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"The River of Fire" by A. Kalomiros

Aspect

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Father George Metallinos writes:
Paradise and hell are not two different places. This separation idea is an idolatrous
concept. They instead signify two different situations (ways), which originate from the
same uncreated source, and are perceived by man as two, different experiences. Or,
more precisely, they are the same experience, except that they are perceived differently
by man, depending on man's internal state.
I have to ask, where does the Bible teach that Heaven and Hell are the same place. Christ said to the damned, "Depart from me." (Matthew 25:41). This obviously shows that since they are departing from the prescence of Christ, Hell is another location. And where is the evidence that the separation of them is idolatrous? Why isn't combining Heaven and Hell idolatrous? As for the other claims, how does the writer know these things? Where did he get these ideas?
 

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If God is Omnipresent he must be in hell, therefore hell cannot be someplace God isn’t. If then those in hell suffer it can’t be from the absence of God. What then causes the suffering? God who is Love does not stop loving those who are damned. The fire of God’s love is torture to those unable to love him back.
 
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Revelation 14:10 says the antichrist and his followers will burn in the presence of the Lamb and His angels, so I infer God is present in hell but it's a spiritual separation that they experience.

That said, some contemporary Orthodox writing on heaven and hell does not paint a clear picture and they are not the same place. At the judgement, the damned will receive resurrected bodies and be sent to the gehenna. Since the damned have bodies, the lake of fire/gehenna is evidently a physically embodied place just as much as the new heaven and earth the righteous will abide in.

As to God punishing and taking vengeance, He does. But we can't view to the point where we don't see anthropomorphism in it. God doesn't actually take pleasure in punishment, feel anger, or anything of that sort - God is above the emotions of man. His vengeance and His punishment are separation from Him in return for evil deeds and not torturing people because He likes to.
 
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If God is Omnipresent he must be in hell, therefore hell cannot be someplace God isn’t. If then those in hell suffer it can’t be from the absence of God. What then causes the suffering? God who is Love does not stop loving those who are damned. The fire of God’s love is torture to those unable to love him back.
I understand the theology. I want to know where the biblical support is for view that the same fire that nourishes saints in heaven torments the damned in the Lake of Fire. Where does the Bible teach that the Lake of Fire is the love of God? Jude 13 says the blackness of darkness is reserved forever for the damned. This is hardly light and fire coming from God.
 

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I understand the theology. I want to know where the biblical support is for view that the same fire that nourishes saints in heaven torments the damned in the Lake of Fire. Where does the Bible teach that the Lake of Fire is the love of God? Jude 13 says the blackness of darkness is reserved forever for the damned. This is hardly light and fire coming from God.
Deuteronomy 4:24, Isaiah 33:14, Hebrews 12:29
 

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Deuteronomy 4:24, Isaiah 33:14, Hebrews 12:29
I don't deny the biblical teaching that God is a fire. My question was where does the Bible teach that the Lake of Fire is the love of God. There cannot be darkness and blackness in God, which the damned experience, according to St. Jude. God is light; in him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5).
 

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I don't deny the biblical teaching that God is a fire. My question was where does the Bible teach that the Lake of Fire is the love of God. There cannot be darkness and blackness in God, which the damned experience, according to St. Jude. God is light; in him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5).
Divine darkness is a common theme throughout the Fathers, particularly in connection with the Uncreated Light; slightly different scenario there, but it is precedent. We are not Sola Scriptura (trans "Scripture alone") around here, but there are plenty of Scriptural references, too. One of the classic stories is in Exodus: 20, with v 21 mentioning the darkness.
 

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Divine darkness is a common theme throughout the Fathers, particularly in connection with the Uncreated Light; slightly different scenario there, but it is precedent. We are not Sola Scriptura (trans "Scripture alone") around here, but there are plenty of Scriptural references, too. One of the classic stories is in Exodus: 20, with v 21 mentioning the darkness.
My original question was where Kalomiros got the idea that the fire that nourishes the saints in heaven is the same fire that torments the damned in hell. This is not an apostolic or biblical teaching, so I am really curious where he got this. Orthodoxy claims to be the apostolic faith, but there is not a shred of evidence that any of the apostles held his view. As for the claim that divine darkness is a common theme throughout the Fathers, I would have to see the primary sources to verify this claim, and granted that it's true, I would have to read the context. Such a view contradicts Scripture. In Jude 13, the blackness and darkness he speaks of for the eternally damned cannot be God, for according to St. John, God is light; in him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). So the Lake of Fire cannot be God, unless Kalomiros believes God has blackness and darkness in him. Darkness in God suggests dualism. Process and dualism always seem to go hand in hand. A dualist god is pagan and finite. Further, St. Paul says that the damned will be away from the presence of the Lord. (2Thess.1:9). So the fire Kalomiros speaks of cannot be God, because according to St. Paul, the damned are "away from the presence of the Lord." I think Kalomiros' doctrine might have gnostic overtones. The Gospel of Thomas says, "Whoever is near me is near the fire"...(Gospel of Thomas, 82).

