Intrinsic Value, Sanctity of Life, and Capital Punishment: A Response to J. P. Moreland

Intrinsic Value, Sanctity of Life, and Capital Punishment: A Response to J. P. Moreland

1998 marked the publication of journalist and legal editor Lee Strobel’s popular-level apologetic work, The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus. Two years later he went on to publish The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity, which details his quest for answers to several issues that had still nagged at him even after having published his previous book. Among other questions, Strobel asked, “If God cares about the people he created, how could he consign so many of them to an eternity of torture in hell just because they didn’t believe the right things about him?” ((Lee Strobel, The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity (Zondervan, 2009), Kindle edition, locations 305-306.))

In his search for an answer to this objection Strobel turned to notable philosopher and theologian, Dr. James P. Moreland. Perhaps unsurprisingly the topic of annihilationism came up and, in answering Strobel’s questions, Moreland argued not only that the traditional view of hell is more consistent with the text of Scripture than annihilationism but that it is in fact morally superior to it. In so doing, however, he appears to have forgotten what a co-author and he had written a decade earlier concerning the ethics of capital punishment.

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