Full Text for The Descent Into Hell (Text)

THE SPRINGFIELDER January 1975 Volume 39, Number 1 The Descent Into Hell This essay Ivns rend by the llevercnd Gotthilf Dochler, pa. of Schoel-zfeld-Zscho~1nz~t3zn1, (Ger~~znn De~uocratic Repzthli~') 07-1 rVay 1973 in East Berlin hefore the Ge~zernl Pastoral COIL~C~CPZC-C the "Vereinigung selbstaelzdiger ev. luth. Icirchen i~z der DDR," c sisting of the EvangeZicnZ I,zlthernlt (Old Lutheran) C7zz~rch n~zcl Evangelical Idutheran Free C7zurch, The essay was prtblisherl Gernztln in J>UTHERISCHER RC'NDRLICT<, volz~me 2 1, 7zuw2 4 (1973), py. 210-230. It la-ns imnslnted al-zd nlznotnfed 37y I FOKTI:ESS: '~IIE I~POSTLES CHEEI) AND 'THE HOLY SCI:IP'.TU~?ES T HI; I-IOLY SCKIPTURES l~ave been abandoned as Gocl's error: IVorc'l, for some tirile now in the territorial churcllcs surrouncl us. Instead, false teachers have more and more been placed in 13. tions of authority on the faculties of theology and in church adini~ tration. This same process of cl~ange has now been applied to Apostles' Creed, the oldest creecl of Christendom, in the same fasli as was dorle during the t~rcakdo~vn of Christian doctrine at tlie tt of the century, with this clifyerence only, that this time uncettai- has been generated anlong average church people. If Holy Script has been considered thc "Mighty Fortress" then the Apostles' Crc 11as heretofore servcd as the inner and most ancient wall al-ouniI t "hligllty Fortress." Please note: no outside enemy has launched attack against this ancicnt bastion, the Creecl, nncl, in aclclition, t Creecl, as well as the other revered symbols belong in some theoretj sense to the "stocl<-in-trade" of the churches surrounding us. But the thinking of thosc living under the Creed's protection, it has 1 its rcal importance, since Moly Scripture itself has for sol~lc ti now been in the process of being clismantled piece by piece. 'CVh 1-Ioly Scripture no more serves as a secure place of rcfugc, one longer needs anything to protect and defend it. \Vhere tllc Bible self is being destroyed, all nleasures to prevent its destruction are illusion. For tl1;it ltind of Christendom creeds are merely remnil of an oIder age. Here in Europe the process of changing the Apostles' Crc began already in the last century, hut now in the acceler:~tecl pace our century, it has rapidly gatherecl momentum. The Creeci T changed and altered first in Great Britain, then in Norway, nr~d the 1960's also in Denmark. Since 1966 an inter-confessional cc 111ission has been dealing with these inatters in the German-speakj countries of Europe. It bears the simple name: "Arbeitsgenleinscl~ fuer liturgische Texte des deutschen Sprachgebiete" (Workinggrc for I,itnrg~cal Tcxts in thc German Language Area), abbreviated A l. It has the task of finding a common wording for the traclitional pa of the worship service. Representatives of the churches in Austria, 1 Federal German Republic, and the German Democratic llepublic, well ;IS the German-speaking churches in France, Luxembourg alld Switzerland are ~.ttembc.rs of this comnlittee.' 'The aim of this working group, according to Der So~z~ztag, is "to harn~onize the liturgical texts of the noillan Catholic, Old Cath- olic, the Free Churclies lTnot the Indepelldent Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELIC) and the Association of lndeyendent Lutheran Churcl~es in the German Deinocratic Republic] and the E~rangelica] Churches of various confcssion;ll standing."' Between 1 96 8 and 1970 1;hc conlnlon text of the Apostles' Creed with which we shall concern ourselves was worked out by this group.:; The first of the threc so-called ecumenical crccds, the well- known Second Chicf Part of our Lutheran Cntechism, bears the name "Apostles' Creed,'' which points to its origin in the very early begin- nings of the Christian Churcli. Even though it was not composc!d by the apostles, it deserves the nanle, nevertheless, because it is a short compendium of apostolic teaching, put together almost entirely from ilct~~al words and phrases of Holy Scripture. Moreover, its orig!n reaches back in fact to the later apostolic (Johannine) time. In ~ts main features it was the baptismal creecl of the ancient church. It contains a confession of faith in the Triune God ancl His great his- toric deeds of salvation, which it reco~ults in