In 1878, the Anglican priest and theologian, Frederic Farrar published a monograph defending hopeful universalism titled Eternal Hope. In the following year, Presbyterian theologian Robert Dabney published a review article critiquing two works including Farrar’s book. Dabney was a defender of the view that hell consists of eternal conscious torment: hence, the title of his […]
When I first became a father, I found myself facing a question that most Christian parents must confront at one time or another: when is my child responsible to make her own decision to follow Jesus? Were thirteen-year-olds in danger of going to hell? And what about a three-year-old? What was the point at which […]
Father John Furniss, a nineteenth-century Catholic evangelist, became renowned as the “Apostle to the Children.” Father Furniss (and yes, that was his real name) was infamous for his lurid descriptions of children in hell. Consider this excerpt from his 1861 bestselling collection of nightmarish bedtime reading, The Sight of Hell: “See on the middle of that red-hot floor […]
I just wrote an article for Christian Post on this topic. You can read it by clicking here.
You can read the chapter at my blog confusedaboutgrace.com.
Let’s take a look at an atheist tweet: Why'd you tell me? #atheism #atheist pic.twitter.com/ZhMacvqQ2V — Annie Hills (@Atheist_Annie) August 31, 2016 Apparently the tweet is aiming to provide an objection to the logic of evangelism. I am going to reconstruct the underlying argument in the form of a syllogism: (1) If persons who have […]
On January 3, 2015 the Jordanian pilot Muath Al-Kasasbeh was burned alive by ISIS. A video of the murder was later released online, evoking horror and outrage worldwide. The other day I was in a conversation with a friend who told me he had watched the video of Al-Kasasbeh’s murder … and immediately regretted it. […]
Men who are follicly challenged deal with their plight in different ways. Some shave their heads. Others wear hats. And still others engage in the lamentable practice of the comb-over. You know what I’m talking about: the practice of growing a portion of hair extra long in a vain attempt to comb it over and mask […]
This past Saturday a knock came on my door. I opened the door to two slightly nervous young men. One of them immediately took the lead, introducing himself as the representative of a new Baptist church just starting up in the area. He then held out a tract for me to take. I glanced down. […]
It has been one year since Taliban boarded a school bus in the Swat Valley and shot then fifteen year old Malala Yousafzai in the head. Her crime, as the world now knows, was daring to stand up to the Taliban in defense of education for all children and a plea to end the cycles […]
In a recent conversation with Adam Hazzard I wrote: “The Christian doctrine of hell is the doctrine that some people culpably and knowingly choose not to be in relationship with God.” To be sure, hell is not only that, but it is at least that. It is most emphatically not the claim that God tricks […]
I will never forget the day in kindergarten when we baked gingerbread cookies. Each child got to decorate his or her own cookie with candies and sparkles. Then we placed them in the oven and waited. Soon after the teacher removed them from the oven and left them on the cooling tray. I waited eagerly […]
When I was growing up I used to search the large tract rack in our church’s foyer. The rack had hundreds of tracts stuffed together in a haphazard mess. The goal of the search? The coveted Chick tract. Jack Chick was (and is?) a mysterious, reclusive individual who reportedly lived (lives?) in Southern California and spent […]
In an earlier thread (“Singing the Praises of the Imprecatory Psalms”) I said to David Houston: “by your logic the unimaginable torment of those in hell is a cause for delight. And many Christians from Tertullian to John Piper have agreed with you.” David was happy to find himself in this venerable tradition. And so […]