What the Hades?! (Part 1)

Michelangelo BuonarrotiHell.

For varying reasons, it’s a topic oft-approached by some and all-together avoided by others. Some see it as part and parcel to the gospel and, thus, must be preached; others struggle with the notion of everlasting torment for all unbelievers.

What are we to make of hell?

For starters, I’ve become convinced that much of our ideas concerning hell are centered in post-biblical, medieval theology, rather than the actual scriptural narrative of the Hebrew-Jewish people.

I’d be so bold as to say our idea of hell itself is unbiblical. This is because “hell” is another whole concept quite different from the actual terms used in Scripture.

So perhaps we need to take a step back and talk about the biblical terminology. Continue reading

Satan: The Disputed Worship Leader

You might have heard this narrative taught before: Satan was an exceptional angelic being who once was only second to God himself. Even more, in his angelic role, he was the great worship leader of heaven. Unfortunately, due to a swelling of pride, he desired to rise up and be exalted over all, even organizing an attempt at usurping the throne of God. Thus, he lost his place in heaven, along with a third of the other angels who joined his side, with them all being hurled from heaven to earth.

That’s the general framework of the story we’re taught.

But is this the best storyline for Satan? And was he actually the great heavenly worship leader so many imagine? Continue reading