Why I Believe in Hell (and Purgatory too!)

There has been a lot of noise made about the doctrine of hell lately.  And, of course, the standard arguments are made:  a loving God wouldn’t damn anyone vs. a loving God gives us freedom (through which we may damn ourselves) so that we may genuinely love in return.  For the record, I’m with Father Barron and his articulation of hell, which puts me squarely in the second camp.  I am also quite sympathetic to the articulations of Kyle Cupp and R.C..  But I want to add a couple things to the mix.

First of all, I want to note that heaven, hell and purgatory are not simply what happen when we die.  They are things we experience right now.  When the Gospel of John talks about having life and having it to the full, we often assume this means “go to heaven,” but the fact is that the Fourth Gospel makes no claims about the afterlife.  It talks about this life.

Heaven and hell, then, are not primarily our just desserts when we die, but a reflection of the person we choose to be.  In Kyle’s thread, Thales notes that much popular confusion over heaven and hell stems from overly mythological versions of them featuring clouds and harps, or fire and demons.  As true as this certainly is at a popular level, even at a more sophisticated level (like the one we Vox Novans like to think exists here) I suspect that a misunderstanding of eternity underlies confusion about hell.  All the talk about eternal, everlasting punishment seems to presume eternity is an endless duration of time.  But eternity is beyond time.  It is the fruit of time.  It is where you will be what you have made yourself to be.  It is not a question of the duration of punishment, but of the permanence of disposition.

When we meet our maker, we will see who we really are.  At that point most of us (I’m guessing) will want to say sorry for a few things.  We shall even, I suspect, want to say thank you for being shown the truth.  (Note the parallel with Reconciliation and Eucharist, which means thanksgiving.)  Those who have conditioned themselves to prefer their own judgment to God’s judgment can choose their own justification to God’s justification.  That is hell.

The thing is, we already know this.  There are millions of people living in hell right now because they prefer to justify themselves rather than apologize and say thank you.  Most of us, if we are honest, will recognize that we have been in this hell at some point or other.

Nevertheless, at this point things get a little complicated. The issue is, as many point out, whether or not those of us living in hell right now do so in true freedom.  All of the people we know are damaged goods.  We know that abusers were usually abused, usurers were taught a lie about what makes people happy, thieves were driven to desperation by an unjust system, etc. etc.  And if we are not genuinely free, then God cannot justly let anyone choose hell.

This is surely true, but perhaps only because it is a tautology.  If we are not genuinely free we cannot choose anything, let alone hell.  The question before us, then, is whether or not we believe we can finally determine anything in our lives.  There are certainly forces out there that control us to far greater degrees than we are generally aware.  Anyone who suffers from a mental illness (a huge proportion of us, by the way) or has gone through couples counseling or even reflected carefully on their own behavior knows this.  But is the power of these forces absolute?  Is there really nothing for which I am responsible?  Is the psychological experience of choice a mere epiphenomenon?

I’m with Karl Rahner, S.J., who writes:

Even if I could assume that the most abandoned criminals in world history, capable indeed of anything, are really miserable creatures made so by heredity and environment, even if I were to defend the whole world, I must be prepared to admit that there is one person who cannot be defended and that he knew, although he did not want to know, although he repressed it, although he had a thousand good excusing causes: and I must have the courage to be this one.

Here’s the thing:  the case can be made that human choices are dramatically shaped by outside forces that compromise our freedom, but we cannot prove that there was never any freedom there to compromise.  We cannot explain away the core of the person we call the conscience where people genuinely believe they can choose between good and evil.  From where we stand it is impossible to know the whole truth about human freedom.  Anyone who pronounces that there is no such thing or that it cannot be used in certain ways (including damning ways) has overstepped the bounds of what she or he can know.

Because I refuse to pronounce judgment upon the inner sanctum of the human person, because I will not and cannot say what each human person is capable and not capable of in the depths of her or his soul, I affirm hell as a possibility.  It seems to me that this is, in fact, the other side of the coin of the Church’s refusal to declare anyone has been damned.

