On the weekend I was reading 2 Esdras from my Renovare Spiritual Formation Bible, which is an NRSV with Deutero-canonical (Apocrapha) books. The writer of the book identifies himself as Ezra, and it contains a dialogue with God. In there Ezra laments over the fact that God has created hell for the majority of the human population, who steadfastly disobey. He states to God that they should not be blamed for sin of Adam, as they are held under that curse. ‘God’ sidesteps this with the notion that they have been given enough opportunity to obey. Ezra identifies himself not as the righteous, but as a sinner also condemned. ‘God’ commends him for being humble, yet states him as among the righteous.
Ezra’s questions are a bit like my own, as I stated in an earlier entry. I think the dual notions of hell and original sin, being condemned by a punitive father god, are just too far from the loving God of creation and revealed in the person of Christ.