A good book is NT Wright’s “Surprised by Hope” which has a chapter on hell that’s quite interesting.Also, CS Lewis’ “The Great Divorce” presents a very interesting look at the question.I forget the exact conversation topic, but my uncle said jokingly, “Hey, just make sure no burning bushes start talking to you, or people will think you’re crazy.” He said it as a joke, but it got me thinking that what he essentially said was that people today (presumably including himself) would see Moses as crazy. But to get back to your point, Luke, I think what you’re pointing out is a fact of human nature itself. I mean, it’s a struggle for most of us to even contemplate these things. Same thing with Christians – beliefs about hell are uncomfortable, so they try not to think about it except when they feel compassion towards “saving” people from it.We could point out the same thing in atheists as well – why don’t you live every moment of your life knowing that you will die? We do because we feel it’s important, but in our everyday lives, it doesn’t cross our minds. Not thinking about hell helps them live a normal life in the same way that not thinking about death helps us do the same. But, these are still good questions, things that Christians often ask of each other.
But I very much doubt that Christians do not have a strong desire to save their spouses, their children, and their best friends from eternal agony.
Jesus said, “no one comes to me unless the Father draws him.” Salvation is not a matter of convincing someone about an intellectual issue; it’s about responding to the direct call of God.
And, for the record, I personally don’t believe that it is God’s decision that people are excluded from “heaven,” as it were; I think it’s the individual’s choice.
I think the answer to the question you posed is yes, Christians really believe. Seems to me there is only so much they and other Christians can do (didn’t even the Apostles shake off their sandals if their message wasn’t heard and accepted? Should some react in a greater capacity than they have?
So why aren’t they frantic, as they should be, if God is going to torture the vast majority of humankind forever for not loving Him? they don’t seem upset that their beloved son will be tortured forever in hell. Absolutely, with respect to this I agree with your article.