Now, were I a betting man, I would take long odds that hell is a pretty sparse place, perhaps an empty one.  It strikes me as distinctly possible that, when the ambiguity of human history – of sin and victimization – is stripped away before the throne and we see exactly who we are and why we are who we are, every one of us will apologize and say thank you.  One reason for this inclination in me is my careful study of the doctrine of purgatory and the last judgment, on which I wrote my M.A. thesis.  Indeed, it seems strange to me that in debates about hell and its potential population, purgatory is so infrequently mentioned.  (This strangeness first occurred to me when watching this Robert Barron video.)

But, to my mind, purgatory is a beautiful way to affirm that evil can be rooted out of creation without the damnation of sinners.  It acknowledges that the line between good and evil is not drawn between me and my enemy, or even between the rhetorical just and unjust, but instead is drawn through the heart of every human person.  In each of us there is good to be redeemed and evil to be cast out.  In this way, the doctrine of purgatory is also important in the Catholic response to the problem of evil.  Evil must and will be destroyed, though the perpetrators of evil may well be saved, even if it is ‘only as through fire’ (1 Cor. 3).

And though it is impossible in this life for us to judge exactly what each of us is responsible for, what each of us did with our freedom, that will not be the case before the just judge.  When pondering the possibility of hell, we needn’t concern ourselves too much with the degree to which each person was able to actualize their freedom because in purgatory our freedom will be healed so that we can own what really was, as the liturgy puts it, our most grievous fault and forgive those who impaired our freedom in such a way that we did evil that was only partially our fault or perhaps not our fault at all.  In purgatory we can both accept forgiveness and grant it.  In fact, as both the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant and the Lord’s Prayer show, giving and receiving forgiveness imply one another.

Hell is more likely to be empty than full, in my mind, because no one will be condemned without finally seeing the whole truth, and the truth sets free.  Purgatory will be the display of truth so that freedom can be fully realized.  Only if one has made up one’s mind to deny God’s version of the events will that display of truth be experienced as damnation.  But I affirm that it is possible to immunize oneself to the truth by the practice of evil.  I affirm it because I believe that, when I am honest with myself, I can see that possibility coming over the horizon.  I see the possibility of hell in me, even while I hope (and I mean this in the densest ‘theological virtue’ kind of way) to be saved.

But, beyond my belief in hell as a possibility because of my refusal to pronounce definitively upon the enigma that is human freedom, there is one other reason I believe in it.  While it is certainly and commendably the case that the Church does not maintain that any human being is in hell, the Church professes every day in the Creed that one of us did go there:  “He descended into hell.”  I believe in hell because I believe Jesus descended to it.

I noted above that many of us live in hell here on earth.  I also said that eternity is the fruit of time.  Eternal hell is nothing more than the crystallization of the hell that we experience in this life and it is into that reality, first and foremost, that Jesus descended upon his death.  Consider this from Pope Benedict:

“If there were such a thing as a loneliness that could no longer be penetrated and transformed by the word of another; if a state of abandonment were to arise that was so deep that no “You” could reach into it any more, then we should have real, total loneliness and dreadfulness, what theology calls “hell”.” (Introduction to Christianity, p. 300)

Already in his undertaking of the human condition Jesus consents to this loneliness.  The Incarnation, also called a descent, means that Christ will experience the hell that we undergo in this earthly life. Jesus’ personal hell of being misunderstood and rejected is clearly related in the Gospels. But in his death the final fruit of both the decision to become human and of his rejection at the hands of humans is met.

“In truth – one thing is certain: there exists a night into whose solitude no voice reaches; there is a door through which we can only walk alone – the door of death.  In the last analysis all the fear in the world is fear of this loneliness.  From this point of view, it is possible to understand why the Old Testament has only one word for hell and death, the word sheol; it regards them as ultimately identical.  Death is absolute loneliness.  But the loneliness into which love can no longer advance is – hell.

This brings us back to our starting point, the article of the Creed that speaks of the descent into hell.  This article thus asserts that Christ strode through the gate of our final loneliness, that in his Passion he went down into the abyss of our abandonment.  Where no voice can reach us any longer, there is he.  Hell is thereby overcome, or, to be more accurate, death, which was previously hell, is hell no longer.  Neither is the same any longer because there is life in the midst of death, because love dwells in it.  Now only deliberate self-enclosure is hell or, as the Bible calls it, the second death (Rev 20:14, for example).  But death is no longer the path into icy solitude; the gates of sheol have been opened.”  (Introduction to Christianity, p. 301)

I think it is futile to tell people there is no hell.  Humanity, by and large, will always believe in hell because we spend a lot of our time there.  In today’s megacities there are, perhaps, the loneliest groups of people in human history.  The suicide rates in the most prosperous countries in the world should make it clear enough that human progress will not disabuse us of our misery.  And it is as clear today as ever before that every person dies alone.  Hell is all around.

