Around the web October 2012

A few links from around the web, please leave others that might be of interest to our readers in the comments :

Rethinking Hell:  Episode 7: Traditional Objections Answered with Chris Date

Have you heard? Episode 4 The case for annihilationism with Glenn Peoples Glenn Peoples posts on Afterlife can be found here
Why I am considering the conditionalist view of hell

The traditional view of hell, that of eternal conscious torment of the lost, is under fire again, this time, not from Christian Universalists like Rob Bell, but Conditionalists, who believe that the Bible teaches that the unsaved are punished at judgment, then are destroyed, NOT tormented forever. The term ‘Conditionalist’ is short for “Conditional Immortality,” which means that we are not eternal souls, but temporal souls who must inherit eternal life in order to exist for eternity.

(For a review of Rob Bell’s Love Wins see   Review of Love Wins by Rob Bell )

On wanting people who reject God to suffer forever ( link no longer active)

It seems to me that no-​​one who under­stands that “God our Sav­iour… desires all peo­ple to be saved and to come to the knowl­edge of the truth” should want the Bible, if it does indeed teach that hell is eter­nal con­scious tor­ment away from God’s pres­ence, to be right on the mat­ter. And cer­tainly the glee with which some peo­ple talk about hell as eter­nal con­scious tor­ment, almost as if they are proud of being able to espouse such a dis­turb­ing doc­trine, is not befit­ting of Christ-​​followers.

Annihilationism and Evangelism

From my perspective, annihilation still seems to be pretty severe punishment.  I do not hear criminals willing to risk crimes because the potential sentence is only death and not life at hard labour.  Besides, the alternative to either hell or annihilation is not just existence but rather an eternity of joy, peace, love and the presence of God.  The motivation to become a Christian is not just the avoiding of the bad but the gaining of the good.

Is universalism the new annihilationism?

Fast-forward to the present, and the landscape has changed considerably. Annihilationism is still a minority position, but just over two decades after Pinnock wrote his essay, it is no longer considered an emblem of heresy or near-heresy. Even a brass-knuckled, fire and brimstone preacher like Mark Driscoll accepts Annihilationists into the fold. He still thinks they’re wrong, just not dangerously wrong. That’s a far cry from the uproar John Stott created when he “came out” as an Annihilationist in the late 1980s.

And on the other side of the debate

Scriptural Proofs of the continued Personal consciousness after death from  The Rich Man and Lazarus ( check out our articles on The Rich Man and Lazarus)

The Old Testament saints are pictured as being “gathered to their people” after physical death (see Gen. 25:8; 35:29; 49:29,33; Num. 20:24,26; 27:13; 31:2; Deut. 32:48-50): To be gathered to other people makes no sense, and no meaning, if it only refers to entering into an unconscious state of being. To be gathered to their people speaks of being joined together in a relational way.

see To be Gathered to his people to show a different understanding!

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