Tag Archives: traditionalism

Does annihilationism diminish our motivation for evangelism?

This morning, I received a short letter which raised a question that comes up quite often, so I thought I’d post my response for a wider readership. The letter said: Hi Terry, I had someone say to me in regards to the Annihilationist view that, any view that undermines our desire to see the lost saved is a bad move. In other words, he’s saying that Annihilationism decreases the urgency for bringing the gospel to the … Continue reading

Posted in Eschatology, Mission | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

How the Christian doctrine of sin should lead believers in eternal conscious torment to affirmation of annihilationism

In a blog post at Jesus Creed, Jeff Cook (lecturer in philosophy at the University of Colorado and pastor of Atlas Church) has raised a very significant philosophical objection to the traditional doctrine that hell is eternal conscious torment. He demonstrates convincingly that the concept of hell as dehumanization, as affirmed by C. S. Lewis and N. T. Wright is almost indistinguishable from annihilationism. That dehumanization tends toward annihilation has already been nicely demonstrated in … Continue reading

Posted in Eschatology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Preston Sprinkle on the nature of hell

Preston Sprinkle has now concluded a series of 4 blog posts on the nature of eternal punishment/hell. His final post sums up his present stance: he is pausing for a time of serious consideration of the relative merits of eternal conscious torment and what he aptly calls “terminal punishment” (destruction). Links to the first 3 posts can be found at the beginning of this last one. I commend Sprinkle for his careful biblical exegesis, for … Continue reading

Posted in Eschatology | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

How can people who do not love God be considered not to be sinning?

In an earlier blog post, I argued that sinners in hell reach a point at which they no longer sin. In the comment thread, Chris Wettstein has asked: “If, then, the reprobate will not be ‘sinning’ can they be said to be ‘loving God’ and ‘loving their neighbour’?” I started to write a response to Chris’s question in the comment thread, but it became too extensive for that venue, and so I decided it would … Continue reading

Posted in Eschatology, Ethics | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Grace and the destruction of the wicked

The wrath of God as the way sinners naturally experience the love of the Holy God It was from the writing of Martin Luther that I first gained the insight that there is no conflict between God’s wrath and his love, because wrath is the way the wicked experience the love of the holy God. But this idea is frequently found in the thought of Christian scholars in our own time. One of my favorite … Continue reading

Posted in Eschatology, Theology Proper | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

How will God finally punish unrepentant sinners? Part 1: My journey in quest of an answer.

I set out to write a blog post that grew rather large. So I have decided to split it into two posts, of which this is the first. Here I will relate the story of my long journey in quest of a biblical answer to that big question. In Part 2, I will recommend a book which I believe contributes very helpfully to the conversation about this issue which I believe needs to happen among … Continue reading

Posted in Eschatology | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

Jesus’ death and the nature of hell

Both traditionalists and annihilationists often say that their view of hell best accords with the manner in which Jesus suffered the penalty of sin in our place. I am still not convinced, however, that either understanding of hell has a significant advantage in this regard. Traditionalists generally focus on hell as an endless experience of the righteous wrath of God. Some understand the biblical descriptions (fire, darkness, physical agony, death) more literally than others do, … Continue reading

Posted in Christology, Eschatology | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Penal substitution and the second death

In his death on the cross and his three days in the grave, Jesus was neither endlessly tormented nor was he annihilated. This is why I have proposed that neither traditionalism nor annihilationism has an advantage in regard to its explanation of the way in which Christ’s death was a penal substitution for human sin. Jesus died in the manner of the “first death,” in his role as second Adam (1 Cor 15:45-47; cf. Rom … Continue reading

Posted in Christology, Eschatology | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Another reason why “annihilationism” is a better name than “conditionalism:” evangelical universalism is a form of conditionalism

In March, I gave some reasons why “ultimate annihilationism” is a better name for that position than “conditional immortality,” although the latter is widely used by proponents of this position. As I jogged today, I was listening to a fine interview by Chris Date with Robin Parry, the author of Evangelical Universalist (under the pen name of Gregory MacDonald). Once again, I was reminded that a synergist (like Robin Parry) can only be a hopeful … Continue reading

Posted in Eschatology | Tagged , , , | 32 Comments

Hell: endless conscious punishment or final annihilation? What are and are not the issues?

The nature and purpose of hell have been items keenly discussed within the church throughout its history. The three major alternatives which arose early in Christian theology are still alive and well, both inside and outside of evangelicalism. Though many Christians wish that universalism were true, it is affirmed by only a small minority of evangelicals because it entails post mortem evangelism, and because Scripture’s testimony to the final judgment of some unrepentant sinners is … Continue reading

Posted in Eschatology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment