Christ the Conqueror of Hell

Christ the Conqueror of Hell by Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev
The Descent Into Hades from an Orthodox Perspective

FYI, Rob Bell was not the first Christian to question our traditional views of the afterlife.

This book presents an Eastern Orthodox view (one of several) of Jesus' descent into Hades mentioned in 1 Peter 3.18-20. The claim is that this passage of scripture is an integral part of any discussion of the afterlife, or the real life after life.

The best place to begin this review is with the questions from the end of the book:

1 - Is it possible that the fate of a person can be changed after his death?
2 - Is death the border beyond which some unchangeable static existence comes?
3 - Does the development of the human person not stop after death?

The church universal has wrestled with this passage from 1 Peter for centuries. Did Christ really descend into Hades? If so, who did he preached to and who did he lead out? There is a variety of interpretations within the Orthodox church, even more from Rome, and still more with Protestant interpretations added in. 

So the final questions that are worth wrestling with are:

- why does God not give us perfect clarity on the afterlife?
- do we really need this clarity to walk by faith, love neighbor, etc.?

"For the mercy of God there are no obstacles other than man's free will."


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