God is indeed in darkness. The universe is dark, and God is omnipresent; but this is a far cry from darkness being in God, and that the fire in hell is God.

I affirm the opposite of sola scriptura, but the ancient fathers always appealed to Scripture in order to support their arguments and to rebuff heresy.
 

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"Fashions and opinions among men may change, but the Orthodox tradition remains ever the same, no matter how few may follow it.
– St Seraphim Of Platina ."

Father Seraphim Rose hasn't been canonized, and I wonder why if he's a saint it's taking so long.
 

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"Fashions and opinions among men may change, but the Orthodox tradition remains ever the same, no matter how few may follow it.
– St Seraphim Of Platina ."

Father Seraphim Rose hasn't been canonized, and I wonder why if he's a saint it's taking so long.

St. Seraphim of Sarov fell asleep in the Lord in 1833. He wasn't canonized until 1903--70 years later.

Fr. Seraphim Rose fell asleep in the Lord in 1982--40 years ago.

What's the rush? :) You may still venerate him privately, I believe.
 

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What if he never wanted to be one?
What a curious question! Why on earth would he NOT want to be a saint??? Fr. Seraphim: "Well, I underwent all manner of searching and learning and discernment; hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours of prayer; the heartfelt celebration of a multitude of Divine Liturgies; mighty struggles with SSA; I made a multitude of other sacrifices in my life, quite happily and willingly; etc. etc. I became a priest of the Orthodox Church. But, do I want to become a saint? Nah....think I'll pass." Really?
 

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1 Timothy 6:16 … God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords,who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

1 Kings 8:12 Then Solomon said, "The Lord has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud."

Psalm 18:11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him - the dark rain clouds of the sky.

Psalm 97:2 Clouds and thick darkness surround him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
 
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What a curious question! Why on earth would he NOT want to be a saint??? Fr. Seraphim: "Well, I underwent all manner of searching and learning and discernment; hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours of prayer; the heartfelt celebration of a multitude of Divine Liturgies; mighty struggles with SSA; I made a multitude of other sacrifices in my life, quite happily and willingly; etc. etc. I became a priest of the Orthodox Church. But, do I want to become a saint? Nah....think I'll pass." Really?
Humility usually stops one from thoughts like that either way.
 

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I don't know. Why on earth would he want to be a saint? Did you know him well?
No. Did you?

Holiness or sainthood is a gift (charisma) given by God to man, through the Holy Spirit. Man's effort to become a participant in the life of divine holiness is indispensable, but sanctification itself is the work of the Holy Trinity, especially through the sanctifying power of Jesus Christ, who was incarnate, suffered crucifixion, and rose from the dead, in order to lead us to the life of holiness, through the communion with the Holy Spirit. https://orthodoxcoatesville.org/about_orthodoxy
Is holiness/sainthood not what all Christians would want to strive for? Do we not want to participate "in the life of divine holiness"? If not, why are we even Christians?
 
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No, I don't know Father Seraphim.

Being one with God and being holy with His help is certainly the goal, but I don't think that means desiring to be recognized as a canonized saint.
 

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No, I don't know Father Seraphim.

Being one with God and being holy with His help is certainly the goal, but I don't think that means desiring to be recognized as a canonized saint.
Why would a saint want recognition?
 

Pravoslavbob

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Okay folks, that's enough talk about Fr. Seraphim Rose. Please try to stay on topic. Start another thread if you want to keep talking about Fr. Seraphim.
 

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1 Timothy 6:16 … God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords,who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

1 Kings 8:12 Then Solomon said, "The Lord has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud."

Psalm 18:11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him - the dark rain clouds of the sky.

