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.
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.
Hey, if Dr. Robert Peterson can do it, so can I. Beg the question, that is, from my article’s outset—in its very title, “Everlasting Torment or Eternal Punishment?” By setting the traditional view of hell up against the biblical phrase “eternal punishment,” the question I ask in the title assumes that eternal torment is not the fate Jesus warned awaits the lost, and it subtly influences my readers to assume the same before they’ve had a chance to consider the case for the view I’m critiquing. But if Peterson is allowed to similarly beg the question and poison the well in his article, “Annihilation or Eternal Punishment?”, featured in the February 2014 issue of Tabletalk magazine, certainly I should be forgiven for doing it.
Read more about Everlasting Torment or Eternal Punishment? …
Dr. Stanford E. Murrell and his son Adam Murrell, Reformed theologians and authors from Redeeming Grace Ministries, join Rethinking Hell contributor Chris Date to discuss conditionalism and its compatibility with Reformed theology. This episode contains the second half of the discussion; listen to the previous episode of the Rethinking Hell podcast for part one. Read more about Episode 29: Conditionalism and Reformed Theology, with Stan and Adam Murrell (Part 2) …
Dr. Stanford E. Murrell and his son Adam Murrell, Reformed theologians and authors from Redeeming Grace Ministries, join Rethinking Hell contributor Chris Date to discuss conditionalism and its compatibility with Reformed theology. This episode contains the first half of the discussion; stay tuned for the next episode of the Rethinking Hell podcast, which will contain the second half. Read more about Episode 28: Conditionalism and Reformed Theology, with Stan and Adam Murrell …
On June 22, 2012, well-known and respected theologian and scholar D. A. Carson told his audience that, as far as he could see, in Scripture “there is no hint anywhere that people in hell genuinely repent.” ((Carson, D. A. “Home at last: The spectacular God at the center (Revelation 21-22).” http://thegospelcoalition.org/resources/a/home_at_last_the_spectacular_god_at_the_center_revelation_21-22.)) As part of an exposition of Revelation chapters 21 and 22 he cited both Revelation 21:8 and Jesus’ parable of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16 as evidence that “hell is not filled with people who are deeply sorry for their sins.” To the contrary, Carson said, it is “filled with people who for all eternity still shake their puny fists in the face of God Almighty, in an endless existence of evil.”
Although he didn’t include it as part of that presentation, in the past he has also pointed to Revelation 22:11 (“Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong”), writing of “the vileness they will live and practice throughout all eternity.” ((Carson, D. A. (2009). The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism. (Zondervan, Kindle Edition) p. 533.)) He has also elsewhere suggested the possibility that this perpetual lack of repentance on the part of the wicked, and their ongoing sinfulness, is part of the ground and justification for their eternally ongoing punishing.
Carson’s view raises several questions. How legitimate is his application of the parable of Lazarus and the rich man? Will those consigned to final punishment fail to repent and continue to sin following their judgment and sentencing? Does the Bible indicate that they will go on sinning forever, implying that they have been raised immortal? Even if it does not, if they continue to sin after judgment at all, wouldn’t they accrue additional retributive debt, requiring further punishment, during which their continued rebellion would earn them still further punishment, and so on ad infinitum throughout eternity?
After my debate with Joshua Whipps was published, I suspected that I would hear about it on the Dividing Line (DL), a webcast hosted by one of the theologians and apologists I respect and admire most, Dr. James White of Alpha & Omega Ministries (AOMin). Joshua frequents the AOMin chat channel, and he talked to Dr. White both leading up to and immediately following the debate. The thought of listening to Dr. White review the debate terrified me, but not because I feared being challenged by his arguments; rather, I have such deep respect and fondness for him and his ministry that to hear him speak negatively about me would crush me.
Tuesday’s DL came and went with no mention of the debate, and in it Dr. White said he would be speaking about Islam on Friday’s show. And so I didn’t listen to Friday’s show live, but as I prepared to leave work I visited the AOMin blog and my heart began racing as I read the words, “Started off with a quick review of a recent debate on annihilationism, then took calls. The first two were on the same subject, so we covered a lot of ground on the topic today.” I could feel my heart beating in my neck as I opened my Zune software, downloaded the episode, synced it to my Windows 7 phone and began to listen. But very quickly my terror was replaced by relief and my admiration for Dr. White swelled. I know not everybody is a fan but, I must confess, I love the man and his ministry.