Related to the question: If I don't believe in Jesus before I die, will God send me to hell?
Daniel, a Jew, has a dialogue with Anthony, an Eastern Orthodox Christian, about whether God will send people to hell.
Daniel: I must clarify that Judaism does not have a concept of hell similar to some Christian beliefs. We focus more on this life and on our actions and responsibilities here, rather than what happens after death.
Anthony: I can say that the Orthodox Church also has a more nuanced understanding of hell compared to some Christian denominations. We do believe that salvation is through Jesus Christ, but we also emphasize God's love and mercy.
Daniel: Interesting. In Jewish thought, the World to Come (Olam Ha-Ba) is more about the world being perfected under the sovereignty of God rather than a place of reward or punishment.
Anthony: From an Orthodox Christian perspective, we do believe in the afterlife and the final judgment, but we don't speculate excessively on these matters. God's mercy is infinite and His ways are beyond our full comprehension.
Daniel: That aligns with the Jewish understanding that God's ways are often beyond human understanding. We focus on ethical living in this life, following the commandments, and leaving the mysteries of the afterlife to God.
Anthony: Yes. The Orthodox Church shares a similar emphasis on living righteously in this life. We see salvation not just as a future event, but as a process that begins in this life through participating in the life of the Church and seeking to embody the teachings of Christ.
Daniel: Despite our different beliefs, we both emphasize the importance of ethical living and leaving the ultimate judgment to God.
Anthony: Absolutely. Our shared emphasis on ethical living and the mystery of God's judgment is a common ground.
Daniel: Agreed, Anthony. These dialogues are important for fostering mutual understanding and respect among different religious traditions.
Anthony: Understanding and respecting our differences, while also recognizing our shared values, is a critical step towards greater interfaith understanding and cooperation.