Video recording of the 2011 Conference Talk.
Speaker: Matt Flannagan
Topic: Annihilation and Apologetics
Dr Matthew Flannagan is a theologian with proficiency in contemporary philosophy. He holds a PhD in Theology from the University of Otago, a Masters (with First Class Honours) and a Bachelors in Philosophy from the University of Waikato; he also holds a post-graduate diploma in secondary teaching from Bethlehem Tertiary Institute. He is currently assisting with preaching at Takanini Church. He is able to communicate at a variety of levels and his presentation at the Conference will be suitable for lay people.
He introduces his address on what is Christian apologetics: “a field of Christian theology that presents reasoned bases for the Christian faith, defending the faith against objections.” He explains that he came to an understanding of annihilationism before he got into the area of apologetics ie he did not come to annihilationism as a way of getting out of the problem but because he believes it is what the Bible teaches.
Dr Flannagan looks at Raymond Bradley’s Challenge to the Christian faith and answers his objections specifically in the area of Hell for example:
It is morally wrong to torture people endlessly for their beliefs.
Perhaps we can think of situations in which it would be permissible to torture someone who is himself a torturer so as to obtain information as to the whereabouts of prisoners who will otherwise die from the injuries he has inflicted on them. But cases like that of Pope Pius V who watched the Roman Inquisition burn a nonconforming religious scholar in about 1570, fall beyond the moral pale; he can’t be exonerated on the grounds that he thought he was thereby saving the dissident’s soul from the eternal fires of Hell.1