It is not really part of the message of Christianity that hell exists.  The world knows it does, even when it rejects the term.  The real message of Christianity is that hell has been overcome:  “Death, where is thy sting?”

Brett Salkeld is a doctoral student in theology at Regis College in Toronto. He is a father of two (so far) and husband of one.  He is the author of Can Catholics and Evangelicals Agree about Purgatory and the Last Judgment?

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  • Chris Sullivan

    “He descended into hell.”

    I thought that hell referred, not to hell proper, but to limbo of the dead ?

    God Bless

    • brettsalkeld

      Hi Chris,
      It was not meant to refer to this when it was coined, though for many centuries this was the common interpretation since the emergence of belief in limbo. There has been much discussion of this article of the creed lately, mostly centering around the work of Balthasar and his theology of Holy Saturday, but it is clear that the limbo interpretation is no longer in bounds since the Church actually clarified that limbo is no part of Catholic teaching about 5 years ago.
      I personally find Ratzinger’s interpretation the most compelling, though I cannot predict the shape theological discussion of this article will take following this period of ferment.

  • http://agellius.wordpress.com Agellius

    Brett writes, “Hell is more likely to be empty than full, in my mind, because no one will be condemned without finally seeing the whole truth, and the truth sets free.”

    But… but… what about Matt. 7: “13”Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14″For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. “

    • Dan

      Toward Brett’s eariler point that heaven and hell are here as well, that may not be referring to exclusively an afterlife scenario, but rather our tendency to be self-destructive.

      • brettsalkeld

        My thoughts precisely.

  • digbydolben

    The Protestants insist that there is no Scriptural justification for the Church’s doctrine of Purgatory, and Aldous Huxley believed that the early Church invented it after hearing of the Indian belief in reincarnation. In any case, the Christian doctrine of Hell paints a very bad picture of the Christian God. Time to jettison it, and leave it to the Muslims.

    • brettsalkeld

      Digby, you should read my book 😉

    • http://agellius.wordpress.com Agellius

      Digby writes, “… the Christian doctrine of Hell paints a very bad picture of the Christian God”.

      Good heavens. Are you Catholic? Since Hell’s existence is a revealed dogma, it would seem that according to you, God has painted a very bad picture of himself.

  • Ronald King

    Hell seems to have begun with separation from the love of God. It seems to be an internal condition in which one loses the love of one or both parents and is left with what I have described previously as the “basic fault”. Analysts identify this as an internal emptiness which is accompanied by overwhelming anxiety when the child loses a loving attachment to one or both parents. The child is incapable of verbally expressing this feeling and instinctively understands that the parents cannot relate to her/his distress.
    The foundation of one’s identity is then built upon this structure which states that “I am a mistake and not good enough to be loved.” This is the hell of western individualism in which children are influenced to become independent before they are ready. This occurs in all cultures due to the history of violence and how it traumatizes human relationships and alters gene expression to meet the threat of violence.
    When Cane killed Abel he was under the influence of the “basic fault”. God made sure that nobody did any harm to him. I wonder why?

  • David Cruz-Uribe, SFO

    I am reminded of a quote I heard attributed to Karl Barth: “I must affirm on the authority of scripture the existence of hell; as a Christian I must pray that it is empty.” Possibly garbled, but that is the sense of it.

    • http://populisthope.blogspot.com Matt Talbot

      I like that, David.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/voxnova/ Sofia Loves Wisdom

      The message of Our Lady of Fatima is “pray for the conversion of sinners.” The message of many mystics and saints has been for the Faithful to pray and sacrifice out of Love for those people who are lost. This IS our mission on Earth. To love God by loving our fellow human beings. Even the Divine Mercy prayer is about conversion.

