So what’s wrong with abstract theology? Two things: 1) God is real–not an abstraction, or a concept; and 2) God is not only real: He is a person. We are individual persons because God is a person and He created us in His image.
It’s easy to say “God is a person,” but it’s worth taking time to think about it. This is an astounding thing to realize! Nothing else we say or think about God makes any sense apart from the realization that God is a person. With all that that implies.
And if the very idea of a Person with infinite power and perfect knowledge doesn’t provoke in you a healthy sense of fear… you need to think about it longer.
We have no shortage of “Christian thinkers” and seminary wallahs who are uncomfortable with the idea of Hell and have excluded it from their teaching. R.J. Rushdoony looked into this in 1983.
“When hell disappears from religion,” he wrote, “it re-appears in politics and social morality. It becomes necessary then for ultimate moral judgments and dispositions to be made on earth, because there is no other court for a final reckoning.” [From Salvation and Godly Rule: quoted by Martin Selbrede in “Politics and the Madness in Men’s Hearts, Arise & Build, Nov. 2019]
Could he have been any more in the exact center of the bullseye than that?
The thing is, we can’t provide ultimate moral judgments. How could any earthly power punish Mao Tse-tung for his mass murder of tens of millions of people? And why would we even trust a power which with one hand offers us salvation and with the other, barbed wire and mass graves?
The fear of God is not only the beginning of wisdom. It is the very substance of wisdom. To know that God will judge us for our acts, to know it and not doubt, is knowledge to preserve the human race from being devoured by its earthly rulers.