"Amidst all the apparent contradiction and confusion, there is a basic problem that besets all communication between the religious and the secular worlds. Religious statements are rooted in a metaphysical system, an understanding of the universe, which is pretty foreign to the modern, liberal mind. In traditional Christian thought, the primordial (and for many modern minds, intensely controversial) assertion is the existence of a loving God, from whom humanity has been estranged. Within that system, self-exclusion from that loving God is self-evidently a 'hellish' choice; that is almost a tautology, a statement of the obvious. Outside that metaphysical system, statements about exclusion from God's love don't make any sense at all, they sound like pious nonsense."
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