Tag Archives: annihilationism

The purpose and duration of the conscious suffering of the wicked

Matthew 25 and the difference between traditionalism and annihilationism Traditionalists often cite Matthew 25:46 as irrefutable proof that Jesus taught that the wicked would be eternally consciously tormented. In that section of Matthew, Jesus tells us that “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory” (25:31) and all the nations will gather before him and “he will separate … Continue reading

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Locating N. T. Wright’s eschatology on the spectrum of views concerning hell

While jogging this morning, I listened to an interesting  Q & A with Tom Wright on “Unbelievable?” A question arose about Wright’s view of hell and he enunciated his usual view of the dehumanization of the wicked, who eventually cease to bear the image of God. I got to thinking of the splendid triangle developed by the leadership of Rethinking Hell, and it occurred to me that Wright’s portrait of dehumanization might actually be more … Continue reading

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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

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Stage 5 of my journey to annihilationism – an update

  On July 21, 2014, I published a  blog post in which I recounted the long journey I had taken toward becoming an annihilationist. At that time, I declared myself agnostic concerning the nature of hell, although I believed that the Bible taught annihilation more clearly than any other of the alternatives. Later, I was asked to contribute my story for a chapter in A Consuming Passion. I was very happy for that opportunity because, by then, … Continue reading

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Why did it take me so long to accept the strong biblical indication that God finally destroys the wicked?

Last night, I had a lengthy Skype chat with Chris Date, who is in the process of interviewing some (or all) of the authors of essays in A Consuming Passion,  of which Chris was an editor. My own piece was about my “long journey to annihilationism.” Chris talked with me about a couple of the stages in my journey and he seemed particularly puzzled by the fact that I had been so slow to concede … Continue reading

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Rethinking Hell Conference # 2

The second conference organized by Rethinking Hell will convene at Fuller Theological Seminary on June 18-20. The theme for this year’s conference is “Conditional Immortality and the Challenge of Universal Salvation.” The program looks excellent and I’m sorry that I won’t be there, though I hope to catch up on many of the sessions afterwards if RH makes video/audio files of them available. I commend the conference to anyone who is seeking a better informed … Continue reading

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Forthcoming: “A Consuming Passion”

  I just got word from the editor that a book to which I contributed a chapter is soon to come off the press from Wipf and Stock, under the Pickwick imprint, which is their primary academic venue. I look forward to reading the other essays, because it looks like a very worthwhile collection – good authors on interesting topics. I am happy to have a small part in honoring Edward Fudge, a lovely and … Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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