Saturday, March 19, 2016

Excellent Discussion of a HOT topic!

I have always believed as a pastor, I need to review and study theological positions I do not always agree with.  That will help me to better formulate and state what I do believe.  This is the reason I wanted to read this book, Four Views on Hell.  This is not necessarily a fun topic to discuss, write about or preach about.  But it is a biblical topic that must be studied so we can have intelligent conversations about our varying beliefs.

With that in mind, I was excited (if there is such a thing) to read this book about hell.  People have been debating this topic for centuries.  What happens to those who do not believe in God?  What about those good people who don’t believe in Jesus?  What about those nasty people?  Are all saved?  Are only some elected for eternity with God / without God?  Lots of questions we can ask about this topic.  This book does not purport to be an answer book, but it serves to give the reader 4 basic views on hell.

Each author had an opportunity to make his point, then the other 3 authors would give their criticism.  The writing and criticism were all accomplished in a good spirit.  At times there was some harshness, but overall the tone was collegial. 

The four views were ~

Eternal Concious Torment - by Denny Burk – Burk discusses the more traditional Evangelical Christian view of hell.  Those who are reject Christ will suffer eternally in hell.

Terminal Punishment / Annihilationism – by John Stackhouse – Stackhouse initially held to a traditional view of hell, but now turns towards God’s goodness as people will be punished in hell, but that punishment will ultimately be death and destruction.  Their lives will be terminated after judgement day.

A Universalist View – by Robin Parry – Parry discusses a Christian Universalist view of heaven.  He believes the road to heaven leads through Christ, yet all creation through the atoning work of Christ will ultimately be reconciled to Christ.

Hell and Purgatory – by Jerry Walls – Walls discusses the belief that we need to be purged from our sinful state in order to come before Christ.  He differentiates the terms satisfaction from sanctification.  He believes we need the process of sanctification, after death in order to be worthy to come before Christ. 

The editor offers a good conclusion, highlighting some of the arguments made be the various authors.  This is a very good book, and I would recommend it for those wanting to study more on this topic.

I received this book from in exchange for an honest review.

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