Four Views on Hell, Second Edition  -     By: Denny Burk, John G. Stackhouse Jr.
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Four Views on Hell, Second Edition

Zondervan / 2016 / Paperback

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Product Description

In one of the most sharply debated questions in modern theology, you'll hear Denny Burke on eternal conscious torment; John Stackhouse, Jr., on annihilationism; Robin Parry on universalism; Jerry Walls on purgatory. Follow the logic of each one's position and choose what seems most persuasive. 208 pages, softcover. Zondervan.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 208
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.30 (inches)
ISBN: 0310516463
ISBN-13: 9780310516460
Series: Counterpoints: Bible and Theology

Publisher's Description

Recent years have seen much controversy regarding hell: Do we go to heaven or hell when we die? Or do we cease to exist? Are believers and unbelievers ultimately saved in the end?

This second edition of Four Views on Hell, featuring all new contributors, highlights why the church still needs to wrestle with the doctrine of hell. In the familiar counterpoints format, four leading scholars introduce us to the current views on eternal judgment, with particular attention being given to the new voices that have entered the debate.

Contributors and views include:

  • Denny Burk: Eternal Conscious Torment
  • John Stackhouse: Annihilationism (Conditional Immortality)
  • Robin Parry: Universalism (Ultimate Reconciliation)
  • Jerry Walls: Purgatory

General editor Preston Sprinkle concludes the discussion by evaluating each view, noting significant points of exchange between the essayists. The interactive nature of the volume allows the reader to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of each view and come to an informed conclusion.

Author Bio

Denny Burk (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is professor of biblical studies at Boyce College, the undergraduate arm of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

John G. Stackhouse Jr. (PhD, University of Chicago) is the Samuel J. Mikolaski Professor of Religious Studies and Dean of Faculty Development at Crandall University, New Brunswick, Canada.

Robin Parry (PhD, University of Gloucestershire) is an editor at Wipf and Stock Publishers.

Jerry L. Walls (PhD, University of Notre Dame) is a Scholar in Residence and Professor of Philosophy at Houston Baptist University.

Dr. Preston Sprinkle (PhD, University of Aberdeen) serves as the director of the extension classes for Eternity Bible College in Boise, ID. He previously taught at Cedarville University (Ohio) and Nottingham University (UK). Preston is author of Paul and Judaism Revisited (IVP Academic, 2012), co-author of Erasing Hell:  What God Said About Eternity, and the Things We Made Up (David C. Cook, 2011) with Francis Chan, and co-editor of The Faith of Jesus Christ:  Exegetical, Biblical, and Theological Studies (Paternoster, 2009) with Michael Bird.

Stanley N. Gundry is executive vice president and editor-in-chief for the Zondervan Corporation. He has been an influential figure in the Evangelical Theological Society, serving as president of ETS and on its executive committee, and is adjunct professor of Historical Theology at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He is the author of seven books and has written many articles appearing in popular and academic periodicals.

Product Reviews

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Displaying items 1-5 of 5
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  1. Michigan
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: Male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent Introduction to an Essential Conversation
    May 11, 2016
    John M Kight
    Michigan
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: Male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The topic of Hell is easily one of the most theologically revealing conversations of our present day. Still, the landscape of the conversation has taken a slight shift from that of previous generations. It seems like now, more than ever, the traditional understanding of Hell is being thrown aside by a sizable percentage of evangelical Christians as they look to investigate its biblical veracity against other viable options. It is here that the reader will discover the usefulness of this much anticipated second edition of Four Views on Hell (edited by Preston Sprinkle) and its ability to function as an introductory entrance ramp onto the main stage of the conversation.

    For this second edition, Zondervan has enlisted a new roster of contributors. This decision by the publisher, in my opinion, helpfully displays the conversational shift that has taken place since the first edition. The contributors include Denny Burk (traditional view), John G. Stackhouse Jr. (annihilationist view), Robin Parry (universalist view), and Jerry L. Walls (purgatory view). Those who are acquainted with the previous volumes in the Counterpoints series will be on familiar ground here. Each contributor has written a positive presentation defending their position (roughly 26 pages per essay), followed by a brief response from the other three contributors (roughly 5 pages per response). This interactive format does well to cultivate civility within the conversation and present each position for proper evaluation.

    Each of the major essays included in this volume are unique in that all of the contributors offer explicit acknowledgement of the existence of Hell. Each contributor also claims the title Evangelical when constructing a framework for the conversation, but the actuality of such is debatable. Burk does well in grounding the traditional view in Scripture and spend the majority of the essay making exegetical observations of the key passages. Stackhouse shows that the arguments typically championed by the traditional view are not as cut and dry as some would like the think. His essay was certainly the most thought-provoking. Parry does well in presenting a Christocentric view of universalism, but fails, in my opinion, to provide sufficient biblical warrant for such convictions. Walls provides an exciting essay on purgatory from a protestant perspective, but like Parry, offers insufficient interaction with the biblical text.