Psalm 97:2 Clouds and thick darkness surround him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
I already explained this. God is in darkness, since He is omnipresent, but He is light and there is no darkness in Him. (1 John 1:5). In terms of His essence, He is pure light. But my original question was where Kalomiros got his idea of the fire of hell being the same fire in heaven? This is not a biblical concept. It recently came to my attention that Kalomiros believed in evolution, so he was out in left field anyway (not a credible source for Orthodoxy).
 

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I already explained this. God is in darkness, since He is omnipresent, but He is light and there is no darkness in Him. (1 John 1:5). In terms of His essence, He is pure light. But my original question was where Kalomiros got his idea of the fire of hell being the same fire in heaven? This is not a biblical concept. It recently came to my attention that Kalomiros believed in evolution, so he was out in left field anyway (not a credible source for Orthodoxy).
It's a valid concept that comes from the parable of the prodigal son. Both sons were invited to a feast, yet only one attended. The rightious one didn't have it in his heart to forgive his brother and being in the light chose to alienate himself.
 

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I already explained this. God is in darkness, since He is omnipresent, but He is light and there is no darkness in Him. (1 John 1:5). In terms of His essence, He is pure light. But my original question was where Kalomiros got his idea of the fire of hell being the same fire in heaven? This is not a biblical concept. It recently came to my attention that Kalomiros believed in evolution, so he was out in left field anyway (not a credible source for Orthodoxy).
I feel like we're kind of shifting the goalposts again, as each question has been answered from Scripture, very well-regarded saints (read page 1), or both. Further, evolution is pretty bog-standard science—not a whole lot of issue with it from canonical Orthodox sources, since opposition is largely Protestant in nature (though I would describe many schismatic groups as more Protestant than Orthodox, despite LARPing, but I digress). Nonetheless, here is one of many instances where the fire experienced by sinners and saints is described as 100% identical:

"
Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
"

—St Paul (1 Corinthians: 3.12–15 (OSB/NKJV))
 

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evolution is pretty bog-standard science—not a whole lot of issue with it from canonical Orthodox sources, since opposition is largely Protestant in nature (though I would describe many schismatic groups as more Protestant than Orthodox, despite LARPing, but I digress).
That's not true. Evolution is promoted by modernists like the Greek Archdiocese. It was proven in the book, "Genesis, Creation and Early Man," by Fr. Rose, that the theory of evolution is absolutely incompatible with Scripture and the teaching of the Church Fathers. I recommend you read this massive work and see all the citations and sources provided. Anyone who believes in evolution is not fully converted to the Orthodox faith, and most certainly does not have the mind of the Holy Fathers. It is the Holy Fathers of the Orthodox tradition who unanimously believed that the world was less than 6,000 years old at the time they lived.

Blessed Augustine believed that the world was less than 6,000 years old at the time he lived (City of God 12:10, p. 232). St. Theophilus (A.D. 115-181), sixth bishop of Antioch, and Julius Africanus (A.D. 200-245), believed that the world was 5,530 years old. (Theophilus,"To Autolycus," in "Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 2, pp. 118-21; Julius Africanus, "Five Books of Chronology," in "Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol.6, pp. 130-38).

The common Byzantine Christian reckoning (derived from the Septuagint), placed the date of creation at 5,508 B.C. (Rose, Genesis, Creation and Early Man, p. 236).

Russia inherited from the Byzantines the Orthodox Calendar based on the creation era. The date for the creation of the world was used by the Russians as the starting point for their empire. (see Riasanovsky, A History of Russia, p. 244).

Fr. Seraphim Rose writes: "even the most mystical Fathers" such as St. Isaac the Syrian accepted without question the common understanding of the Church that the world was created "more or less" in 5,500 B.C. (Rose, Genesis, Creation and Early Man, p. 236).

On the Roman Catholic side, a very powerful case against evolution from their own ancient sources is provided in "
THE DOCTRINES OF GENESIS 1-11: A Compendium and Defense of Traditional Catholic Theology on Origins", by Victor Warkulwiz
 
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With regard to Kalomiros, he was really messed-up. I recently learned that he believed that the result of the fall (death) was retroactive in the sense that animals died before Adam, because of the later fall (of Adam). There is not a shred of biblical support for this idea; and none of the Holy Fathers believed it.
 

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It's a valid concept that comes from the parable of the prodigal son. Both sons were invited to a feast, yet only one attended. The rightious one didn't have it in his heart to forgive his brother and being in the light chose to alienate himself.
That has absolutely nothing to do with the teaching of Kalomiros. Talk about eisegesis.
 