bold strokes o~lapidnry brevity. Thc content of the ~lpostles' Creed corresponds to the mis- sionary proclanlation of apostolic times about l-clhich Lulte in par- ticular informs us. Throughout the hiliddle Ages the Apostles' Creed was central in the task of Christian instruction; whatever existed of Christian understanding depended upon it ant7 the Lord's Prayer. Luther then gave to the church his ~vonderfully deep explanation of it. Bonwetsch once said, "The Apostles' Creecl lool cannot harmonize these ictens with another word from the cross, >'Fatllcr, into Thy hancls I conmit 111y spirit." The sorll of Christ was lot in thc real111 of the dcad, therc to cndure "the full terror of c]eath," but in the hands of His Father. Finally, thc words, "Toclay shalt thou be 'tvith me in pi~radisc," ncgates those icleas. According t.0 this worci Jcsus was not in the rei:tlm of the dead after his death, zlot in a condition of "total po.i.i~erlessnoss ancl passicrit).,'' hut imme- ctiately ancl in person in :I condition of highest bliss. Christ did not ~lcscenct to tlic real111 of thc dead in order th;it therc he might in sorllc form or other suffer more, but the very opposite, as the Peter passage teaches in its context. Christ tlesccnds to hell as Victor, as the 'f riumphant Onc, in order, as it Iccrc, to take into his possession thc lccys of hell and death, to disarm the pri~lcipalities, powers, ancl clominions, to ~naltc a show of them openly, and to organize a tri- ~1mphal.l t procession with then1 as captives (Col. 2 : 1 5 ), to take ci-lptivity captive (1's. 68: 18), to set thc seal on man's redemption from hell and his salvation from death, to be a poison for death and a plague for hell (Hos. 13 : 14)) in short, to show I-Iinlself as Victor and Con(1uwor of death, Satan, and hell. The simple fact, moreover, tllat I'etcr in his first letter, to which Fve will return, places the clesccnt into hell after the vivification is a sufficient proof that the clescent of Christ was by no nleans identical with "the destruction of his cartllly existence" nor with "the full experience of death" nor ~vith the "full terror of death." To this must be added that "the full cxpcricnce of cleat11 as the destrr~ction of his earthly existence" can in no 117ay be harmonized with what the Scripture says elsewhcrc about the clescent into hell, namely, that Christ in his descent into hell lccl captivitv captive. Luther connects this act of Christ with His triumph over Sittan, as he does in his special Torgau sermon of 15 3 3, ~~~.hic11 is cited in Article IX of the Fornlula of Concord. Nor can ~vc ignore a further very direct testi~nony of Scripture, rlamely Ephesians 4: 8 f.: "As the Scripture says \Paul quotes Psalnl 68: 18 in an emphatic New Testament application, as we see from the past tense of the verb "give"1, 'When He went up to the very heights He took many captivcs with him; he gave gifts to men.' Now what does 'He went up' mean? It means that first He came docvn- that is, down to the lower depths of the earth. So He who came down is the same one who went up, above and beyond the heavens, to fill the whole universe with His presence" (TEV). \Ve must in verse 9 also observe the exact order of events, the descent into hell before the ascension. The Biblical cxprcssion, "Iowcr depths of the earth," with its many Oltl re~tallleilt parallels can llcvcr designatc tile earth itself, as tllougl~ 1':1~11 meant the incarnation of Christ, bur ;IIIsn!;s some- thing which lies beyond it, sh.co1 and ~cJLc~L~z~. Paul y.i;allts to sllon, the ltind of victory which would create the onvironlnent for the .ivorli of the church and the gifts given to mcn, the teachers tllc c;~~~)~]. For that purpose, after the saving sacrificial deatll, tlic triLil,lphant procession and its prelude, the descent into hell, toolc 'rh parallel P~SS~A' in Col. 2: 15 l>icturcs the event in an r.xceptionall!~ graphic w:ly. IVith such Scriptural presuppositions, how can oIlc. nlr\n- age to spcalt of the descent into hell as "the complete destruction of Christ's earthly cxistence," whatever thnt might' meall beyond t11c sinlple nard "c1c:id." in the creed? 