The mystery of the cosmological constant

Latest post in my blog on popular science:
The mystery of the cosmological constant


Hmm, can someone remind me how to post a new thread? I usually just reply, but I am not wanting to respond to Manuel’s cosmological constant post. So I hit reply to see if that works. I’m thinking that comments may have been shut down on the last thread on eternal hell? Does anyone know?

Anyway, my response to Dan’s final blast to me about slandering God is one I wanted to answer, and show why he is incorrect that eternal hell is “clearly taught” in scripture. In the event this goes through, this is what I wanted to post. (But I would like to know how to begin a new thread.)

Well now this is just weird! Only my introduction posted! Was it because I put an asterisk after it? I really am at a loss. Here is what I wanted to post.

In the final posted comment on the thread about an eternal judgment in hell, Dan expressed annoyance at me for “putting words in his mouth” and resorting to “name calling and imputing evil motives” in the same breath that he castigated me for being a confirmed slanderer of God! How is such a charge against me not imputing evil motives?!

To be clear, I did not slander God by saying that God loves torture for its own sake according to the Augustinian doctrine of hell. It is that specific doctrine itself that slanders God. Dan justifies his criticism of me by saying that SINCE the eternal-torture version of hell “is clearly taught” throughout scripture, that I am impugning God by saying that the doctrine implies God loves torture.

But that is the crux of our disagreement: the doctrine of eternal torture in hell is NOT taught throughout — or anywhere, really — in scripture. And it most certainly LOGICALLY implies that God loves torture.

The Septuagint, the greek version of the Bible (Old Testament) in use in Christ’s time, uses the greek words “aion” and “aionos” hundreds of times to translate the Hebrew word “olam” which virtually never means eternal or forever in a literal sense. It refers to any “age” of any kind and any duration, and often to long (but NOT eternal) ages.

We moderns tend to THINK that the Bible teaches about eternal punishment because of the unfortunate translation of these greek words in most English Bibles, which words, in reality, virtually never even imply eternal. When they are used of God himself, then it can take on that idea since God is described variously as “without beginning or end” and he who endures “unto the ages of ages.” But the Greek words do not mean eternal; the sense of “age-enduring” depends on what is being described, which virtually always of limited duration whether they are short or long.

The Gospel writers used the words to contrast this current “age” (NOT “current eternity”) with the “age” to come (NOT “eternity to come) in which God will rule and the kingdom of heaven will come to full fruition. So, when Dan says “aion” MUST mean eternal in relationship to punishment because it is used to describe eternal life in the same passage, he is missing two critical points:

“And these will go away into everlasting

[aionian] punishment [kolasis], but the righteous

into eternal [aionian] life” (Mt. 25:46)”

Many, and I mean MANY, scholars and commentators have pointed out that “kolasis” is the literal word for pruning back a plant so that it will sprout new life again eventually. It is never used of retributive punishment.

Also, many scholars suggest that the Kingdom Age is in view in this passage, which is the Age of God’s will being fully accomplished (as opposed to this current age) so that the passage has the sense of GOD IS FULLY IN CHARGE, and many will enter into an Age of Chastisement, while others enter directly into the Age of Life with God.

I will not at this moment further impose upon the denizens of SpareOom on this topic.


Michael, Lord High Heretic of SpareOom

Mike, to start a new topic by email, send a message to To reply to an existing topic, if you got an email from that topic, you can reply to that email.

Thanks for the info, Dan. I don’t think I ever started a new topic myself!