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The Orthodox Church always held to young earth creationism, which makes evolution impossible. It is preciely the modernist "Orthodox" in the west, suffering from the influence of modernist and liberal protestants and Vatican II "Catholics" who departed from the ancient teaching of the Orthodox faith. Evolution is absolutely incompatible with Orthodoxy. This is proven in "Genesis, Creation and Early Man," by Fr. Seraphim Rose. One may disagree, but they will not be able to disprove the cited sources and quotes from the Holy Fathers. But anyone who disagrees with the Holy Fathers is not truly Orthodox anyway.
 
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St. Basil condemns evolutionary ideas specifically, as a form of it was believed by certain Greek philosophers.

Beyond the early patrisic age, there are modern saints who condemned evoluion, like St. Theophan the Recluse and St Joseph the Hesychast.

The problem with evolution and Orthodoxy is not a Protestant concern on biblical liberalism (it is true not all fathers believed the 7 days were literally 24 hour days) but anthropological and soteriological (i.e the nature of death before the fall).

It is absolutely incompatible with the Orthodox faith to deny the literal Adam and Eve were created ex nihilo. They were by grace immortal creatues on a completely different (spiritual and physical) plane than the other creatures (they were much like the angels, except still with a body), and thus cannot be animals that evolved from several different other hominid (or common ancestor of the ape) species living a mortal animalistic existence, before at some point God decided to give them His image after a few million years. Further, it is incompatible with St. Paul and Church tradition to deny that Adam and Eve are literal people. Not only do many of St. Paul's anthropological concerns about Christ the New Adam being the ontological head of new humanity contra the first man make evolutionary anthropology nonsensical in the scripture, but also Church order (i.e let women be silent in the churches because Eve was the one who was deceived first). Finally they are also saints on the calendar!
 
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That's not true. Evolution is promoted by modernists like the Greek Archdiocese. It was proven in the book, "Genesis, Creation and Early Man," by Fr. Rose, that the theory of evolution is absolutely incompatible with Scripture and the teaching of the Church Fathers. I recommend you read this massive work and see all the citations and sources provided. Anyone who believes in evolution is not fully converted to the Orthodox faith, and most certainly does not have the mind of the Holy Fathers. It is the Holy Fathers of the Orthodox tradition who unanimously believed that the world was less than 6,000 years old at the time they lived.

Blessed Augustine believed that the world was less than 6,000 years old at the time he lived (City of God 12:10, p. 232). St. Theophilus (A.D. 115-181), sixth bishop of Antioch, and Julius Africanus (A.D. 200-245), believed that the world was 5,530 years old. (Theophilus,"To Autolycus," in "Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 2, pp. 118-21; Julius Africanus, "Five Books of Chronology," in "Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol.6, pp. 130-38).

The common Byzantine Christian reckoning (derived from the Septuagint), placed the date of creation at 5,508 B.C. (Rose, Genesis, Creation and Early Man, p. 236).

Russia inherited from the Byzantines the Orthodox Calendar based on the creation era. The date for the creation of the world was used by the Russians as the starting point for their empire. (see Riasanovsky, A History of Russia, p. 244).

Fr. Seraphim Rose writes: "even the most mystical Fathers" such as St. Isaac the Syrian accepted without question the common understanding of the Church that the world was created "more or less" in 5,500 B.C. (Rose, Genesis, Creation and Early Man, p. 236).

On the Roman Catholic side, a very powerful case against evolution from their own ancient sources is provided in "
THE DOCTRINES OF GENESIS 1-11: A Compendium and Defense of Traditional Catholic Theology on Origins", by Victor Warkulwiz
I have copies of pretty much every work by St Seraphim Of Platina, and have studied his work on creation from front to back. Most of the quotes do not show what they are purported to show; I'd be happy to examine any such quotes in the appropriate thread (same for @Gloria Tibi Trinitas), if that is a further topic you are interested in. More interesting is one of his statements near the end of his life where he realized that he was being used by Protestant identity politics and had to back away from his criticism of a literal 6-day creation. As he noted, if days are kept (Biblically speaking) by the sun, how was time kept before the creation of the sun on "day" 4? Oops...
 