'The new- ~lpostles Creed llas not give11 "tlic words of the text their real value" as their intention pro- clai~nctl, but has in its counter-proposal of "descerldcd to the realln of thc deacl" banishecl "TVhat was' 1.e;llly mcant" fron) the creed. \\,'herever this ncwr version is recited, there is no descent illto hell in thc c~.ccd, bcc:tusc it subs~itution of sonlething c~ltirelv different has been niade. At this point in tlir creed thcrc is no lonicr ;I victor11 01 Christ ovcr Satan but at most a victory of Satan over Cl~rist, 'rhc tlevil has ;~cconll?lishcti ~nuch in thcsc our times. I\:c 1cnc11. tl~at: long ago; IILI~ rio~v tlli tlcvil 112s c.c8en seen to it that tl~e onlj, rcferencc tc hinl ant1 his I-calm itns disappcx~rul from the creed. 'Thcrebi- the doc- trine of the dcscent into hell is pushed aside in the faith-consciousncs! of tllosc congregations ~vho have permitted the new text to be impose6 upon them, for this teaching will not be able to maintain itself or ht founcl in the catechisms. 'This affects congregations in Saxony anC clsen~l~crc which, at least in the liturgical recitation of the creed i~: public ivorship, confessed the cloctrinc of the descent into hell ;in4 despite evervthi~ig, ~vould like to remain true to thc I.,~~thcran Con fcssions. Under certain circun~stances they ltnc~v that the desceni into hell is taught in Article I11 of the Augsburg Confession and i! illso dealt with extensively in 21 special Article (IX) of the Formul; of Concord (in close connection with the article (VIIT) 1.i7hich deal: jvitll the Person of Christ ;IS God and n~an). 'The new version has no) "givcn the real meaning" of the text, I7" and cleverly "pulled over the eyes" ol I ,u thcran-oricn ted Gerinnn-spealung congregations. In a11 Easter issue of the Saxon church ller Sor~lrtng the new vcrsion of thc Creed is used as the basis for a devotion, "l,iv. ing Easter V\7itness," written for Lutheran congregations, which un forunately turns out to contain ideas ranging from Reforlned tc Roman Catholic." At any rate, it has become clear ho~~, great an influ encc Reformccl theology has achieveci in all arcas of the ch~lrch a! the appointed "doorn~an," as it were, for still further de~arturc fron the troth. TVithol~t investigating the esact exegetical results ir Lutheran exegesis :ind tlogmatics up to our clay, many theolofiica writers iind the Rcformed understanding of any doctril~e nluch nlorr sympathetic (bccausc it conforms more to our fleshly rcas~n) thar one 117hich st-icks close to the text like the 1-uthera- The thcologica lecturer, I.)r. Gcrt \~'cnclcll~orn, in the rviclely read periodical Nczie Zeit has hit thc nail on the head when he says: "Confessional Lu- theran tlleology is to be found only in remnants and exists today in a c'fefensive position as 'outsiriers.' "'"hlany I_uthcrans, we have noticed, itre 11o.i~ fearful about the new test of the Apostles' Crcecf. But actualIy wc slioulcl havc bee11 deeply fearful Jong ago about the change in attitude to.tvarc1 Moly Scripture which has taltcrl place in the churches which surround us. For this tlethronement of the di-clinc F170rd as the norm of the faith-life is, in tlic final analysis, a much greater calamity ancl the cause of the other. It is trne, hoivever, that rile become more conscious of Scripttire in the act of corlfcssing our faith, because the creed is a brief conclensation of Script~~rc n11d it is part of thc 1.it~trgy in public n.orship. 17. FXCUHSUS llE(;~\l?l.)IiVC: SY .~3130~.,1<:~ :'iN1) '1 HIi Esec:~s~s or: 1 ~'~.:,I.EI\ 3 !it this 11oint neshall adcl to 118hat i~c J~ar'c stated previously onlv the most necessar! rc)m:~rks concert~ing (11) thc position of tlie'lutlleran Confessions and (13) the propcr esegetic:\l treatment of the 1 I'etci- pnssagc. A. 07lr Co~zfcssio~~~ "Set the Sir-itch" for tllc Doctri~zc of the I'er5olr of Chriqt. \T7c 21;tvc already nlentioned varioils n~attcrs from Article IS of the Formula ancl other matters will be nientionetl later. As a silent presupposition to our remarks, therc is thc protest of the ilugustana's Article III against: tlie tearing apart (or tIic mising) of the divine and humsn natures of Christ, n-hich most of us know nImost by heart. Bul: it is certainly proper to bring to thc readcr's attention the words of Article VIII of thc Formula, which i1pp1~ thc Scripture doctrine of the uncliviclcd person of Christ to the steps of the humilia- tion and exaltation ~vhich rvcrc the 1)ackground of thc quotation from I-Ioenccltc. In paragraph 8 of 1.1~ Epitome we read: "'Therefore we itlso believe, teach, and confess that it was not a plain, ordinary, Inere man who for us suffered, (lied, n:as buried, dcsccnded into hell, rose from the dead, :~sccnded into llea~zen, :lnd was exalted to tll~ ~ilajesty aucl omnipotel?t power of God, but n man ~vhose l~ulnan nature has snch a profounc? and ineffable union and conlniullion ~vith the Son of God that it has become one person with him."'