News – Archbishop denies hell

ET staff writer
ET staff writer
01 October, 2009 1 min read

Archbishop denies hell

The Archbishop of Canterbury has stated that Genesis is not historical truth, while hell is a state of mind rather than a literal place of punishment.

In a Channel 4 documentary How do you know God exists?, which was broadcast in August, Dr Rowan Williams was asked how he knew God existed. He claimed that he merely ‘trusted’ that God existed, rather than knowing it as a certainty.

However, his views on a literal hell and the historicity of Genesis have caused consternation among Bible-believing ministers in the Anglican community, who are already at odds with the Archbishop on his views on women ministers, the homosexual community and Sharia law.

He told the interviewer: ‘My concept of hell, I suppose, is being stuck with myself for ever and with no way out. Whether anybody ever gets to that point I have no idea. But that it’s possible to be stuck with my selfish little ego for all eternity, that’s what I would regard as hell’.

Dr Williams also claimed that hell was ‘being alone’ rather than being punished for sins – a drastic contrast to the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, who warned of hell more often than he spoke of the glories of heaven.

In the Gospels, Jesus describes hell as an ‘unquenchable fire’, a place where ‘the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched’ (Mark 9:40), and a ‘fiery furnace’ where ‘there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth’ (Matthew 13:42).

Also screened in the documentary was Dr Williams’ alarming assertion that: ‘It is not necessary to regard every verse of Genesis as recording history in the sense we now understand it’.

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