Rethinking Hell Conference 2015

Conditional Immortality and the Challenge of Universal Salvation

Don't miss out on the Early Bird rate of $60 (available until 2/18)! A limited number of student tickets are available for only $45 (Student ID required).


The second Rethinking Hell conference will be held on June 18-20, 2015 on the campus of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.


The theme of the conference will be “Conditional Immortality and the Challenge of Universal Salvation” and will be an occasion for evangelical conditionalists and traditionalists to engage with the views of universalists.


The plenary speakers will be Chris Date (conditionalism), Robin Parry (universalism), Jim Spiegel (conditionalism), Oliver Crisp (traditionalism), David Instone-Brewer (conditionalism) and Jerry Walls (traditionalism). There will also be a number of breakout sessions, along with a final panel featuring the plenary speakers.

Main Presenters


Oliver Crisp

Oliver Crisp (PhD., University of London) is Professor of Systematic Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He is also the co-organizer with Fred Sanders of the LA Theology Conference, which meets each January at Biola University and Fuller Seminary on alternate years. He is the author or editor of a number of books, including Deviant Calvinism (2014), Advancing Trinitarian Theology (2014), Christology Ancient and Modern (2013), and Retrieving Doctrine (2011).


Chris Date

Chris Date is a steward and contributor for the Rethinking Hell project, and host of the Theopologetics podcast. A software engineer by trade, he believes theology and apologetics ought to be accessible to lay people. Formerly a traditionalist on Hell, he became convinced of conditionalism over the course of a process which began when he interviewed Edward Fudge, and he has since defended the view in debates, most recently with Dr. Albert Mohler on Justin Brierley's Unbelievable? radio program on Premier Christian Radio UK.


David Instone-Brewer

Rev Dr David Instone-Brewer (B.D. hons, Cardiff; Ph.D., Cantab) is the Senior Research Fellow in Rabbinics and the New Testament at Tyndale House in Cambridge UK. He works mainly in rabbinic background, non-academic cultural exegesis and digital resources for Biblical Studies. He is married with two daughters and enjoys low-brow movies.


Robin Parry

Robin Parry is the husband of but one wife (Carol) and the father of the two most beautiful girls in the universe (Hannah and Jessica). He also has a lovely cat called Monty (who has only three legs). Living in the city of Worcester, UK, he works as an Editor for Wipf and Stock—a US-based theological publisher. Robin was a Sixth Form College teacher for 11 years and has worked in publishing since 2001 (2001–2010 for Paternoster and 2010– for W&S). He is the author of numerous publications, including Worshipping Trinity and The Evangelical Universalist.


Jim Spiegel

James S. Spiegel (Ph.D., Michigan State University) is a Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana.  His publications, which primarily explore issues in ethics and philosophy of religion, have appeared in such journals as SophiaFaith and PhilosophyTheory and Research in Education, and Philosophia Christi.  Jim has also published numerous books, including The Benefits of Providence (Crossway, 2005), Faith, Film, and Philosophy (InterVarsity, 2007), The Love of Wisdom (B&H, 2009), and the award-winning How to be Good in a World Gone Bad (Kregel, 2004).  Jim and his wife, Amy, blog together at They have four children and live in Fairmount, Indiana.


Jerry Walls

Jerry Walls (Ph.D., Notre Dame) is a Professor of Philosophy and Scholar-in-Residence at Houston Baptist University, where his primary teaching focus is philosophy of religion, ethics and Christian apologetics. He has authored, co-authored, edited or co-edited a dozen books and over eighty articles and reviews. Among these is a trilogy on the afterlife, namely: Hell: The Logic of Damnation, Heaven: The Logic of Eternal Joy, and Purgatory: The Logic of Total Transformation and his most recent book, Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory: Rethinking the Things That Matter Most. .



Rethinking Hell Conference 2015 — Call for Papers

Conditional Immortality and the Challenge of Universal Salvation


Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA.


