Q & R: Is OBL in HELL?

Here’s the Q:

I just finished reading your book, “A New Kind of Christianity.” I’m still digesting this information but am inclined to embrace most of what you say. I’ve struggled with the position that we must take the Bible as “God Breathed” and absolutely literally. Also, as I’m married to a Muslim, I can’t believe God would condemn all but professed Christians to hell.
Here’s my question–since God is a loving God, do you bellieve Osama bin Laden will go to hell? If not, what do you think is his eternal destiny?
Thanks for your spiritual quest and sharing it. I’ll be reading and rereading more of your books.

Here’s the R:

Before replying, I think it’s worthwhile for us to ask ourselves why this question matters to us. Do we fear that God will be excessively merciful or excessively harsh? Or do we want to use an extreme case to bolster one of our own theories? Do we want to use this as a test question to expose others’ bad (from our perspective) ideas? Or do we simply want to hold up to the light of God this part of our experience – as witnesses (from a very limited vantage point) of OBL’s life, misdeeds, and death?
Assuming, by the tone of your note, that it’s the latter, I can offer a few reflections – again, from my limited perspective only. I think OBL’s destiny is to face the living God who is ultimately and absolutely and beautifully just and loving. I believe God’s justice and love are perfectly integrated so as not to be, at heart, two separate things, but one beautiful, holy, awesome reality. I also believe that God sees and understands everything, from every angle, in ways that we do not and can not, which is why judgment from our limited perspective is so wrong. Whatever is wrong and evil in OBL will, I believe, be named, exposed, revealed, and dealt with appropriately, in the perfect light of God’s justice and love. Whatever remains of God’s good image inside OBL will be distinguished from the rest and dealt with appropriately, again in the perfect light of God’s justice and love. Whatever from his story can be healed will be healed. Whatever cannot will be dealt with in some other appropriate way. Somehow, grace will have the final word. Somehow (as they say), love will win – not at the expense of justice, but through and with and in justice. Beyond that, I have no desire to speculate … only to live my life in harmony with God’s justice and love.