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Jesus Creed

A reader writes me this set of questions and I’ve cobbled together two exchanges with him about this issue… but the words are his:
What is the proper role of fear — using fear — in the Christian life?
My stepfather used to give me graphic examples of how hot, and how long hell would be. I also grew up in a Plymouth Brethren church heavy into pretribulation rapture theology. My wife and I have reacted against that and joined an ELCA church where rapture and hell aren’t mentioned. To me rapture theology and hell is about fear.
Is some of that proper? If so how much? When is it to much?
[SMcK: Do you think “hell” should be used in evangelism?]

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