Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory: Rethinking the Things That Matter Most  -     By: Jerry L. Walls
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Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory: Rethinking the Things That Matter Most

Brazos Press / 2015 / Paperback

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Product Description

Will heaven be boring? How can a good and loving God send people to hell? Is there such a place as purgatory? If so, why is it necessary, if we're saved by grace?

Questions about the afterlife abound. Given what is at stake, they are the most important questions we will ever consider. Recent years have seen a surge of Christian books written by people claiming to have received a glimpse of the afterlife, and numerous books, films, and TV shows have apocalyptic or postapocalyptic themes.

Jerry Walls, a dynamic writer and expert on the afterlife, distills his academic writing on heaven, hell, and purgatory to offer clear biblical, theological, and philosophical grounding for thinking about these issues. He provides an ecumenical account of purgatory that is compatible with Protestant theology and defends the doctrine of eternal hell. Walls shows that the Christian vision of the afterlife illumines the deepest and most important issues of our lives, changing the way we think about happiness, personal identity, morality, and the very meaning of life.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: Brazos Press
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1587433567
ISBN-13: 9781587433566

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Author Bio

Jerry L. Walls (PhD, University of Notre Dame), a world-class expert on the afterlife and a sought-after speaker, has written for Christianity Today, First Things, and Christian Century. He has appeared on NPR's Talk of the Nation and in the documentary film Hellbound? Walls, professor of philosophy and scholar in residence at Houston Baptist University in Houston, Texas, is the coauthor of Why I Am Not a Calvinist and the Christianity Today Book Award Winner Good God: The Theistic Foundations of Morality. He has authored or edited a dozen books, including a trilogy on the afterlife--Hell: The Logic of Damnation, Purgatory: The Logic of Total Transformation, and Heaven: The Logic of Eternal Joy--and is a senior speaking fellow for the Morris Institute for Human Values.

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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Heaven & Hell Amen. Purgatory Interesting.
    January 16, 2016
    David Smith
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Let me say first that Jerry Walls has a very engaging writing style probably important to emphasize since he is a professor of philosophy and a scholar. He writes well. I resonated with his biblical and Protestant views of heaven and hell. He argues these truths from Scripture through the lens of philosophy. Well done.

    He also wrestles through a plausible view of purgatory that is shared by a lesser number of Protestants. Rather than the traditional Catholic view of purgatory as satisfaction for our sins, Walls presents a sanctification view. In essence since most believers in Christ are not holy as God is holy when they die, they still need a completed sanctification process after death before they can fully share in the glories of heaven and see God face to face.

    Though Walls makes a strong case philosophically, unlike the voice of authority he uses from the Word of God in writing about heaven and hell, he leans heavily upon the authority of C.S. Lewis. The clear and numerous Scripture texts that articulate the doctrine of purgatory unlike the doctrines of heaven and hell are missing.

    Of course, the notion of purgatory intersects with another series of questions including what about those who never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. Walls thus proposes the possibility for some or even a few post-mortem conversions. One unanswered issue that I would like to address with Jerry Walls, however, is that people die the way they live. As people grow older, they have a hardening of the attitudes. Even if they are sitting in hell and see the glories of heaven from a distance and desire to be there, their sin remains and keeps them locked in their own prison separated from God. Why would a person who has rejected God for a lifetime, even with the light they did have, be forced to spend eternity with a God that never wanted to know and love? Of course, Walls wants to hope that under these new conditions some will change their mind. But without the power of the gospel present in the dominion of hell and no one to proclaim the good news to them, how will they know what is really true and good and beautiful?

    Still, Im grateful for Walls explanation of purgatory from a Protestant viewpoint. Most Protestants have not wrestled with this component of our sanctification. Will our completed sanctification really be instantaneous upon death or will there still be a process of transformation that makes us fully fit for heaven and the intensity of the fullness of God forever? Finally, I loved Jerrys chapter on heaven that will preach and his defense of hell is outstanding!
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