Four Views on Hell presents a point-counterpoint debate between advocates of the three main interpretations of the doctrine of hell among evangelical theologians. Denny Burk makes the case for “eternal conscious torment,” John G. Stackhouse Jr. for “terminal punishment,” and Robin A. Parry for “universal salvation.” Jerry L. Walls’ argument for a Protestant version of Purgatory rounds out the “four views,” but while interesting, it is out of place in this book, since Purgatory—whether in its Catholic or Protestant version—is heaven’s antechamber, not hell’s. In his argument for hell as eternal conscious torment, Burk begins by telling a “parable” about a … Continue reading Four Views on Hell, 2nd ed. | Book Review
What is the gospel? Dallas Willard’s answer: “How to get into heaven before you die.” _____ A Leap of Truth explores the relationship between Christian theology and evolutionary theory. _____ Allen C. Guelzo asks, “Whither the Evangelical Colleges?” Hunter Baker replies with a thither. _____ “Presbyterian Church to ordain gays as ministers.” The Rev. Dr. Janet Edwards, a Presbyterian minister, considers this a “moral awakening.”Mark Chaves, a sociologist of religion at Duke University, comments: “They’re making this change amid a larger cultural change. General public opinion on gay rights is trending pretty dramatically in the liberal direction.” On a (cor)related … Continue reading The World Wide (Religious) Web for Thursday, May 12, 2011
“Welcome to hell, bin Laden.” So said Gov. Mike Huckabee in the opening statement of his Huckabee Report. It’s a common sentiment, but is it a Christian one? James Martin SJ, asks, “What is a Christian Response to Bin Laden’s Death?” Jennifer Fulwiler writes about “The Shocking Truth That God Loves [loved?] Bin Laden Too.” Jim Wallis argues that “it is never a Christian response to celebrate the death of any human being, even one so given over to the face of evil.” Joe Carter reminds us that “our relief at his death must be tempered by a Christian view … Continue reading The World Wide (Religious) Web for Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Here are ten religious posts that caught my eye today: Lee Strobel discusses how Easter killed his faith in atheism. If you’re interested in the topic, check out N. T. Wright’s exhaustive study, The Resurrection of the Son of God, which—at 740 pages is not merely exhaustive but exhausting…to hold, anyway. Or read Michael Licona’s The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach, which is 22 pages shorter. President Obama hosted an Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House, and a reporter can’t help but note a political angle (in the penultimate paragraph). Personally, I cheer the president’s statement of … Continue reading The World Wide (Religious) Web for Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Rob Bell, Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived (San Francisco: HarperOne, 2011). $22.99, 224 pages. There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love questions and those who love answers. Question-lovers focus on the ambiguity and uncertainty of belief. Reality is bigger and more complex than our theories about it. Consequently, we must be humble in the face of mystery, knowing how much we do not know. Answer-lovers focus on the clarity and certainty of belief. Reality may slip the grasp of theory at the margins, but … Continue reading Is Rob Bell a Hell-Believing Universalist?