A further thought on justice – because it’s on my mind and is integral to understanding judgment:
Traditional Hell is not justice. It is merely torture to no end. The biblical idea of justice does not mean punishment to no end – it means making things right. It is restorative. The notion of restoration does not proceed from human thinking but has come to us through the expression of God’s character. Only God has to the power to truly make everything right, and he has promised that he will. Punishment that is not restorative is not a godly notion, but a human one. Anyone can do it. But in Christ, who neither condemned the woman caught in adultery, nor the schemers who dragged her before him, we have been shown a better way. Conviction and return to God are better than condemnation and destruction. (link)
Interestingly, I was reading Elizabeth Achtemeier’s Preaching the Hard Texts of the Old Testament tonight and she mentioned that the Hebrew word used for “judge” is also often used for “save”. There may be some correlation there, though I realize in Greek (the language of the New Testament) it might be a different story.
(Incidentally, the quote above was tacked on the end of a good review of Gregory MacDonald’s The Evangelical Universalist, which I have yet to finish reading. That’s what I get for all the browsing I do.)
(And one of these days I’ll post something original.)