June 18-20, 2015

Purpose of Conference

As an organization, the Rethinking Hell project exists primarily to promote the legitimacy & cogency of the doctrine of conditional immortality (annihilationism) amongst an evangelical audience, and secondarily, to model positive, respectful dialogue on personal eschatology among evangelicals of varied convictions.

In focusing this year’s conference on the challenge of universal salvation, we recognize both the increasing positive interest in universalism among evangelicals, as well as the reality that universalism has primarily been contrasted in debate with the traditional view of eternal, conscious punishment.

Our hope with this conference is that conditionalists will join traditionalists and universalists in this discussion and that all sides will be able to more fully understand and respond to others’ views by listening carefully and charitably to proponents of the various perspectives, while presenting thoughtful and persuasive arguments for their own theological position.

Suggestions for Paper Topics

We welcome papers on personal eschatology for our conference breakout sessions from any point of view (conditionalism, traditionalism, or universalism), but preference will be given to papers which include reference to both the arguments of universal salvation and the position of conditional immortality / annihilationism.

Given our desire to engage these topics widely, we invite papers from various disciplines including biblical exegesis, theology, history, philosophy, spiritual formation, pastoral, etc.

Paper length

20-25 pages. However, some people read faster than others so prepare your presentation accordingly. You will have 60 minutes for your presentation and we would like at least 10-15 minutes of that to be dedicated to audience Q&A.

Submission due date

The proposal is due March 15, 2015 and should include an abstract of your paper, a brief statement of your position (conditionalist, traditionalist, universalist, or unresolved), and a short personal/academic biography for your introduction.  Please limit the total submission to 1-2 pages (including all information requested above).The conference leadership will respond to all submissions by April 1, 2015. Approved presenters will receive free conference admission (don't register). 


For more information, email us @

Conference Schedule

Thursday, June 18, 2015

5:00-6:30pm Registration
5:00-6:30pm Display tables / vendors
7:00-7:10pm Introduction & Prayer
7:10-8:30pm Plenary #1: "A Seat at the Table: An Appeal for Dialogue and Fellowship"—Chris Date (Rethinking Hell)
8:30pm Dismissal and blessing

Friday, June 19, 2015

9:00-9:10am Introduction to the Rethinking Hell project
9:10-10:30am Plenary #2:  "Burning Love: The Theological Hermeneutics of Hell"—Robin Parry (Wipf & Stock Publishers)
10:30-10:45am Logos presentation
10:50-11:50am Breakout Session #1
  » "How One Biblical Annihilationist Became a Biblical Universalist"—Peter Hiett (The Sanctuary Downtown)
  » "Annihilation or Salvation? A Philosophical Case for Preferring Universalism to Annihilationism" - John Kronen (University of St. Thomas) / Eric Reitan (Oklahoma State University)
  » "Christian Apokatastasis contra Crisp & Walls"—Steven Nemeș (Fuller Theological Seminary Arizona)
  » "Is God Creation's Biggest Loser?" - George W. Sarris
11:50am-1:10pm Lunch
1:10-2:10pm Breakout Session #2
  » "Hermeneutical Considerations In The Discussion Of Eternal Punishment In Revelation and Beyond"—Lindsay Brooks (
  » "Supporting the Claim that Conditionalism Is Philosophically Unmotivated"—Samuel Garcia (Fuller Theological Seminary)
  » "In Defense of Hell: Some Explorative Reflections"—Gavin Ortlund (Fuller Theological Seminary)
  » "The Unified Character of God & the Purpose of Hell"—Jordan Wessling (Arizona Christian University)
2:20-3:20pm Breakout Session #3
  » "Freedom, Evil and Tom-Tom: Some Philosophical Reasons to Prefer the Annihilationist View of Hell to Soteriological Universalism"—Jeff Cook (Atlas Church/University of Northern Colorado)
  » “Justification and Life for All? A Response to an Evangelical Universalist Exegesis of Rom 5:12-21"—Allison Quient (Fuller Theological Seminary)
  » "Worth a Thousand Words: A Conditionalist Reading of the Book of Revelation"—William Tanksley Jr & Chris Date (Rethinking Hell)
  » "A Philosophical Case for Conditionalism"—Daniel Sinclair (Rethinking Hell)
3:30-4:50pm Plenary #3: "Jesus’ Rejection of Universal Jewish Salvation: The background of rabbinic theology about hell and forgiveness"—David Instone-Brewer (Cambridge, UK)
5:00-6:20pm Dinner
6:30-7:30pm Breakout Session #4
  » "The Biblical Tour of Hell" —Matthew Ryan Hauge (Azusa Pacific University)
  » "An Orthodox/Catholic Eschatology: The Hopeful Inclusivism of Hans Urs Von Balthasar and Metropolitan Kallistos Ware"—Brad Jersak (Westminster Theological Centre)
  » "Hell Is For Christians? Eternal Judgment as a Unique Theological Emphasis in the Gospel of Matthew"—Laura Robinson (Duke University)
  » "Toward a Charitable Epidemic of Amendments: Viral Change and the Hope for Diversity on the Nature of Hell"—Jason Schroeder
7:40-9:00pm Plenary #4:  "Christian Particularism" - Oliver Crisp (Fuller Theological Seminary)
9:00pm Dismissal and blessing

