LETTER: A hell of a question for the church

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The Independent Online
From Fr Cary Dobbie

Sir: My starting point in theology has always been the belief that the best clue to the nature of God lies in my own.

Put simply, I cannot and will not believe in a God who is more unpleasant than I am. If I do not will the damnation of any soul, not even that of Adolf Hitler, then the notion of some sort of everlasting holocaust is so at variance with what I know of myself, as to render it wholly unbelievable of the God who said: "Fear not, I am the first and the last". I recall a piece of "grave humour" which summed it up along the following lines:

Here lies Martin Elginbrod,

Have mercy on my soul, Lord God,

As I would, were I Lord God,

And you were Martin Elginbrod.

Why will people make God nastier than themselves?

Yours sincerely,

Cary Dobbie


Christ's Hospital


West Sussex

13 January