This is Part 7 of a blog post asking the question: IS THE GRACE BRETHREN STATEMENT OF FAITH COMPATIBLE WITH EMERGENT THEOLOGY?
What We Believe About the Hereafter:
12. FUTURE LIFE. …The judgment and condemnation of unbelievers (Rev. 20:11-15), the eternal life of the saved (John 3:16), and the eternal punishment of the lost (Matt. 25:46; Rev. 20:15).
Doug Pagitt refuses to even answer the question posed to him concerning what happens to a Muslim when they die, and he doesn’t believe Heaven is actually a place (1).
Hell is definitely in question among many in the emergent church. McLaren questions the eternality of Hell and the very character of a God who would punish the wicked that way (2).
Bell believes we bring hell to earth by our actions (3), and hell is full of forgiven people (4). He also says we bring heaven to earth in a social gospel leaning sort of way (5).
I do not mean to broad brush, but these are popular perspectives believed by more and more in these circles and I don’t see any compatibility in these areas that are major to me.
http://podcast.wayofthemasterradio.com/audio/podcasts/1007/WOTMR-10-22-07-Hour1.mp3 http://www.vibist.com/?p=26, http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2007/11/doug-pagitt-on-forevermore-life.html
(2) http://www.understandthetimes.org/ec/ecmclaren.shtml http://blog.christianitytoday.com/outofur/archives/2006/05/brian_mclarens.html
(3) Velvet Elvis, p. 146-148
(5) In Velvet Elvis, Bell says, “famine, debt, oppression, loneliness, despair, death, slaughter–they are all hell on earth. Jesus’ desire for his followers is that they live in such a way that they bring heaven to earth” (p. 148).