-' \Vith the fathers ivc. Lutheran Christians therefore l~elieve, teach, ancl joyfully confess as f ollolvs : According to the personal union hc always possessed this ~najcstv. But in the state of his humiliation he disycnscd with it . . . for he did not always clisclose this majesty, but onlv when it pleased him. Finally, after his resurrection he laid aside com- pletely tllc fornl of a slave (not the human nature) and was cst~iblished in the full use, revelation, and manifestation of his divine majesty. Thus he entered into his glory in such a ivay that now not only as God, but also as man, he knows all things, is present to all creatures, and has all things in heaven and on earth and under the earth beneath his feet and in his hands, as he llinlself testifies, "ill1 authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me," and, as St, Paul states, 11c ascellded "fitr above all the ]leavens that he nligllt fill all things."" B. Exegetical rrnd Philologicrrl Clnrificatio~is of 1 Peter 3: 1 8-2 0. 1. Concerning z6opoiEtheis de plzezrnznti we note, first of ail, that this l)?~czllrzcrti can designate only the unchangeably glorified and in no way spatially or tenlporally bound corporality of Jesus Christ; this corporality, despitc its infinite superiority, does furnish a model for the future "sliritual" 11ocly which will be ours according to f (:orinthians 15 : 46ff. and l'hilippians 3 : 2 1. 2. Concerning 316 (in the body 110 ionger limitcd by this- worldly or flesllly conditions) . . . pore.rttheis ehZryxe~t, we note that Christ showed I~inlsclf "in this"--his preaching was done in word and deed in a bodily, physical presence. The question is: which ~rrord did He preach? IVas it ~ossiblp the Gospel of forgiveness, in order to save souls in hell? The word Ircrysseil~ (to step forward with the message of n herald) is in itself a t:ox ~lzcclia, ;I neutral tern], which, in nddi- tion to thc prencf~ing of salvation, can also refer to a proclamation ~vhich is exclusi.c.clv lair., as Romans 2: 2 1 (ivitll its filessage, "Do not ste;llU) shows. 1iihethcr this usaXc can be established in the Gospels in regard to Christ (toes not itflect the fact that it is in itself an anlbivalent ternm. hlorc than one hundred and twenty years ago Gottfried Thomasius in his Christi Person zt~zd IVerlz already showed in a convincing and vcrsatilc lvay that in this case a l>reachir-lg of the Gospel is excluded."; This case is (lemonstrated by means of he con- nection between the generation of the Flood era, which did not listen to Noah's preaching, and thc despisers of the present preacher of rcpentence ~111~7 salvation; ncitller of the generations will escape the final jutlgnlent. In view of the analogy of Scripture one lllust marvel at the constant and con.c:ulsive quoting of chapter 4: 6, "that is why the Good Ne~vs was also preached to the dead" (TEV). In previous chapters, as .tvell as in the verses 1-6 of chapter 4, the persons who arc being conlforted with the prospect of the glorious final victory. rvhich despite the circumstances of outward defeat is certain for them, are Christians and not unbelievers. Similar comfort is dispensed in 2 Thessalonians 1 : 5- 10 and Hebrews 1 1 : 7. 3. The phrase tozs crz phylaki; II~ZCZI~~Z~S~IZ . . . apeithdsnsirz pote, eIicits this co~nn~ent. phylrrkc is not a good place, but the habitation of the dcvil, as one can see from Revclation. Simply and unconcern- edly to make pllylakE a synonvnl of the Hebrew sheol, with the sense of the condition of being dcad, that is really making black white. It is clear that with death our bodies disintegrate, as wc can see and as Scriptures testify, but thc rzrnch, the ynezlma, remains in existence according to Scripture (something already plain and clear in Ec- clesiastes 12 : 7) and it goes inlnlediately to its proper place (Heb. 9: 27). Here l~hylnktl denotes the place of torture in which