    This second edition of Four Views on Hell, edited by Preston Sprinkle and featuring all new contributors, is a book that will make you think long and hard. The topic of Hell doesnt appear to be going away anytime soon. Moreover, as unfortunate as it may be, I think it is safe to assume that the majority of Christians today have failed to think critically about many of the issues at hand when it comes to the nature and duration of Hell. I see the contribution of this volume encouraging positive change within that reality, and I am confident that the interaction that is presented therein will do well to guide that process towards a productive endthe reading and evaluation of the Scriptures. For that, this volume comes highly recommended!

    I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
  2. Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Great resource
    April 24, 2016
    Jessica
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This second edition of Four Views on Hell is part of the Zondervan Counterpoints series. As with the other books of the series, we find a presentation of the current views on just what hell is. This updated edition features all new contributors. Each contributor presents his view of the doctrine of hell in an essay. They are:

    Eternal Conscious Torment by Denny Burk

    Terminal Punishment by John Stackhouse

    Universalism by Robin Parry

    Purgatory by Jerry Walls

    After each essay, the other three contributors present a short response.

    An introduction by Preston Sprinkle gives a summary on the existence and nature of hell, then briefly introduces each contributor and the view he will be presenting. He reminds us that while these gentlemen are presenting varying views on the nature of hell, none of them disagree that hell does, in fact, exist.

    In the conclusion, Sprinkle once again takes the reins and offers his own response to each of the fours views. He points out the strengths and weaknesses of each argument using scripture and comparing each essay.

    Ultimately, any conclusion is left up to the reader. Sprinkle, while he admits he has his own leanings, never expressly states which view it is, and treats each view fairly.

    Personally, I went in with a specific view. I have to admit that my view has been challenged by one view in particular. I hope to do more research on my own to follow through to a conclusion and, hopefully, a biblical view of hell.

    This book is meant to challenge you. It is meant to open a discussion among Christians with opposing views so that, at the very least, we can stop vilifying each other. Most importantly, it is meant to challenge the views we hold onto so strongly. Is what we believe really biblical? Or are we just holding on to the beliefs we have been taught?

    It is the readers responsibility to decide.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookLook in return for an honest review.
  3. Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Good look on the various views
    April 16, 2016
    bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I have read some books on hell recently that I found disturbing. While the concept of hell has always been a part of Christian theology, exactly what that term means has been debated. This book helped clarify the four major, or current, views on hell. This edition is written by different authors and contains a new entry from the original edition because of the change in popular concepts about hell. There is a growing belief in annihilation among evangelicals, the concept of Christian universalism is gaining ground, and Protestants have been looking at the traditional Catholic view.

    Arguing for the traditional view is Denny Burk. He is a Professor of Biblical Studies and the director of the Center for Gospel and Culture at Boyce College. Annihilation, or terminal punishment, is covered by John Stackhouse. He is the Samuel J. Mikolaski Professor of Religious Studies and Dean of Faculty Development at Crandall University in New Brunswick. Robin Parry defends the Christian universalism, or ultimate reconciliation, view. He has a PhD from the University of Gloucestershire and serves as the commissioning editor for Wipf and Stock Publishers. Jerry Walls, Professor of Philosophy at Houston Baptist University, assumes a traditional view of hell but also holds that Christians will undergo a time of sanctification after death and before being resurrected.

    Each author presents his case and then the others have short articles of rebuttle.

    I was raised with the traditional view of hell in the framework of Reformed faith. I appreciated Burk's emphasis on a high view of God in defending the traditional view. He argues that our aversion to the traditional view of hell reveals a diminished concept of God. I was least impressed with the argument for a type of purgatory. Walls writes, ...there is little explicit biblical support for the doctrine. (152) His defense comes as a natural implication of things that are clearly taught in Scripture. (152)

    Preston Sprinkle, the general editor, thinks Parry's argument for Christian universalism a game-changer. He does not agree with the view but feels Parry has done a good job of bringing into the arena of biblical exegesis and theology a view of hell traditionally thought to be heretical. (197)

    I recommend this book to those who want to understand the various views of hell and the arguments behind them. I found none of the arguments to be ultimately conclusive. As is the case with many theological concepts, we humans are trying to comprehend something from an infinite God with our finite comprehending abilities. The articles did help me think more deeply about the various views and helped me understand why some hold views I consider to be outside of evangelical belief. This book would be best read and discussed with others, I think.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Thoughtful, Well-Written
    March 22, 2016
    ldesherl
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is a book of essays about hell. It is edited by Stanley N. Gundry, series editor and Preston Sprinkle, general editor. Four contributors wrote all the essays in this book. They are Denny Burk, John G. Stackhouse Jr., Robin A. Perry, and Jerry L. Walls. This book is the Second EDition of the earliest edition of this book The ditors open up by citing which Bibles were used for each of the essays. One of the editors begins this book with the Introduction, preparing the reader for what's to come and making it clear that despite diverse views, each of the contributors believes in hell and the Bible. Each of the contributors writes an essay. Each of these essays contains the written responses of the other three contributors to the main essay. One of the editors ends with a conclusion of thoughts and reflections on all that has been written. A Scripture index follows. It is followed by the subject index. That was concluded by an author index.

