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Has there been such a doctrine in Christianity that would put forth the idea that the sphere of eternal torments prepared for those who have rejected God, the sphere that is depicted as the lake of fire in Revelation, is nothing else, but God Himself, or rather the perspective of God by those who have rejected Him (and, consequently, the sphere of eternal blessings prepared for those who have received God, the sphere that is depicted as the New Jerusalem in Revelation, is nothing else, but God Himself, or rather the perspective of God by those who have received Him)? If yes, please, give me the name of that theologian and possibly the title of his work, in which he presents this doctrine.

  • I have not studied enough to answer your question, but it would be difficult to argue over such an idea since it is a story that happens to fit the (few) relevant facts we know about the afterlife. Rev 22:5 comes to mind. The descriptions we have of the two possible eternal destinations certainly assert that paradise and torment are what's waiting those who dwell there. – mojo Jan 11 '14 at 4:13
  • I recommend reading an encyclopedic article on theosis – Andrew Jan 13 '17 at 17:12
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There is a controversial speech/essay "The river of fire" by Dr. Alexandre Kalomiros along these lines, available online at Glory to God for All Things.

A representative sample:

``Paradise and hell are one and the same River of God, a loving fire which embraces and covers all with the same beneficial will, without any difference or discrimination. The same vivifying water is life eternal for the faithful and death eternal for the infidels; for the first it is their element of life, for the second it is the instrument of their eternal suffocation; paradise for the one is hell for the other. Do not consider this strange. The son who loves his father will feel happy in his father's arms, but if he does not love him, his father's loving embrace will be a torment to him.''

This essay is far from being doctrine, judging from the multitude of online discussions about its orthodoxy. I've heard somewhat similar, less stark comments from Fr. Robert Arida and from Fr. Andrew Damick (and, presumably, one can find hints of it in the ancient fathers, e.g. in the writings of St. Isaac the Syrian). For what it's worth, it made sense to me when I read it, but the commentary/rebuttal by Vladimir Moss (available at Orthodox Christian Books) rings true for me as well.

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