Hell Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents Eternal Punishment - eBook
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Publication Date: 2009
Robert A. Peterson is Professor of Systematic Theology at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He is author or editor of twenty books, including Salvation Accomplished by the Son: The Work of Christ (Crossway, 2012), Our Secure Salvation: Preservation and Apostasy (P&R Publishing, 2009), and, co-edited with Christopher Morgan, Hell Under Fire (Zondervan, 2004).
Al Mohler writes the opening chapter, "Modern Theology: The Disappearance of Hell," which clearly defines and illustrates the modern theological landscape on the subject of hell. This is followed by detailed study of what the Old Testament has to say on hell (Daniel I. Block), what Jesus said (Robert W. Yarbrough), what Paul wrote (Douglas J. Moo) and what the Book of Revelation teaches (Gregory K. Beale). One of the most enlightening sections within these articles is a discussion of the five New Testament texts used by universalists to support their view (pp. 97-102).
These discussions are followed with an excellent chapter by Christopher W. Morgan, "Biblical Theology: Three Pictures of Hell," which provide a helpful overview of how each New Testament author views hell (pp. 136-142) and the predominant pictures of hell found in Scripture: punishment, destruction and banishment (pp. 143-151). Robert A. Peterson supplements Morgans chapter by viewing hell from the vantage points of the Trinity, divine sovereignty and human freedom, and the "alreadynot yet" concept.
J. I. Packer tackles universalism in chapter eight, showing the various types, why it is gaining in popularity and why it must be rejected biblically. Annihilation is given the same treatment in the following chapter written by Morgan. Sinclair Ferguson concludes the volume with "Pastoral Theology: The Preacher and Hell." His quote of Robert Murray MCheyne to his friend Andrew Bonar, who had just preached on hell, summarizes the chapter well. MCheyne asks his friend, "Did you preach it with tears?" This is a fitting end to ,em>Hell Under Fire. We must know well what the Bible teaches on hell but this knowledge should lead to soft hearts as we recognize, and warn about, the very real dangers of the eternal destiny of the lost.
In light of ever increasing pressure to abandon the conservative biblical understanding of hell, both on the scholarly and the popular level, Hell Under Fire is a must read. Gary Gilley, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com