“God is on a mission to get the hell out of earth”

I have been reading Joshua Ryan Butler’s The Skeletons in God’s Closet, the first major section in which is a study of hell – and how it fits into the Bible’s narrative. Hell without a story becomes a torture chamber. Butler begins by clarifying the all too common view of hell: We get hell wrong because we [Read More...]

Skeletons: Introducing Joshua Ryan Butler

I will tell you why I like Joshua Ryan Butler’s The Skeletons in God’s Closet: The Mercy of Hell, the Surprise of Judgment, the Hope of Holy War. Because he’s young and is sensitive to some of the Bible’s most sensitive issues (see the topics in that subtitle?), because he forges his way into these topics [Read More...]

Is the Lake of Fire Torture? Josh Butler

IS THE LAKE OF FIRE TORTURE? by Josh Butler, author of the just-out and excellent book, The Skeletons in God’s Closet. More about Josh below. Many a street preacher has used the “lake of fire,” an image in Revelation, to depict God as a sadistic torturer who likes to roast unrepentant rebels like kalua pigs [Read More...]

Evangelical Alliance Examines the Conditionalists

The Evangelical Alliance is the UK’s version of a genuinely evangelical and ecumenical organization. If I may, American evangelicalism has never been able to get along well enough to form such an organization (unless I’m mistaken). It seeks to bring together all of the UK’s evangelicals; it does not attempt to show how other (supposed) [Read More...]

Can Hell be Restorative?

Christopher Marshall, a professor at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, thinks so. While I’m not entirely sure he resolves the problems he generates, and he generates them as well as anyone I’ve read, his approach to the problem of hell (Rethinking Hell) is somewhere along the line of conditionalism or annihilationism or final radical [Read More...]

Terrance Tiessen’s Journey to Solve the Hell Problem

This post is by Terry Tiessen, and I use the post with his permission. I set out to write a blog post that grew rather large. So I have decided to split it into two posts, of which this is the first. Here I will relate the story of my long journey in quest of [Read More...]

Do All Humans have an Immortal Soul?

If you believe in the immortality of the soul, so it would seem, you would have to believe in endless punishment of the wicked or universalism. In the history of the church, belief in the immortality of the soul has been a constant. Not all, but most have believed God made humans immortal. While N.T. [Read More...]

The Bible’s General Trend and Hell

In the exceptionally useful anthology of scholarly pieces on conditionalism (or annihilationism) in Rethinking Hell (ed. C.M. Date, GG. Stump, J.W. Anderson), one of the most important contributions is by Harold E. Guillebaud, whose work is now harder to find (I find no copies available through Amazon). Guillebaud lays down some strong lines to open [Read More...]

The Clobber Text for ECT-ers

The clobber text for those who embrace eternal conscious torment is Revelation 14:11, with vv. 9-10 preceding it. Another way of saying this is that this is the defeater text for conditionalism; another way is to say this is the one text conditionalists have to use gymnastics to explain. Here it is: 9 If anyone worships [Read More...]

God’s Goodness and Endless Punishment

Way back in the 1930s John W. Wenham, eventual author of one of the most influential Greek grammar texts and of a book called The Goodness of God (also called The Enigma of Evil), was a student of an eccentric English academic named Basil F.C. Atkinson, who it was known believed in conditional immortality (annihilationism). Wenham [Read More...]


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