Friday, February 27, 2015

4 Reasons to Rethink Hell

In order to resist making terrible puns about eternal punishment, I’m going to dive right into this rather short blog post. Several others have already made some observations and I don’t claim to have read their posts. If there is overlap, that’s pretty cool actually. So here are 4 reasons why you should rethink hell.
  1. The Bible does not teach the traditional doctrine of eternal conscious punishment. I feel like I could drop the mic and walk away from the computer now, but I should clarify. A great think the Reformation did was fan the flames and push us all back to Scripture. The problem is, well, we didn’t consistently adopt the mentality of “Scripture alone” and “always reforming.” So, Scripture does not teach the doctrine known to us as ECT.
  2. You should rethink hell because other people are rethinking hell. They do this in the form of point 1, and are offering sophisticated arguments in favor of various interpretations of hell i.e., universalism. You should rethink hell in order to further nuance your perspective, or change your mind, or settle yourself more firmly. There is a veritable library of resources available to you. Either way, always be in the process of reforming yourself.
  3. The mainstream media is in on the game, and this is a good thing. People are interested in hell. Think about it: that’s like getting kids being excited to eat their veggies. An example of this is Edward Fudge being interviewed by the New York Times. This could be a great opportunity to engage culture. Especially if one is into apologetics. Think about it: death is on the mind, we are in the midst of global unrest. Why not rethink hell and also heaven?
  4. You should rethink hell because, as a Christian, you claim to speak for God. We speak about his character and we are to act accordingly. So, in the spirit of humility and Christian charity, you should rethink it afresh in order to determine what God has said in his word.
There’s also a really cool conference in Pasadena that I am helping to put on. Its called the Rethinking Hell Conference. Its about hell (obviously), and challenging universalism. Its under $100 to attend the three-day event (June 18-20), with some variety in prices and some incredible speakers: Oliver Crisp, Jerry Walls, David Instone-Brewer, and others. Please come rethink hell with us!

As an aside, I’m almost positive that someone has already used this title, or some form of it. But after a brief Google search, I couldn’t find much of anything related. So, I guess I’m ahead of the Internet curve for once? Either way, thanks for clicking the link.