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I understand the theology. I want to know where the biblical support is for view that the same fire that nourishes saints in heaven torments the damned in the Lake of Fire. Where does the Bible teach that the Lake of Fire is the love of God? Jude 13 says the blackness of darkness is reserved forever for the damned. This is hardly light and fire coming from God.
You are looking in the wrong place. God isn't the one who creates the suffering. The suffering is self inflicted. Its a spiritual hell of one's own making.
 

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(it is true not all fathers believed the 7 days were literally 24 hour days)
They actually did believe in literal 24 hours for each day. This is discussed in the footnote on page 327 of "Genesis, Creation and Early Man."

They were by grace immortal creatures on a completely different (spiritual and physical) plane than the other creatures (they were much like the angels, except still with a body)
That's the Roman Catholic view (that they were created immortal). The Orthodox view is that they had the potential for immortality.
 

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I have copies of pretty much every work by St Seraphim Of Platina, and have studied his work on creation from front to back. Most of the quotes do not show what they are purported to show
Can you give one example. I have read the quotes and sources.

More interesting is one of his statements near the end of his life where he realized that he was being used by Protestant identity politics and had to back away from his criticism of a literal 6-day creation. As he noted, if days are kept (Biblically speaking) by the sun, how was time kept before the creation of the sun on "day" 4? Oops...
Can you cite the source where he claimed he was being used by Protestant identity politics? Without a primary source, your claim is hearsay. He didn't critisize a literal 6-day creation; he held to it. There is no doubt that Fr. Seraphim Rose was a young earth creationists. Days were not kept by the sun, they were kept by the "morning and evening' markers for each day. In every case in the Old Testament when "day" (yom) is marked by "morning and evening," it is a literal day. There are no exceptions.

A side note on Kalomiros. He believed in Haeckel's discredited recapitulation theory of the embryo, which was destroyed by the evolutionist Stephen Gould in "Ontogeny and Phylogeny." See also "Evolution by Orderly Law" (by Walter J. Boch) in "Science", vol. 164, May 4, 1969, p. 684).
 

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You are looking in the wrong place. God isn't the one who creates the suffering. The suffering is self inflicted. Its a spiritual hell of one's own making.
My original question was where Kalimoros got his idea from that the fire of hell is the same fire in heaven. This is not biblical. A lot of punishment is penal. We see many examples in the Bible. Some suffering is self-inflicted, but not all. For example, a child born with a debilitating illness did nothing to warrant it.
 
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They actually did believe in literal 24 hours for each day. This is discussed in the footnote on page 327 of "Genesis, Creation and Early Man."


That's the Roman Catholic view (that they were created immortal). The Orthodox view is that they had the potential for immortality.
Some of them did. Not all.

Death was not a part of the prelapsarian cosmos, so by the non-existence of death they must have been immortal by definition.
 

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Death was not a part of the prelapsarian cosmos, so by the non-existence of death they must have been immortal by definition.
If they were immortal before the fall, then they wouldn't and couldn't have died. They had the potential for immortality, but squandered it.

All of the Fathers believed in 6 literal 24 hour days or creation, and they all believed the world was less than 6,000 years old at the time they lived. I am prepared to prove this with cited sources.
 
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If they were immortal before the fall, then they wouldn't and couldn't have died. They had the potential for immortality, but squandered it.
They wouldn't and couldn't have died if they hadn't fallen. If things were still the way they were pre-fall we would all be immortal since death would have never entered the world.

All of the Fathers believed in 6 literal 24 hour days or creation, and they all believed the world was less than 6,000 years old at the time they lived. I am prepared to prove this with cited sources.
St. Augustine and a couple other fathers said the 24 hour period was metaphorical. (They still believed in 6000 years though)
 

Tzimis

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My original question was where Kalimoros got his idea from that the fire of hell is the same fire in heaven. This is not biblical. A lot of punishment is penal. We see many examples in the Bible. Some suffering is self-inflicted, but not all. For example, a child born with a debilitating illness did nothing to warrant it.
I get what you are saying, but you are missing the greater picture. Illness is accounted for in the theology of the fall. While innocents is still preserved.

Penal punishment is a distorted view of justice. How can one punish and love at the same time?

Truthfully, Kalimoros does a very good job at introducing certain concepts to western though for tranformitive and thought provoking purposes.

A literal 6 days is fantasy. From a cosmological view the 6th day has not yet ended. Its a future event that brings in the 7th day. Creation isnt finished yet, as we witness people being born every day.
One can still maintain a 6000 year naritive from the time of Adam and Eve though.
 
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