the con- sciousness of their rejection of Noah's preaching evidently still acconl- l~anied those now long dead spirits. The patriarch had presented to then1 the coming salvation in one fashion or another, whether we can conceive of it or not. Now He who from the beginning had been promisect to tilc111 stands before them in the flesh, but for them He is only tlte Jutlge anti in this unique confrontation is his own /Irecursor with respcct to that 1-inal verdict on Judgnlent Day. - .. One should not overlook the contest of the ~vhole passage from ircrse I8 on ("For Christ himself died for you, once and for all he died for sins, a good rlian for bad nlen, in order to lead you to God," 'I'EV), which is parenetic; its purpose is to colr~fort the congregations which hat1 conle undcr the iirst persecutions. TT'llose who are in peril, particularly the belicving slaves, are to conlfort thcmselvcs with the Gospel promis-c of tlic baptismal waters, which will carry then1 aloft iis the waters of the Flood carried the ark aloft, l~cing made certain in faith of their cliiim anrl co\,enant of Grace, behind rvhich stands the infinitely glorified Substitute (1:. 2 1 k.), It is an atlditional comfort to the111 that in the face of the onrushing storrn-ivaves of rejection ant1 nbusc, the 1-loly Spirit reports the descent of Christ to hell, thc appear- ance of thc Onc who was cxalted ab0i.e all things to these notorioirs rejectors of former days. That act too is supposed to serllc as a guaran- tee that, in Christ alone i~nd without contradiction, the pcrsccutecl Christians hnvc been given the goodly inllcritancc and that tllc victory will belong to every believer who endures suffering patiently. le stated about the dinlensions of the death of Christ, while the Confession, follon~ing in the footsteps of the Reformer, warns : "fVe are not to concern ourselves with exalted and acute speculations about how this occurred. With our reason and five senses this article cannot be cornprchended" (IX, 3 ) . 'To sunllnnrize everything, tllc issue is thc comfort of faith. Satan thought that he had conquered Christ when he brought him to the cross and thc grave, but Christ prevails over the "god-opposing l~o.tvers," not only as unconquerable, but as actual victor over its donlix~ion, and takes from them all power and might, even over their realm of hell. But the new version of the creed, according to the AJ2T and nccordiilg to the published comments of its authors, says the direct opposite. "Descended to tlle reaIn1 of the dead" is from now on to signify that Christ endures the dominion of the god-opposing powers and is destroyed by them in his earthly existence. No, the actual situation is entirely different. Since the vivification neither devil, not: death, nor hell, nor reaIm of the dcad, nor hades has power over Christ, but rather he over them. And all who believe in Christ share in this power. For his victorv, his triumph is by faith also our victory 2nd triumph. Yes, this viAon took place only for our sake. That is the glorious fact rvllich grows out of the descent of Christ to hell. Through his descent into hell, hell is completely conquered and our liberation from hell is acconlplished and guaranteed. We can thcreforc derive this comfort fro111 this doctrine: Neither the devil nor all the "god-opposing powers" put together can bring us or any- one who believes in Christ into their po.ciler or I~arn~ us. There has rarely been a time in \~vh.icli the congregation has necclcd this comfort tnore than iloiv, wlleil tlirougll outrvarcl danger of destruction and subjection antl ~lnparalleletl ecclesiastical confusion the "little time" of Revelation 20: 7 seems to be indicated. In his renowned sermon at the Castle of Turgj~~i ( 153 3) Lutlier sa13s : "That is the power and uscfull~ess of this articlc, the rcason for its happening, being preached ancl I~clicvcd, nalnelv, that Christ destroyed the power of hell and took n1.i.a). all power from the devil. If I have that, I have its real heart ),a .I and meaning. -.I FIow simplc thcse tliings really are! Let us allow this stud\! to serve the pirpose of reminding us of the rich comfort of this tloctrine, in order that we might come to a deeper Scripture-oriented understanding of this section of the Apos- tles' Crcccl .