Rethinking Hell: Readings in Evangelical Conditionalism
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Number of Pages: 368
Vendor: Cascade Books
Publication Date: 2014
|Dimensions: 8.9 X 5.9 X 0.9 (inches)|
Most evangelical Christians believe that those people who are not saved before they die will be punished in hell forever. But is this what the Bible truly teaches? Do Christians need to rethink their understanding of hell? In the late twentieth century, a growing number of evangelical theologians, biblical scholars, and philosophers began to reject the traditional doctrine of eternal conscious torment in hell in favor of a minority theological perspective called conditional immortality. This view contends that the unsaved are resurrected to face divine judgment, just as Christians have always believed, but due to the fact that immortality is only given to those who are in Christ, the unsaved do not exist forever in hell. Instead, they face the punishment of the "second death"--an end to their conscious existence. This volume brings together excerpts from a variety of well-respected evangelical thinkers, including John Stott, John Wenham, and E. Earl Ellis, as they articulate the biblical, theological, and philosophical arguments for conditionalism. These readings will give thoughtful Christians strong evidence that there are indeed compelling reasons for rethinking hell. "As more and more people open their minds to rethink the doctrine of final punishment, this book will be a valuable resource and reference. I wish it had been available when I did my own research. This volume is extensive, inclusive, and impressive in scope and approach. I am delighted to endorse it A book for our time, it should enjoy great success." --Edward Fudge, author of The Fire That Consumes "This volume is to be welcomed and recommended for its usefulness in gathering together some of the most significant contributions from leading scholars and preachers who question whether the eternal conscious punishment of the wicked is a correct interpretation of the biblical teaching." --I. Howard Marshall, Professor Emeritus of New Testament, University of Aberdeen, Scotland "Because the case for annihilationism is generally not well understood, this expertly chosen selection from often difficult to find writings, along with helpful introductory essays, will be immensely valuable to the church. Everyone, regardless of their current understanding, can welcome this historical and biblical resource that will make fruitful dialogue more possible than ever." --Terrance Tiessen, Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology and Ethics, Providence Theological Seminary, Colorado "Those who read this book either will be challenged to reconsider their views about the traditional teachings of the church on hell or they will be convinced that the conditionalist view of hell is the right biblical teaching." --Claude F. Mariottini, author of Rereading the Biblical Text "Rethinking Hell is a much-needed compendium of classic and contemporary defenses of conditional immortalism--a view that offers a welcome alternative to universalism and the traditional concept of eternal conscious torment. Bringing together about twenty proponents of conditionalism--theologians, biblical scholars, and philosophers--Rethinking Hell is destined to be the definitive sourcebook on the topic for years to come. Highly recommended " --James S. Spiegel, author of The Benefits of Providence Christopher M. Date is the principal blogger and podcaster of the Rethinking Hell project and works as a software engineer in the Pacific Northwest. Gregory G. Stump is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary and serves as a pastor at a Baptist church in Southern California. Joshua W. Anderson earned an MA in Philosophy from Talbot School of Theology and an MA in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary; he teaches apologetics and theology at Ecclesia College in Springdale, Arkansas.
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John M KightMichiganAge: 25-34Gender: Male5 Stars Out Of 5An Important Collection of Essays!May 28, 2016John M KightMichiganAge: 25-34Gender: MaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The nature and duration of Hell have been a point of theological controversy for centuries. The majority of Christians today understand Hell as a place where, upon death, the unsaved are eternally damned to be tormented and punished day and night. This is a tough pill to swallow. More recently, with the work of Edward Fudge (though Fudge was certainly not the first to rethink these issues) and others, many Christians today have begun reconsidering the doctrine of Hell. The above-mentioned pill gets easier to swallow as opinions grow further and further from Christian orthodoxy. Still, for many, a balance of biblical and theological faithfulness has come to rest on a positioned known as Conditional Immortality (or Annihilationism).
Rethinking Hell: Readings in Evangelical Conditionalism edited by Christopher M. Date, Gregory G. Stump, and Joshua W. Anderson brings together a fascinating collection of excerpts from well-respected evangelical thinkers concerning the nature of Hell and Conditional Immortality. The contributors of this volume include Edward W. Fudge, John R. W. Stott, Clark Pinnock, John W. Wenham, E. Earle Ellis, Anthony C. Thiselton, Roger E. Olson, Ben Witherington III, and much more. While it should be said that there is nothing presented in this volume that is inherently new, either by way of argument or article, the convenience of having such an exemplar roster of contributors under a single roof and the scope of material presented makes this volume indispensable to the ongoing conversation.
The book is comprised of six major sections: (1) Rethinking Hell, (2) Influential Defenses of Conditionalism, (3) Biblical Support for Conditionalism, (4) Philosophical Support for Conditionalism, (5) Historical Considerations, and (6) Conditionalism and Evangelicalism. These six sections provide a good sense of the overall scope of the book. Moreover, there are a number of standout articles in this volume that are worth mentioning, including, New Testament Teaching on Hell by E. Earle Ellis, Claims about Hell and Wrath by Anthony C. Thiselton, and Conditionalism in the Early Church by LeRoy E. Froom. I could easily list more articles but these are definitely among the top three. The only hesitancy that I have with this volume, apart from not being fully persuaded by the Conditionalist claims, is the overstated identification with Evangelicalism. Many of these authors should not be considered as evangelicals. But, then again, what is the definition of evangelicalism today anyways?
Rethinking Hell: Readings in Evangelical Conditionalism edited by Christopher M. Date, Gregory G. Stump, and Joshua W. Anderson is an excellent introduction to Conditionalism. The editors have brought together some of the most influential articles from some of the most well-respected contributors to the conversation. This is a volume that will challenge your understanding and make you think long and hard about your traditions. It presents an important conversation that needs to take place more often, and I believe that this book will help that need become a reality. It 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.
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