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and its about time. :^) Unfortunately, the online article has been gutted - not as long or in depth as the one in printed in todays paper.

I'm going to compare the two again, maybe adding some snippets from the print article to a later post. I'm not surprised in the least by any statistic or observation made in this article. Of course, I'm biased.....

Oh well, I can't find the quote I wanted to lead off with in the online version so I'll paraphrase from print - surveys are showing that many 'evangelicals' believe that people from other religions can get to heaven.

And not surprisingly, many of the more fundamental evangelicals are advocating purging the roles of more than 17 million 'non-pure' believers. The author mentions that most of these folks who want to ex-communicate the luke warm believers fall into the calvanist camp.

Anyway, I'll continue to look for the full article online. Here is the abbreviated version:

http://www.star-telegram.com/242/story/837232.html

thanks
cliff
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Yes, the evangelical world is changing. I get a front row seat for much of this right in my own church.

One tidbit--Even though my church officially still believes in hell, I haven't heard it mentioned more than a handful of times in passing in the ten years I've attended there.

And the Assemblies of God are not known for being theologcally liberal--and my church is fairly centrist within the denomination. FWIW

Andrea
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I'm curious. What kind of Hell does your church officially believe in? I'm asking because I understand that the "fire and brimstone forever" idea mostly comes from Dante's book, and is not really bible based.

My understanding of that may be incorrect, which is why I'm asking.

Hasn't our Oklahoma weather been nice lately!
Ted
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Well, you weren't asking me, but FWIW, the "fire and brimstone forever" idea is at odds with conditional immortality ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conditional_immortality

which arises from the concept of the eternal life being a gift;
offered to everyone but chosen by few.

Death ('the wages of sin') awaits the rest.

-1A
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Well, you weren't asking me, but FWIW, the "fire and brimstone forever" idea is at odds with conditional immortality ...

Thanks for the link. It's interesting to see the various ways that Greek thought has influenced Christianity.

Ted
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Sorry for taking so long!

In answer to your question. . .the Bible does use fire and brimstone, along with other descriptions, to describe Hell. At some point I will look up those references for you.

What is interesting to me is that some of them are contradictory if you take them literally. For instance, Jesus in one parable talks about a wicked servant being thrown into "outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth." You can't have literal darkness and literal fire in the same place.

And then there are many passages that speak of Hell as a place of destruction; obviously you can't be destroyed and then tormented forever.

BTW, A really good book about Hell references in the Bible is Brian McLaren's _The Last Word and the Word after That_.

If you look up my church's "official" beliefs (which haven't changed in over 70 years), you'll see the "eternal torment" type of Hell. What intrigues me is that nobody talks about those official beliefs anymore.

And, yes, I am loving the weather! I saw the sun yesterday for the first time in a week.

HTH,
Andrea
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