Reading Romans Again – as a conditionalist

    I think all Christians need to read the book of Romans again, and we who believe in conditional immortality ought to be at the head of the queue. Ronald D. Witherup summarizes the role of Romans as an expression of Christian theology: “I think every professional student of Paul’s letters would say that […]

Defending a bit of unconsciousness

Defending the unconscious intermediate state In the past few years, I have addressed the topic of the intermediate state many times.1  My usual approach has been to either outline the basic biblical argument for an unconscious intermediate state, or to respond to texts that have been used to argue for a conscious intermediate state. It has […]

the gospel Christ preached

Last year, I wrote a couple of articles outlining the gospel message presented by John the Baptist. That message can be summarized as follows: God’s kingdom is coming down from the sky soon (Matthew 3:2). The world is not ready for that kingdom, so people must make it ready (Matthew 3:2-3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4-6; […]

Limited to the visible

A study of the Law and Prophets in the Old Testament has shown that the normal, usual meaning of the Hebrew words shamayim and erets is the sky above and the land beneath.  The popular concept of heaven as the place where God lives is almost entirely absent – at least it does not fit […]

Should we modify conditional immortality?

In a recent article on the Advent Christian Voices blog,1 Corey McLaughlin examines conditionalists’ treatment of Revelation 20:7-10 and concludes that our exegesis of that text has been “poor”, and based on “logic stretched thin.” He suggests that our problem is that we are trying to make Revelation 20 say that the lake of fire […]

How Important Is Conditional Immortality?

Introduction to how important is conditional immortality In discussing any topic (theological or otherwise) in a presentation of this sort, and of this length, certain assumptions must be made. (If this were a paper in the field of mathematics, these assumptions might be called “postulates” — in the field of jurisprudence, they are known as […]

attention, witnesses!

In his commentary on Isaiah 1-39, Marvin A Sweeney explains the purpose of the call to attention formula as it appears in the writings of the Old Testament. “The CALL TO ATTENTION formula is a typical means for a public presentation or address and functions in a variety of contexts. Here it is addressed to […]

wading through the “simplicity”

My last hike with my wife turned out to be a bit of a struggle. We waded through tall grass that tended to cling to our legs and slowed us down.  We had planned on a short day hike, but did not expect to have to fight for each step. That hike reminds me of […]

why conditionalism matters – exposing the lie

We are living in the age of the photo-post and video-byte.  Newspapers and books seem to be dying out, because nobody wants to investigate ideas anymore. People are interested in promoting their side of an argument, but not in wrestling over the details of discussion to find the actual truth. The apostle Paul struggled with […]

Eternity somewhere

John the Baptist had given his listeners a pretty good overview of the gospel message. His proclamation in the Judean wilderness had eight major components: God’s kingdom is coming down from the sky soon (Matthew 3:2). The world is not ready for that kingdom, so people must make it ready (Matthew 3:2-3; Mark 1:3; Luke […]