    • Brian Volck

      For more on Barth’s dialectical hope — and therefore uncertain, which is presumably why we call it “hope” — in Apokatastasis:


      As is Barth’s habit, the emphasis is on Divine freedom.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/voxnova/ Sofia Loves Wisdom

    Awesome post! YES! One clarification: most abusers have NOT been abused. Only 1 in 8 abusers were ever abused in their life time. The rest? Why do people choose to hurt others? I think it is in line with the rest of your post.

  • Thales

    Good post, Brett. I liked the part where you say “the case can be made that human choices are dramatically shaped by outside forces that compromise our freedom, but we cannot prove that there was never any freedom there to compromise…..”

    I don’t know about other people’s freedom to choose good or evil, but I do know my own. And I can say that there have been a couple of occasions (not many, thankfully), where I clearly saw what was the good choice and what was the bad choice, where my judgment was not clouded, where I fully understood that God wanted me to do the good and that I would be acting against His will if I did the bad, where I recognized clearly that it was entirely irrational for me to choose the bad in view of my hope to ultimately reach Heaven … and I still chose the bad willingly.

    Hasn’t this happened to anyone else – perhaps when acting in spite, or revenge, or anger, or lust, or greed, or gluttony? Where you recognize that this is a sin and dangerous to one’s soul’s salvation, but you say “I still don’t care, I’m going to do it anyway.”?

    • http://agellius.wordpress.com agellius

      Thales: I’m sorry and ashamed to say, YES!! it most certainly has happened to me.

  • http://speciouspedestrian.blogspot.com Dominic Holtz, O.P.

    I think the most compelling reason to affirm that there is a Hell is that Jesus and the New Testament do so. We can ask all sorts of interesting questions subsequent to this, but the revelation of the outer darkness where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth, the pit of fire, the place prepared for the devil and his angels, simply cannot be jettisoned without refusing the revelation in Christ and replacing it with one of our own making.

    As to the question of moral/spiritual freedom, I think we ought to remember both Matthew 25, most especially 25:31-46 (the sheep and the goats), and Luke 16:19-31 (Lazarus and Dives). One of the most striking features of Mt 25:31-46 is that neither the sheep nor the goats were aware that they had been serving Christ when meeting (or failing to meet) the needs of the hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, sick, or imprisoned. Their actions were, in that sense, done out of a kind of ignorance. However, it is clear from the text, especially in the damnation of the goats, that they had a sufficient knowledge to be held accountable.

    While there clearly are things that impair our knowing and our desiring, I see no reason to presume that the New Testament’s images of the many travelling the broad road to death is not accurate. Indeed, I think we do no one any favors by suggesting that we have anything more or better or more accurate to say about the respective populations of Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory than what we can know from revelation. These questions almost always are, and always ought to be, personal and existential. We have no business wondering who may be in Hell except for ourselves. If we weep for the Hell-bound, like St Dominic who wept before the Lord, “What will become of sinners?,” it ought to be with St Dominic an impulse tirelessly to preach the Gospel with joy.

    • http://www.muenn.net Frank M.

      For most people with a modern or post-modern perspective, the pre-modern images of hell as literally a place “where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth, the pit of fire, the place prepared for the devil and his angels,” is so over-the-top as to not be credible.

      We need a new concept of hell that we can truly relate to, if the concept is to be at all supportive of our individual and collective development, and that IMHO is what Brett’s original post and many of the comments are about.

      A good reason to have the discussion and to “keep hell alive” is to avoid the trap of constructing my personal concept of hell in such a manner that I, the ego I seem to be right now, am assured of not going there.

    • http://agellius.wordpress.com agellius


      Thanks for this. Most excellent.

    • http://www.religiousleftlaw.com David Nickol

      I think the most compelling reason to affirm that there is a Hell is that Jesus and the New Testament do so.

      If you check out the entry for Gehenna in John L. McKenzie’s Dictionary of the Bible, he reaches almost the opposite conclusion. He points out that the depictions of final judgment and punishment in the Synoptics use the language of contemporary Judaism. He says,

      It is remarkable that the language and imagery does not appear in other NT writings; Chaine has suggested that it does not appear precisely because the other NT writers found the imagery of popular Jewish apocalyptic eschatology unsuitable for Gentile Christians. Hence they chose other imagery through which to portray the grim truth of the anger of God and the punishment of sin; these images must be included in a complete synthesis of NT thought on the subject.

