Episode 76: Burning Love (and Consuming Fire), a Response to Robin Parry (Part 1)

Episode 76: Burning Love (and Consuming Fire), a Response to Robin Parry (Part 1)

Rethinking Hell contributors Nick and Allison Quient join Chris Date to respond to some clips from Dr. Robin Parry’s plenary speech at the 2015 Rethinking Hell Conference, in which he presented a theological case for universalism. This episode contains the first half of their two-and-a-half-hour discussion; the second half will be made available in episode 77.

Read more about Episode 76: Burning Love (and Consuming Fire), a Response to Robin Parry (Part 1)

Episode 75: The New City Catechism on Hell (Part 2)

Episode 75: The New City Catechism on Hell (Part 2)

Rethinking Hell contributors Nick Quient and Chris Date join Graham Ware to discuss and respond to what the New City Catechism, adapted by Timothy Keller and Sam Shammas from the Reformation catechisms, says about hell. This episode contains the last hour of their discussion; the first fifty minutes or so are in episode 74.

Read more about Episode 75: The New City Catechism on Hell (Part 2)

Episode 74: The New City Catechism on Hell (Part 1)

Episode 74: The New City Catechism on Hell (Part 1)

Rethinking Hell contributors Nick Quient and Chris Date join Graham Ware to discuss and respond to what the New City Catechism, adapted by Timothy Keller and Sam Shammas from the Reformation catechisms, says about hell. This episode contains the first fifty minutes or so of their discussion; the last hour will be available in episode 75.

Read more about Episode 74: The New City Catechism on Hell (Part 1)

Episode 73: No Penitent in Hell, a Response to James White (Part 2)

Episode 73: No Penitent in Hell, a Response to James White (Part 2)

Rethinking Hell contributors Glenn Peoples and William Tanksley join Chris Date to play and respond to some clips from the Dividing Line and Unbelievable? programs, in which Dr. James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries critiques conditional immortality and annihilationism. This episode contains the last hour-and-a-half of their two-and-a-half hour discussion. Listen to episode 72 for part 1.

Read more about Episode 73: No Penitent in Hell, a Response to James White (Part 2)

Episode 72: No Penitent in Hell, a Response to James White (Part 1)

Episode 72: No Penitent in Hell, a Response to James White (Part 1)

Rethinking Hell contributors Glenn Peoples and William Tanksley join Chris Date to play and respond to some clips from the Dividing Line and Unbelievable? programs, in which Dr. James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries critiques conditional immortality and annihilationism. This episode contains the first hour of their two-and-a-half hour discussion. Listen to episode 73 for part 2.

Read more about Episode 72: No Penitent in Hell, a Response to James White (Part 1)

Conditional Immortality, Origen, and the Second Council of Constantinople

Conditional Immortality, Origen, and the Second Council of Constantinople

In the discussion regarding hell amongst evangelicals, Scripture should be our starting point and final authority. Of course, this doesn’t mean that historical theology is irrelevant. How the biblical texts have been interpreted throughout almost 2000 years of Church history matters in a very real sense. The Church Councils can be informative for our doctrine, but are not supposed to take precedence over Scripture. Sola Scriptura does not mean tradition doesn’t matter, but that Scripture is over tradition. But it’s worth looking at historical theology when trying to shed light on biblical interpretation when it comes to the doctrine of final punishment/hell.

In the discussion of final punishment, the Councils give us precious little to go on. However, some evangelicals have turned to the Second Council of Constantinople to assert that the early Church condemned all views other than eternal conscious torment. Read more about Conditional Immortality, Origen, and the Second Council of Constantinople

Sodom and Gomorrah in the Pseudepigrapha: A Survey and Analysis

Sodom and Gomorrah in the Pseudepigrapha: A Survey and Analysis

James H. Charlesworth offers general readers four initial thoughts on the importance of the Pseudepigrapha. They deserve to be quoted in full:

First, there is the very abundance of the literature, although we possess only part of the writings produced by Jews during the period 200 B.C. to A.D. 200. . . .
 
Second, the Pseudepigrapha illustrate the pervasive influence of the Old Testament books upon Early Judaism. . . . ((We can see this is so because of the numerous “Testaments” dedicated to the various patriarchs.))
 
Third, we learn from the Pseudepigrapha that the consecutive conquests of Palestinian Jews by Persians, Greeks, and Romans, and the intermittent invasion by Syrian, Egyptian, and Parthian armies did not dampen the enthusiasm of religious Jews for their ancestral decisions. . . .
 
Fourth [and finally], the Pseudepigrapha attest that the post-exilic Jews often were torn within by divisions and sects, and intermittently conquered from without by foreign nations who insulted, abused, and frequently employed fatal torture. . . .  ((James H. Charlesworth, “Introduction for the General Reader,” The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, ed. James H. Charlesworth (Hendrickson, 2013), 2:xxviii.))

Most of these early Jewish writers believed they were free to reinterpret the various Old Testament texts, but it seems quite appropriate to state that they offered very little in the way of a positive reading of the Sodom and Gomorrah (S&G) narrative in Genesis. Instead, they treat the story as it is: a revelation of God’s judgment upon a sinful city (or cities). For an excellent introduction to apocalyptic literature, see the work of John J. Collins and George W. E. Nickelsburg. ((John J. Collins, The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature, 2nd ed. (Eerdmans, 1998); George W. E. Nickelsburg, Resurrection, Immortality, and Eternal Life in Intertestamental Judaism and Early Christianity, 2nd ed. (Harvard University Press, 2006).)) Read more about Sodom and Gomorrah in the Pseudepigrapha: A Survey and Analysis

Sodom and Gomorrah in the Apocrypha: A Survey and Analysis

Sodom and Gomorrah in the Apocrypha: A Survey and Analysis

Literature regarding the Sodom and Gomorrah (S&G) narrative spans multiple testaments and bodies of ancient literature, receiving interpretation and narration in the Pseudepigrapha, Apocrypha, Josephus, and Philo, as well as the Old Testament. The purpose of this blog post is not to examine each reference in depth, but to provide a broad overview of the various references to the S&G narrative within Second Temple literature. Investigation of this topic in the Old Testament ought to be its own blog post (or even series). For our purposes, we will limit our analysis to the Apocrypha. Read more about Sodom and Gomorrah in the Apocrypha: A Survey and Analysis