With nearly 8 billion people alive today, questions about the final fate of humanity have never been more important. Will many live forever in some form of torment or anguish, while the rest live in eternal happiness? Or is our immortality the final judgment only possible if we are saved through Jesus Christ (meaning that the unsaved will then go to their destruction)?
The first of these is the more familiar “traditional” view, while the second is “conditionalism,” referring to evangelical conditionalism, a controversial but increasingly acceptable alternative on Hell. Rethinking Hell as a movement represents the latter view, but also champions balanced dialogue. There is a third and most controversial view, universalism, which we engaged in a past conference. At this conference, the two main views are in dialogue and will be well-represented.
If you aren’t sure where you stand, or are open to be persuaded either way, this conference is the perfect place to have your thinking challenged and strengthened. When else do we ever get to discuss this controversial subject in such an open and rigorous way?!
Many careful observers believe that the worldwide evangelical church is in the process of reforming its view of Hell. While still a minority view, conditional immortality has grown so fast as to make this virtually inevitable, in our opinion. Conditionalism very nearly held sway in the nineteenth century, and has resurged in recent decades to the point where major evangelical bodies have already allowed room for it in their statements of faith.
Lately, the rise of evangelical conditionalism and Rethinking Hell have been noticed and reported on by several secular news outlets, such as the New York Times and National Geographic, and a feature film has even been made about one of the movement’s leading authors. Whatever your view on the topic, something remarkable is taking place. With each passing year, more notable Bible scholars, seminarians, pastors and authors declare their conviction that this view is correct.
Take Preston Sprinkle, for example, who co-authored the well-received book “Erasing Hell” with Francis Chan. As one of our keynote speakers at this conference, Preston will share how he has come to embrace conditionalism since doing the research for that book. Or consider the renowned scholar E. Earl Ellis, who taught at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. Or Baptist theologian Dale Moody, who studied at Dallas Theological Seminary. Or any number of leading figures such as John Stott, John Wenham, Richard Bauckham, I. Howard Marshall, and P. E. Hughes, the likes of whom J.I. Packer called “honored fellow evangelicals” despite his disagreement with them on this topic.
All this momentum doesn’t mean the view is right, of course. Only time will tell which view will prevail. But if you want to be in the know right now, the Rethinking Hell conference is the place to be! If we are in the midst of a kind of minor reformation, you’ll be able to say "I was there!"
Okay, so those are some pretty heavy reasons. But you’re also going to have a great time—we always do! There’s just something energizing about immersing yourself in an experience like this. You’ll come away with that post-conference “buzz” that lets you know you’ve gained things of lasting value.
In addition to enjoying the presentations by speakers such as Gregg Allison, Chris Date, Craig Evans, and Preston Sprinkle, the conversions you’ll have, the people you’ll meet, and even the conference swag, there are two optional extras you might be interested in to round out a great experience. The first is a special catered lunch on the Saturday, where you’ll be part of a live recording of a joint episode of the Theology in the Raw and Rethinking Hell podcasts, hosted by Preston Sprinkle and Chris Date (this option found when ordering tickets below). As well, you might like to attend a post-conference event on Sunday night, in which Rethinking Hell’s Chris Date will be speaking at the Bible & Beer Consortium in Fort Worth. (Read more about these options and our plenary speakers on our main page).
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The Heights Baptist Church is located at 201 W. Renner Road, Richardson, TX 75080.
Please note: While ordering, you will be given the option to add a special catered lunch for Saturday ($16.50). During lunch you will also enjoy listening to Preston Sprinkle and Chris Date as they record a live joint episode of the Theology in the Raw and Rethinking Hell podcasts, discussing the conference topic and presentations, and answering your questions. As well, don't overlook the option to add discounted copies of Rethinking Hell and A Consuming Passion, signed by co-editor Chris Date, which you can pick up at the conference.