Monday, 27 September 2010

A loving God or a good Judge, or both?

He was a confirmed atheist, and had an objection to the Christian doctrine of hell.  He said that a loving God would never condemn anyone to hell.

I asked him what he thought of the following scenario - a man is guilty of a crime and the judge says, "You're guilty of this crime, but I'm a loving judge, and because I'm loving I can't send you to prison - you're free to go."  Is that a good judge?  I think not (nor is it very loving to the victim of the crime, but that's another issue).  He agreed.

God is a loving God, not because He compromises on justice, but because He actually satisfied the demands of justice by giving Himself (in the Person of the Son) to pay the penalty for sin.  Those who, in true repentance, accept the Substitute go free, those who don't won't - they will have to take the punishment themselves.  Love has provided salvation consistent with justice - through Christ.