David Bentley Hart has faced the moral implications of the eternality of hell, found them wanting, and proposed that in the end, all shall be saved. At the heart of his argument lies, from his point of view, the moral hideousness of hell.
Jason Micheli explains Hart’s moral vision well when recounting Hart’s experience of reading an article that detailed the death of a family:
The article highlighted a Sri Lankan father, who, in spite of his frantic efforts, which included swimming in the roiling sea with his wife and mother-in-law on his back, was unable to prevent his wife or any of his four children from being swept to their deaths. The father recounted the names of his four children and then, overcome with grief, sobbed to the reporter that “my wife and children must have thought, ‘Father is here . . . he will save us’ but I couldn’t do it.”
Hart wonders: If you had the chance to speak to this father in the moment of his deepest grief, what should you say? Hart argues that only a moral cretin would have approached that father with abstract theological explanation: “Sir, your children’s deaths are a part of God’s eternal but mysterious counsels” or “Your children’s deaths, tragic as they may seem, in the larger sense serve God’s complex design for creation” or “It’s all part of God’s plan.”
This moral sensibility fills the pages of That All Shall Be Saved. Hart at once denounces the teaching of eternal conscious torment while affirming that in the end (even after a sojourn in hell) everyone shall be saved.
Is he right? [Read more…] about A Review of David Bentley Hart’s “That All Shall Be Saved”