Heart in Heaven, Hand in Harvest

Jesus told the man next to him on a cross that he would be with him in Paradise that day (Luke 23:43) and one of the more revealing statements from the apostle Paul is this one: “Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we [Read More...]

Heaven: Some Reflections

Heaven, what used to be the primary motivator for many to become a Christian or be faithful of a Christian, has fallen on hard times. I wonder what you think about heaven? But I’m not asking about just your theory. Instead, I want to come at this from a pastoral angle: What would you tell a [Read More...]

Sports in the Kingdom: Randy Alcorn

Randy Alcorn: Even in this fallen world, sports can bring out some very good things, including teamwork and the development of physical skills in our bodies that God has made. Can people abuse sports? Can they make it all about themselves? Can they become prideful and arrogant? Of course. We’ve all seen athletes who are [Read More...]

Questions about Hell

The claim is bold. The claim is this: those who are “in Christ” will spend eternity with God; those who are not “in Christ” will go to hell. The claim, then, not only claims that there is an afterlife, one in which there is blessedness or destruction, but the claim is to know who goes to [Read More...]

The Book of Revelation as Symbolic

Everyone says it. Everyone says “Revelation is symbolic.” Then everyone proceeds to decode the symbols — and it is the decoding that gets tricky. Tom Wright has famously argued that the vision of the new heavens and the new earth is a vision of heaven coming down to earth — and he has made the [Read More...]

Freewill Theism and Universalism

John Sanders is a well-known Christian theologian and philosopher at Hendrix College, and is perhaps known most for his advocacy of open theism. He is a freewill theist, and so his philosophical and theological expertise was brought into the discussion to engage Thomas Talbott’s case for universalism in the book, Universal Salvation?: The Current Debate, [Read More...]

Review of Francis Chan, Erasing Hell, by Jeff Cook

Erasing Hell – A Response (Jeff Cook) I have deep respect for the work of both Francis Chan and Dr. Preston Sprinkle. In their recent book Erasing Hell: What God said about eternity, and the things we made up, the authors move the discussion of hell through a few chapters of Bible study and into [Read More...]

Waiting for Rob Bell 2

I stood in horror watching the blogosphere light up last week, but my horror was not simply over the accusations made against an author whose book was not even yet available nor just over those who were denouncing Rob Bell for what they were absolutely certain was universalism. No the horror was that there was [Read More...]

The Age to Come – New Creation After Darwin (RJS)

We’ve been looking at the essays in a book Theology After Darwin centered around a simple question: What are the implications for Christian theology if Darwin was right? The Christian story and Christian worldview is often summarized as Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation. Modern science – cosmology, astrophysics, geology, paleontology and evolutionary biology has an [Read More...]

Beyond the Abyss 6

What does the image of God look like when we begin afresh from Jesus?

In Sharon Baker, Razing Hell: Rethinking Everything You’ve Been Taught About God’s Wrath and Judgment, that question is asked. Here’s how she puts it: “And as we we construct an alternate view of hell and read the Bible through one specific lens [the Jesus Lens], we will choose to pay more attention to verses that more consistently harmonize with the life and teachings of Jesus” (76).

We all pick and choose, she says, and I agree with her. The question is “how do we learn to pick and choose so that we read the Bible/history the way the Bible writers/persons read?”

How do we avoid being arbitrary in this conscious “picking and choosing”? What are the alternatives? [Read more...]