Ben, Matt









Great discussion of a difficult topic

Why question the existence of hell? It's good to question to get a deeper understanding, but you should be careful to not change your doctrines based on shifting cultural views. That can lead to mistakes like the Crusades.


  • All sin is not equal (1 John 5:16)
  • Catholics distinguish between venial and mortal sins.
  • Why is sin bad enough for God to punish us for eternity?
  • How can a God who is wholly good and all-powerful allow evil? Thomas Aquinas says God doesn't create sin; sin doesn't exist. It's a hole in creation.
  • Free will requires sin to exist.

Sinning puts holes in your soul; grace through the sacraments re-creates and fills the soul.

Hell is for souls that have uncreated themselves so much that they are no longer human, no longer God's image bearers. Perhaps heaven would be worse for those that are uncreated.

How present is God in hell?

If we are wholly separate from God, we would not exist. Aquinas says God is the first cause, not once as a first domino, but moment-to-moment as a broom sweeping leaves.

What about those who have never heard the gospel?

  • Matt says people are still accountable (Rom. 1)
  • Ben doesn't know but is optimistic. The church must operate with what God has revealed, but God can provide grace to whomever he chooses.

What about children?