A CONSUMING PASSION: Essays on Hell and Immortality

THE THIRTEENTH DAY OF MAY IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN A CONSUMING PASSION:¬†Essays on Hell and Immortality BY CHRIS DATE Posted to: www.RethinkingHell.com website on May 6, 2015. In April 2014, shortly before the inaugural Rethinking Hell conference at the Lanier Theological Library, we published our first book, Rethinking Hell: Readings in Evangelical … [Read more...]

NEW YORK TIMES FEATURES OUR WORK, TEACHING

If we needed any more confirmation of God's grace and hand on the subject, it surely came a few days ago in the form of an out-of-the-blue phone message and email. "My name is Mark Oppenheimer," the message said. "I am a religion writer for the New York Times. I am doing an article on the conditionalist view of hell. May I phone you for an interview?" I considered his question for about … [Read more...]

INTERNATIONAL, MEMORABLE, AND HISTORIC

The long-awaited Rethinking Hell Conference last weekend (July 11-12, 2014) brought together nearly 150 registrants and participants from the USA, Canada, U.K., France, Lithuania, New Zealand and Australia at the campus of the Lanier Theological Library and Chapel in Houston, Texas. The Conference sponsor, the Rethinking Hell (RH) Project, is presently uploading presentations to its RH Channel on … [Read more...]

THE COMEBACK OF HELL (1)

A Bible teacher in the Northwest asks for comment regarding the statement of Jerry Walls of Asbury Seminary, who wrote: 'We cannot be moral without God, and we cannot have God without hell. Hell needs to make a comeback' (Christianity Today 6/16/97, "Can We Be Good Without Hell?"). * * * I say "Bravo!" to Professor Walls for reminding us that we are creatures accountable to our Creator, that … [Read more...]

CAN THE SOUL TRULY DIE?

A North Carolina brother observes, "I've often heard speakers refer to hell as a place where the soul lives forever, enduring punishment of fire. Could you comment on this?" * * * The notion that every human being has a soul which, unlike the body, is immortal and cannot die, is a remnant of ancient pagan Greek philosophy. The idea crept into Christian thinking in the second and third centuries, … [Read more...]

gnashing of teeth

I earlier stated a conviction that God will finally destroy the unrepentant both body and soul in hell (Matt. 10:28) in the "second death" (Rev. 21:8). Jesus warns of this "eternal punishment" (Matt. 25:46), which Paul explains to be "eternal destruction" (2 Thes. 1:9). A kind gracEmail reader asks how this explanation fits those passages which refer to "gnashing of teeth." * * * For about 18 … [Read more...]

ETERNAL PUNISHMENT

A gracEmail reader notes that Jesus speaks of "eternal fire" and "eternal punishment" (Matt. 18:8; 25:30) and asks how that squares with my suggestion that the wicked will be totally destroyed in hell, never to be seen again. * * * "Eternal" fire is fire which belongs to the Age to Come. It is also eternal in the sense that its effects will be everlasting. Sodom and Gomorrah, which were "reduced … [Read more...]

THE POINT OF HELL

There is considerable discussion these days about the nature of hell. Indeed, I have done my share to stir this discussion and also to participate in it. But there also are practical questions we all need to ask, whatever we think hell will be like. What is the point of hell anyway? Whom does Jesus warn about it? What evils elicit his mention of it? Does Jesus, like many preachers and professing … [Read more...]

THE COMEBACK OF HELL (2)

A Bible teacher in the Northwest asks for comment regarding the statement of Jerry Walls of Asbury Seminary, who wrote: "We cannot be moral without God, and we cannot have God without hell. Hell needs to make a comeback" (Christianity Today 6/16/97, "Can We Be Good Without Hell?). * * * Many conscientious Christians, dedicated to evangelism and deeply committed to the authority of Scripture, … [Read more...]

WHAT IS THE ETERNAL PUNISHMENT?

An agitated Christian Church preacher responded as follows to a notice about my book, THE FIRE THAT CONSUMES. "Jesus made a pronouncement of sorts about hell, and I suggest that you and this growing number of 'scholars' you mention familiarize yourselves with it. It's found in Matthew 25:31-46 in the New Testament, a book written by God. What is it about the word aionios [eternal] that you don't … [Read more...]