March 4, 2016

Chris Date continues our dialogue on the duration of hell by responding to Jerry Shepherd’s initial post, which argued for eternal conscious torment.    Professor Shepherd begins by arguing that death in the OT includes a disembodied conscious existence in Sheol awaiting resurrection. I needn’t contest that claim; from Saint Irenaeus to Professor Terrance Tiessen, many conditionalists have believed in a conscious intermediate state.[1] Nevertheless the OT’s “fundamental idea [of death] is the cessation of life”—God withdrawing the breath of… Read more

March 2, 2016

 Many thanks to Jerry Shepherd for his previous essay, which defended Eternal Conscious Torment. We continue on with our dialogue on the duration of hell with this initial essay by Chris Date, who defends “Conditionalism,” otherwise known as “Annihilationism.”   INTRODUCTION Eternal, immortal, resurrected life—albeit in torment. This is how most Christians have thought of the final fate of the unsaved, from second-century Tatian to the Reformation’s Belgic Confession and through to today’s theologians like Wayne Grudem. This now-traditional view of… Read more

February 29, 2016

As I stated in my previous post, I’m going to host a dialogue on the duration of hell between two able thinkers: Jerry Shepherd, who will argue for eternal conscious torment, and Chris Date, who will argue for annihilation. Here’s the first essay by Jerry:  Introduction My thanks to Preston Sprinkle for inviting me to participate in this exchange with Chris Date. And also my thanks to Chris for his expressed desire, which is mine as well, to have a… Read more

February 23, 2016

As many of you know, I’ve been wrestling with the concept of hell for quite some time. It started back in 2011, when Francis Chan and I wrote Erasing Hell, which explored and defended the traditional view that hell is irreversible. Since then, I’ve come to appreciate the exegetical nuances of the ultimate reconciliation view (aka “Universalism”), especially as it’s been presented by my friend Robin Parry. I’m still not convinced, but I no longer consider this view to be… Read more

February 3, 2016

Gun control. If you ever want to spark a massive debate in your next Bible study, just mention those two words—gun control. As an owner of several guns myself (a 12 gauge, 20 gauge, .270, and .22), I’d be a hypocrite to say that Christians shouldn’t own guns. But as a Bible believing follower of the Way, I’d be a fool to think that the question is purely a political one. And as an alien and stranger living in exile… Read more

January 21, 2016

Gabe Lyons (founder of Q) and I have been working on a series of podcasts on the Christian faith and same-sex relations. Today, Q Ideas releases the second (of six) podcast, which looks at what the Bible has to say. I encourage you to check out the episodes HERE. I’ve really enjoyed working on this project with Gabe. He’s one of the most thoughtful and compassionate people I’ve interacted with on questions related to same-sex relations. As part of our… Read more

January 19, 2016

I had the pleasure of interviewing my new friend Rob Wood. Rob is the co-author of the forthcoming book Satisfaction Guaranteed and has also jointly launched a new website called Satisfied in Christ (, which is aimed at helping Christians who experience same-sex attraction. Rob and his co-worker Jonathan Berry are both sold out for Jesus and they both experience same-sex attraction. Both Rob and Jonathan are committed to celibacy, because they affirm the church’s historic position that same-sex behavior… Read more

January 11, 2016

I’m very excited to interview my friend Derwin Gray! Derwin is a pastor, writer, ex-NFL football player, and the founder of Transformation Church—a multiethinic mega-church in North and South Carolina. Derwin is also the author of the recently released The High-Definition Leader, which challenges pastors and leaders to see the importance of multiethnic communities. Derwin, thanks for letting me ask you some questions on my blog! PS: Why don’t you first give us a brief summary of your new book, The… Read more

January 6, 2016

*The following post is written by my friend Sgt. Dean Meadows (USMCR). Dean served several years in the Marine Corps, but after coming to Christ and wrestling with what the Bible says about violence, he became a zealous advocate for nonviolence. Here’s his story.   What is a former Marine doing writing about non-violence? I know it may seem strange or maybe even a little radical. For most Christians I talk to these days, it is. But my question is why? Why is Christian… Read more

January 1, 2016

Last year I posted a blog about all of the books I was going to read. Well, I failed. Like, miserably failed. I set out to read through the New Testament four times. I only made it through once before I fell super far behind and couldn’t catch up and pretty much sucked at reading the Bible for my “quiet times” the rest of the year. I was adamant about reading through Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics volume 4.1 “Reconciliation,” which… Read more

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