Purgatory: One (Solitary?) Evangelical’s Affirmation

Jerry Walls is one of the few evangelicals by confession who also affirms purgatory.  I don’t agree with Walls here, but after a full book on the topic, Walls reduces his argument to a single chapter in Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory. (Purgatory in the theory of Catholicism is only for Christians; it is not about a [Read More…]

The Importance of Heaven and Hell

No one in the world has thought more about heaven, hell and purgatory than Jerry Walls. He has an academic, but accessible, book on each topic and now he has brought all his thinking together in one far more accessible, rearranged book called Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory: A Protestant View of the Cosmic Drama. Just a few [Read More…]

C.S. Lewis and Mere Purgatory

That’s right, C.S. Lewis seemed to have embraced a view Jerry Walls can accurately call “mere purgatory.” (See Purgatory: The Logic of Total Transformation) For many the logic looks like this: If C.S. Lewis believed it, and if C.S. Lewis is “mere” evangelicalism, then it is justifiable to believe in purgatory. Make no mistake about this [Read More…]

A Protestant affirms “Second Chance” Purgatory

Roman Catholics have nearly always affirmed purgatory, though only rarely does a Catholic theologian (Rahner, perhaps Pope Benedict XVI) affirm purgatory as a second chance. (Second chance meaning an opportunity to respond to God in a saving manner after death.) A few Protestants have affirmed second chance purgatory. Jerry Walls, in his book Purgatory: The [Read More…]

In an Instant or Not?

Protestants argue that humans are instantaneously transformed at death/at the judgment into a condition — let’s call it holiness and love — that is fit for dwelling with God in God’s perfect kingdom. It is unclear for most Protestants how this happens, but it does happen. Put differently, Protestants react against any notion that there [Read More…]

Tears in Heaven?

My pastor when I was a teenager often said from the pulpit that if there are tears in heaven, or at the last judgment, it will be the result of realizing how sinful we were or comprehending what we didn’t do and could have done. He said this often and that is why I remember [Read More…]

Problems for Purgatory

There may be glimmers or suggestions for belief in purgatory, or something like it, in the ancient Jewish and Christian world, but Purgatory as we now know it arose in the 12th and 13th Century. Some didn’t like it, and I want to look today at criticisms of Purgatory — by Lutherans, the Reformed, and [Read More…]

The Birth of Purgatory

The correlation between birth and death hovers at 1:1. That unalterable ratio leads humans to ponder what happens at and after death. Christian theology teaches that humans have the opportunity to spend eternity in the presence of God, nuances and footnotes unmentioned. Let us assume that to enjoy the presence of God one must enjoy [Read More…]

Without Holiness

“Without holiness,” the author of Hebrews says, “no one will see the Lord” (Heb 12:14). Let’s not get too distracted by who gets there and who does not get there, but instead we can focus on what the author says here: it requires holiness. What do you think? How do we become holy? How much [Read More…]