September 7, 2006

The Rich Man’s Return

Category: Bible - NT - Luke :: Permalink

… the evil man Dives asked to be allowed to return from hell to warn his lost brothers — not because he had a trace of goodness or compassion for the lost, but because if he could get God to admit that His revelation to the brothers was not sufficient to warn them, then God would have no cause to judge any man, including Dives.  God,  understandably, turned the request down flatly: though one rose from the dead (Jesus Christ), they would not be persuaded (Luke 16:27-31).  Men’s problem is not their lack of revelation; it is their willful rebellion against that revelation (Gary North, “Basic Implications of Six-Day Creation,” The Dominion Covenant: Genesis, pp. 434-435).

I don’t think I’d heard this explanation of the rich man’s request before.  Thoughts?

Posted by John Barach @ 7:51 am | Discuss (5)

5 Responses to “The Rich Man’s Return”

  1. Paul Baxter Says:

    I don’t buy it. I don’t think some kind of absolute evil is being bandied about in the parable such that Dives was entirely without compassion for his own family. It would have been entirely believable then (as now) for a person to be caring towards their family but not towards a beggar.

    The last point about revelation seems pretty much to fit Jesus own conclusion, but I don’t think it follows Gary’s logic.

  2. John Barach Says:

    I’m inclined to agree with you, Paul. I posted this because it was an interesting interpretation, one I’d never heard before. But I don’t think that it’s exactly what Jesus is saying in this story (though I agree with the conclusion).

  3. Elliot Says:

    I agree with Paul Baxter.

  4. John Barach Says:

    It does seem to me, though, that even if the rich man isn’t craftily trying to undermine God’s judgment (“You didn’t give enough evidence”), God does indicate that the man’s brothers don’t need the rich man to return to warn them. They have Moses, and that’s sufficient warning. Thus the conclusion: “The problem is not their lack of revelation; the problem is their willful rebellion against that revelation.”

  5. Dale Callahan Says:

    I don’t believe that a person has to hold to North’s full argument. I agree with him that man does not need extra revelation in order to believe. Jesus said that they have Moses and the Prophets…the Apostle Paul says they had God’s finger prints all over the created order…to such a clear extent that they are without excuse.
    I don’t think that this means that he had some hidden agenda about tricking God and getting out of hell…and using his family members to do so.

Leave a Reply