      He reviews imagery found in John and the Epistles of Paul and concludes

      These passages suggest that the apocalyptic imagery of other NT passages is to be taken for what it is, imagery, and not as strictly literal theological affirmation. The great truths of judgment and punishment are firmly retained throughout the NT, and no theological hypothesis can be biblical which reduces the ultimate destiny of righteousness and wickedness to the same thing; the details of the afterlife, however, are not disclosed except in imagery.

      • http://speciouspedestrian.blogspot.com Dominic Holtz, O.P.

        Actually, I don’t see how this reaches a conclusion different from mine at all. When we say that the NT uses imagery, and that this imagery does not disclose “details of the afterlife” (I suppose by that meaning what we might see should we take a picture, although I wonder in the New Creation or in Hell what sense that even makes!), not only I, but the vast majority of theologians (certainly Patristic, Medieval, and modern) would take to be true. In other words, how the images of Hell, et al. might or might not map on to their reality (even as the heavenly Jerusalem described in Revelation is not generally taken to be a photorealistic description of the New Earth) does not speak to the reality of Hell itself.

        As the text you cite notes: no theological hypothesis can be biblical which reduces the ultimate destiny of righteousness and wickedness to the same thing, and this is surely the point. There can be no Biblically authentic theology that denies Hell. Argue all you must about the details. My point is that God clearly chose to inspire these images and not other ones, and so it is in light of coherence with these details and these dominical teachings that any claims about Hell (or Heaven) must be judged. What we cannot do is suggest that Hell is not a part of the Christian revelation.

      • http://www.religiousleftlaw.com David Nickol

        If your point is that there will be different ultimate fates for the righteous and the wicked, and whatever the fate for the wicked turns out to be, you intend to call it Hell, then I understand your argument, but I don’t think it amounts to much. With all due respect, it’s kind of like saying, “There really is a Santa Claus . . . It’s Mom and Dad!” There comes a time when a doctrine is reinterpreted so thoroughly that it ceases to mean what it originally meant. (An example, in my opinion, would be Original Sin as the disobedience of the parents of the human race, passed down from generation to generation, on the one hand, and some of the speculations I have read from Benedict XVI, on the other.) I don’t have McKenzie’s dictionary with me at the moment, but I believe some of the other imagery for the fate of the wicked suggested temporary punishment, while other imagery suggested total annihilation. As I have said, even when I was a kid in the 1950s, I remember being taught that hell was a state, not a place, and a hell for dogs could be neatly combined with a heaven for fleas. If I understand some of the other commenters here, they speculate that some people who close themselves off while still living are already in Hell. I have no problem affirming the existence of Hell as a matter of Christian revelation if that revelation doesn’t tell us what the hell Hell is!

      • http://speciouspedestrian.blogspot.com Dominic Holtz, O.P.

        If your point is that there will be different ultimate fates for the righteous and the wicked, and whatever the fate for the wicked turns out to be, you intend to call it Hell, then I understand your argument, but I don’t think it amounts to much.

        Then I guess I need to say that you do not understand my argument. I’m not sure how you derived the unhappy qualifier “whatever the fate for the wicked turns out to be” from what I said first or from what I clarified. We can say, e.g. of heaven, all sorts of affirmative things, viz. that we will see God as he is, that we will be raised in our bodies, but we will have cast off mortality for the glory of the Risen Christ, etc. We are given imagery that helps (e.g. the heavenly Jerusalem coming out of heaven, the sea of glass, the crowns and harps, the tree whose leaves are for the healing of the nations) in the way it is meant to help. I doubt anyone would complain if there were no tree!

        Likewise with Hell. We can say the most important things, viz. that it entails suffering, now in soul, at the Last Day also in the risen body, but risen to shame and the second death and not to glory, that is will be in a place with the devil and his angels, etc. We also have imagery, e.g. the worm that does not die, the lake of fire, darkness, wailing and gnashing of teeth, etc. I doubt it would make or break our experience of Judgment Day to find out that there is no worm. The truth of the worm, like the truth of the tree, may not be clear to us, but it surely is sufficiently clear, and we have a sufficient knowledge of Heaven and Hell to know of their existence, to pursue the former and flee the latter.

        So, it is over-much to conclude from what I have said that “revelation doesn’t tell us what the hell Hell is”! My point above was to note that the passages you cited do not speak at all to the truth of Hell. Indeed, they affirm it.

