itself and reveals that we value our own LFW over God’s glory. What are the stakes here? People going to hell. This is terrifying. But when LFW is used to justify God and hell people are calmed. This means the reality of hell is acceptable *as long as* we also get LFW. But if LFW was not true and the sole reason for hell was God’s glory this would be an outrage. So here we have it: mans heart wants its own power and cares not for the glory of the Lord.