Posts Tagged ‘Roger Olson’

Evangelical Purgatory: Towards A Post-Reformation View of Purification

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011 by Jason Wermuth

Evangelical Purgatory. The words flow together like the words “fire” and “water”, Calvin and Arminius or Rob Bell and Mark Driscoll. Nevertheless, some evangelicals have put forth proposals for a new vision of post-mortem purification which I think demands our attention. Please note that I am only proposing an imaginative hypothesis and am not setting forth my own theological conclusions on this matter. Nevertheless, I will attempt to argue in the affirmative for a kind of evangelical purgatory in what follows. Please engage respectfully in the comments section below.

By evangelical purgatory, I do not mean years of suffering whereby God forces Arminians to read Calvin’s Institutes for thousands of years… (me genoito). Nor do I mean the traditional Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory. Rather, what I mean to discuss is a purification of the character and heart of a person which begins now, but may continue on into the afterlife. This need not be a punishment per se, but an act of divine pedagogy which takes place in the presence of God. I call it “Evangelical” to distinguish it from Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, because I consider myself an Evangelical Charismatic, and to reflect that it is not indeed in conflict with what I understand to be the central tenants of evangelicalism, namely the reformation ideas of sola scriptura, sola gratia, sola fide, solus Christus and soli deo gloria. Furthermore, I do not believe what has been and will be proposed below violates the following evangelical sensibilities: a strong emphasis on evangelism, the need to be born again, a high regard for scripture, and a Christocentric and cross-centered theology (Defining the Term, Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals). Read the rest of this entry »