~vhicll has been attaclc th1- clcstruction" (Hos. 13 : 14; cf. also I Cor. 1 5 : 54-57). In this Easter securit!. and certainty 1,uthcr exults: "That is the chief thing, usefulness antl power, which we gain from it, that neithcr 11ell nor clc\:il can iml>rison or ham? me or nnv 1~110 believes in Ili~n.''~' y. ,? 7. T C~~osx~c: OIISEHVATX~NS or: THE TRANSI~A'I-OH What a tlifference het~vcen the triumpllnnt stance, on thc one hancl, of I.,uthcr and the J,utheran Confessors and, on thc other hand, thc .ivish\.-~ilashy comn~cntary of the ICET in Prayers Wc Havc irz Co~iri~oll- (SCC footnote 1)! \Ve should likc to s~ibject that commen- tar!; to a short critique. 1. "It is a difficult line to interpret," says the ICET comlnen- tar?. Perhaps the difficultv arises from its mistranslation of the Latin text which it purports to t'ranslatc. If the ICET llad left the text with thc traditional wording, thcre might indeed have been a difficulty for those who rvish to understand the words metaphoricaIly, or even more so for those who tfcnv the existence of hell as a place of punishnlent. But thcrc woultl be no diffcultv for those whose ecumenical under- standing of these words is riot hbrizontal (with present-day Christen- clom) but vertical (with the church of past centuries, going hack to tho Apostolic tin1t.s). 2. "Somc llavc ul~derstood it . . . Others, following I Peter 3 : 19, havc thought . . . kt'rhile others have thought." These state- ments of the ICET conlnlentary are tvpical of a theology which has no final autlrority and for which vari&s opinions are of equal value. But for ;I Lutheran who accepts the canonical Scriptures of the Old, and New Testanlent as the sole source and norm of all doctrine such an attitude cannot 1)c anything but ahhorre~lt. 3. "Since all of these contain the itlea of going to the place of thc clead, the Latin r2.d i~rfcr~za is translated 'to the dead.' " This sen- tence of the ICET commentary virtualI!; rnakes all of the above opinions cited :~bove of equal worth. If a Lutheran congre~ation ac- cepts this con~ll~roiliising and i~nlbivalent forrnnla, it is, In effect, den\,ing that thc unclerstanding of thc 1-utheran Confessions con- cerning thc descent into hell is ultimately nlld exclusively Scriptural. It is clifficult for nlc to understand how it could happen that Co~lte~u17or~uy Serl.lices for thc Worrl \vent otit under thc authority of the Inter-Lutheran Coninlfssion of \\'orship (and thus, at least tacitly, of the Missouri Synod's Coillinission on \{'orship). For in this book- let the text of t1;c ICET version n7as reprinted ilz toto, including "descended to the deatl." I ls in 11~1vcnt in this dcninl of the article of its faith co~lfessed in 11riicle IX of the Formula of Concord. It is not too difficult to under- stand ho~v thc other t~vo ch~~rch-bodies involveel in the Inter-Lutheran Co~nmjssion of \Vorship could sanction such a translation. It was Fortress Press, associateel with the Lutlleran Church in America, which piiblishccl I'rrzyers WL! Hrrvc ill Conzlti~~z. Then, in A Alexi7 l.0072 ni. the Allostles Crced, publishetl in 1969 hy an affiliate of the American 1,uthcran Church, Augsburg Publishing House, there is a conllner~tary b!; Juergen Rloltma~lt~ om1 "dcscended into hell" which rcnds rts follows : I-ct t~s check a fclv facts to find out what is really xneant here. Thc S~~nod of Sirmiu~n in 359 first added this articlc to the ~rcccl.'The Syrian theologian hlarcos of Arethusa proposed it. IIc i~ltcndcd it to Incan that Jesus, Son of God, really died. In his suffering, crucifixion, and burial hc actually experienced in I~imself the absolute pain of abandonment by God. Christ's clcscent into Ilell indicates the depth of his suffering. It does 11ot mcan a journey through the mvthicaI ltillgdonl of the scpa- rated souls. "suffered-crucified-dikd": what reallv occurred there mas Christ's entry into the hell of guilt, of pak~, of death a11c1 beyond. Christ was not so clivinc that all of this had no cffect upon him, t-Xc is divine precisely inasmuch as, despite all these hells, he became our brother. This was the original signifi- cnncc of the faith in Christ's dcsccnt into hell." Having rcad Doehler's article we recognize the spirit that is speaking through hqoltnlnnn. We can no longer disregard the warn- ings of our European brethren. 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