I remember when I first began to feel that I would have to do some writing on the subject of hell. “Please, Lord, let someone else do this,” I prayed. Eventually, though, it was clear that I should venture out and grapple with the subject in my book The Last Word and the Word After That.
Since then, several of my good friends have also jumped from the frying pan into the fire (so to speak) and dared to propose alternatives to the exclusivist doctrine of hell that many of us inherited – Sharon Baker with Razing Hell and Rob Bell with Love Wins, for example.Last summer at Wild Goose West, I met Julie Ferwerda,who comes from the same conservative (non)denominational background as me. She shared with me how she felt she too had to grapple with this “hot topic” – and she kindly shared a copy of her new book with me. Julie’s book will help people my book might not help – especially those who hold to a more traditional method of biblical interpretation. Where I tend to explore other ways of interpreting the Bible, Julie shows how even with traditional interpretive methods, the traditional view is highly contestable. If you’re ready to venture out into some new territory, Bible in hand, you’ll find a wise, patient, and intrepid guide in Julie Ferwerda in Raising Hell.