February 6, 2017 3:06 pm
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Hospice nurses describe paranormal events surrounding the deaths of patients. While largely anecdotal, these testimonies preclude natural explanations. Even so, they promote a false hope that everyone goes to heaven, an idea known a universalism. It sounds nice at first but ultimate judgment is necessary for morality to be meaningful. Philosopher William Lane Craig has addressed this forcefully:

IN A WORLD WITHOUT GOD, THERE CAN BE NO OBJECTIVE RIGHT AND WRONG, ONLY OUR CULTURALLY AND PERSONALLY RELATIVE, SUBJECTIVE JUDGMENTS. THIS MEANS THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO CONDEMN WAR, OPPRESSION, OR CRIME AS EVIL. NOR CAN ONE PRAISE BROTHERHOOD, EQUALITY, AND LOVE AS GOOD. FOR IN A UNIVERSE WITHOUT GOD, GOOD AND EVIL DO NOT EXIST—THERE IS ONLY THE BARE VALUELESS FACT OF EXISTENCE, AND THERE IS NO ONE TO SAY YOU ARE RIGHT AND I AM WRONG.

WILLIAM LANE CRAIG, REASONABLE FAITH: CHRISTIAN TRUTH AND APOLOGETICS (WHEATON, IL: CROSSWAY, 1994) 61.

While Craig is addressing the absurdity of life without God, this applies to God’s ultimate justice as well. If universalism is true and everyone goes to heaven, does this mean that Adolf Hitler escaped justice by committing suicide and now enjoys heavenly bliss? The innocent victims of his brutality surely cry out that evil is real and justice is needed. We can celebrate evidence that death is not the end while calling into question the dubious popular theology attached to these experiences.

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This post was written by Nadia Vella