Saturday, June 20, 2015

9:00-10:20am Plenary #5: "Optimal Grace and Eternal Hell"—Jerry Walls (Houston Baptist University)
10:20-10:30am Break
10:30am-11:50am Plenary #6: "Summing up the Case for Conditional Immortalism"—James Spiegel (Taylor University)
11:50-1:10pm Lunch
1:20-3:45pm Panel discussion with all plenary speakers
3:45-4:00pm Final announcements & dismissal

Pricing Information

Early pre-registration (through February 1, 2015): $50

Regular pre-registration (through July 10, 2015): $60

Registration at the door (July 11-12, 2015): $70

With conference registration, we are also offering a discounted price of $25 for the forthcoming book, Rethinking Hell: Readings in Evangelical Conditionalism, edited by Chris Date, Greg Stump, and Joshua Anderson (for more details about the book, visit this page).

Conference fee includes access to all sessions, exhibits, and designated conference materials. No meals will be provided through the conference, though light refreshments will be available on-site. A map with local restaurants will be provided for all conference participants.

Cancellation policy:

A $20 non-refundable administrative fee will be deducted from any refund due to cancelled registration. Cancellations after June 11, 2015, will only received a 50% refund.


We also invite sponsors to help fund the conference and Rethinking Hell organization, with various perks as a thanks for your donation:

$100 donation = FIRST CIRCLE, with perks that include:

conference registration

various Rethinking Hell swag

reserved seating in chapel for plenary sessions

special thanks in conference program

$200 donation = SECOND CIRCLE, with perks that include:

conference registration

various Rethinking Hell swag

reserved seating in chapel for plenary sessions

special thanks in conference program

a signed copy of Edward Fudge’s The Fire that Consumes —OR— Rethinking Hell: Readings in Evangelical Conditionalism by Chris Date, Greg Stump, and Joshua Anderson

$500 donation = THIRD CIRCLE, with perks that include:

conference registration

various Rethinking Hell swag

reserved seating in the chapel during plenary sessions for you and up to three (3) other guests (individual registration must be purchased for each guest)

special thanks in conference program

signed copies of Edward Fudge's The Fire that Consumes —AND— Rethinking Hell: Readings in Evangelical Conditionalism, edited by Chris Date, Greg Stump, and Joshua Anderson

a special lunch out with Edward & Sara Faye Fudge and Rethinking Hell leadership on Saturday


Practical Information

Email us any time at:

Our recommended hotel for the conference is the Hilton Pasadena, which is just a couple blocks
south of the seminary and who offers free shuttles between the hotel and Fuller.

Parking will be free for our conference attendees—the two lots we will have available are A1 (which is right next to the Psychology Building,
where the conference will take place) and A2, which is two blocks away. You can use this map to find their location.

Conference Registration

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