  • Ronald King

    Do you know what the most difficult and exhausting internal dynamic to overcome in psychotherapy and counseling is–resistance. I have directly encountered resistance for 30 years. Fear is the foundation of resistance. It is resistance that creates the illusion of protection against awareness of the intensity of suffering and against the threat of others seeing that suffering and causing more suffering. It is resistance that is the and unconscious defense mechanism that develops early in life to guard the vulnerable child against the intrusion of internal and external threats to its well-being. It takes a lot of patience and trust to penetrate that intimate and faithful friend of resistance that has been the only source of trust in a life of self-protection.

  • Dan

    Hell most certainly exists. I often find myself in it.

  • Dan

    My personal belief is that hell, heaven and purgatory must be the same “place” – your perspective determines your experience. That is the only consistent way to reconcile the concept of eternal suffering with a loving God; hell is only as permanent as you choose to make it.

    • brettsalkeld

      I agree. They are the ‘place’ where you see the truth, namely that you are loved.

      • Dan

        I don’t see it quite the same way. I think the moment you fully realize that you are loved is the escape from hell. The fear of judgement is what keeps you from seeing that truth. Fear is the jaw of Satan.

        • brettsalkeld

          Fair enough.

  • digbydolben

    But, Dan, you don’t “find” yourself “in it,” ETERNALLY, do you? A celebrated Catholic priest of the “Belle Epoque” in France, who was a friend of Marcel Proust’s, used to say, “I am required by my theology to believe that there is a hell, but I am NOT required to believe that anybody is actually in it.” My sentiments exactly, but, if no one’s “in it,” why believe in it, when it does credit to the Christian God that He wouldn’t actually permit anybody to end up there?

    • Dan

      You raise a valid point. I think the idea of hell as an eternal resting place for unrighteous is highly problematic. But that doesn’t mean hell doesn’t exist.

      My experience of hell, and how I see myself in it, is the anguish I experience at seeing the good but being unable to choose it, and despairing that I will never have the opportunity to obtain it; that I have lost my true self forever, and the only way to get it back will be to do something that would be equally destructive. It is a “no-way-out” situation where you feel cut off from God and your own self, and you feel utterly powerless to do anything about it. It is intolerable, and the only way to deal with it is to run from God. In this life, we can fool ourselves by distracting ourselves with the noise of life, but in the next life there will be nowhere to run. That is hell.

      The reason why I believe hell exists, but that it isn’t an eternal resting place, is that God never provides us with a “no way out” scenario. That perception is the lie that binds us. We remain in hell as long as we choose to despair and believe in that lie. If we quell our pride and our fears and listen, God will provide the out. It is not easy, but it is always there.

      The reason why hell is perceived as permanent is because of the difficulty in facing the full effects of our sins on ourselves and others. If I know what I have to do to escape my self-imposed prison while here on earth, when only a handful of people may know of my failures, and yet I find that too difficult, how would I ever expect it to be easier when I would need to reveal it to everyone? If I already run from the small puppy, I’m going to flee in terror from the pack of dogs.

      Hell exists. I know because I’m there right now. But I know the way out. I am not yet ready to choose it, because I fear what might happen if I am exposed. But eventually I must face it with courage and trust that love will provide where I did not. What does that sound like?

  • The bald Mexican

    Hell is other comboxes.

  • Ryan Cook

    What a great article. Is it possible that you could post a suggested bibliography of “must reads” on the subject of hell? Or send me an email?

    Thanks for writing.

    • brettsalkeld

      Thanks Ryan. The first thing that comes to mind is Balthasar’s Dare We Hope? I’d also recommend Ratzinger’s Eschatology to anyone who has not yet read it.
      Also, Salkeld’s Can Catholics and Evangelicals Agree About Purgatory and the Last Judgment would probably be right up your alley if you liked this piece. 😉

      • Ryan Klassen

        I already recommended that Salkeld book to him. The other ones are good, too.

  • http://agellius.wordpress.com Agellius

    David writes, “I have no problem affirming the existence of Hell as a matter of Christian revelation if that revelation doesn’t tell us what the hell Hell is!”

    Funny, I feel the opposite way: A revelation is pretty useless if it doesn’t tell us what a thing is.

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