Doctor Craig, first of all I would like to thank you for your mental and spiritual leadership to my life. You have been of great help in my christian faith. I mean it. But I bring important issues to you in my question now. My name is Leander, I'm 20 years old and I do Law school at Universidade Federal de Santa Maria in Brazil.
I don't know if you are aware of the situation in Santa Maria, but here a fire in a nightclub called Kiss killed around 235 young people (all between 18 and 24 years old) and let around 143 hurt in the hospitals in serious condition. The city is passing through a dark moment. There is just sadness and tears everywhere. The parents of the victims are in despair and all the students, like myself, who knew some of the victims are all gloom.
I've been wondering. According to my evangelical christian faith, most of these people are now in hell. It seems to me extremely cruel. They were good people, young, with dreams and hearts full of love for their friends and life. Now let me set some things straight: I read the last chapter of your book "On Guard" and I've been following some of your work and I think I know what you will say. I know according to classical christian beliefs none is good enough to God, and those who live without Christ, without Christ will perish. But again, it seems extremely painful. I just can't look to the parents of the victims and think of that. So this context makes me really wonder about salvation in christianity. In theory is not that hard to accept it, but in reality is seems cruel and meaningless.
Before start going into an evangelical church I was raised in a catholic family. For that I bring some of the catholical doctrines like salvation through good works (but I'm not sure if they preach that). Like, the good go to heaven and the bad to hell. Isn't this compatible with christianity in some way? The priest around here said these people are now with God! But the pastor says they aren't! Who is right?
I think some passages in the Bible also teach salvation through good works: Matthew 5: 1- 12. Matthew 25: 31- 46. John 5: 28- 29.
Could it be that the priest is right? Could it be that the sacrifice of Christ is extended to everyone, leaving the choice of some going to heaven and some going to hell in God's hands, not in ours?
In this practical situation is really hard to accept evangelical doctrines of salvation.
Sorry about my english, and I did not search further into your works because is hard to understand perfectly english.
Thank you for everything,
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