    Hell is never a pleasant or comfortable topic. I know. Once, the topic of hell almost came up in a group. The small group leader responded by saying, "We won't go there." Yet Jesus "went there" in His teachings. Even in the Christian community, Christians disagree about the extent of the terrors of hell. In this book, I was introduced to the concept of purgatory for sanctfied beievers who still need to be purged of indwelling sin. That is, purgatory for sanctfication purposes. I have never, once in my life, recall hearing about purgatory for sanctification purposes. I know that there is a first time for everything! In this book, the Christian universalism view was also new to me. The contributor clearly respects the Bible and believes in hell but holds that all people will be ultimately brought to saving faith. His views were most desirable and comforting, but like the Christian purgatory view, I honestly can't find much Scripture back-up for their views. There are quite a few verses that suggest that after a period of time in hell. people will no longer exist. So the Christian annihilationist view is plausible and more appealing than eternal conscious torment. Unfortunately, I had to admit that the eternal conscious torment view seems to be closest to the Bible and this isn't because this is my preference. I can't remember the last time I heard about hell being preached on from the pulpit of a pastor. I can understand that this is an uncomfortable and depressing topic. I like how this book explores all aspects of this topic by including four poitnts of view. As suggested in the introduction, I tried to read all the essays with an open mind. My conclusion is that we can make the Bible say anything to fit our own ideas and preferences. We can do this if we take verses out of context. The bible is meant to be read as a whole. I finished this book with my view of hell unchanged. But I can see how sincere Christians can believe in Christianized forms of annihilationism, purgatory, and universalism. Hell is such a disturbing teaching that we're tempted to soften it as much as possible.

    This book doesn't have broad appeal. I do recommend it for pastors, who need to be convinced in their minds about hell so they will be empowered to preach on it. I recommend this book for seminary students so they will enter their callings with their views of hell solidified. This book should be required reading in all Christian colleges and universities. As hell isn't preached on from many pulpits, college and university students in Christian colleges need to be informed about this topic. I don't recommend this book for new believers or for unbelievers. They may become confused or misled.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review of this book.
  5. Alexandria, IN
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent Book on a HOT Topic!
    March 19, 2016
    Mike
    Alexandria, IN
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I have always believed as a pastor, I need to review and study theological positions I do not always agree with. That will help me to better formulate and state what I do believe. This is the reason I wanted to read this book, Four Views on Hell. This is not necessarily a fun topic to discuss, write about or preach about. But it is a biblical topic that must be studied so we can have intelligent conversations about our varying beliefs.

    With that in mind, I was excited (if there is such a thing) to read this book about hell. People have been debating this topic for centuries. What happens to those who do not believe in God? What about those good people who dont believe in Jesus? What about those nasty people? Are all saved? Are only some elected for eternity with God / without God? Lots of questions we can ask about this topic. This book does not purport to be an answer book, but it serves to give the reader 4 basic views on hell.

    Each author had an opportunity to make his point, then the other 3 authors would give their criticism. The writing and criticism were all accomplished in a good spirit. At times there was some harshness, but overall the tone was collegial.

    The four views were ~

    Eternal Concious Torment - by Denny Burk. Burk discusses the more traditional Evangelical Christian view of hell. Those who are reject Christ will suffer eternally in hell.

    Terminal Punishment / Annihilationism by John Stackhouse. Stackhouse initially held to a traditional view of hell, but now turns towards God's goodness as people will be punished in hell, but that punishment will ultimately be death and destruction. Their lives will be terminated after judgement day.

    A Universalist View by Robin Parry. Parry discusses a Christian Universalist view of heaven. He believes the road to heaven leads through Christ, yet all creation through the atoning work of Christ will ultimately be reconciled to Christ.

    Hell and Purgatory by Jerry Walls. Walls discusses the belief that we need to be purged from our sinful state in order to come before Christ. He differentiates the terms satisfaction from sanctification. He believes we need the process of sanctification, after death in order to be worthy to come before Christ.

    The editor offers a good conclusion, highlighting some of the arguments made be the various authors. This is a very good book, and I would recommend it for those wanting to study more on this topic.

    I received this book from www.booklookbloggers.com in exchange for an honest review.
Displaying items 1-5 of 5
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