In my 2008 book Faith Lacking Understanding I identify three types of objection to Christianity: Logical objections Plausibility objections Moral objections Next, as I work through the Apostles’ Creed I identify examples of each type of objection. For example, the doctrine of the Trinity is subject to logical objections. Meanwhile, the doctrine of particular divine action within […]
You can read the chapter at my blog confusedaboutgrace.com.
A reader emailed the following question to me. With permission, I’m reproducing and responding to the question here: One recurring thought I keep having that I’d be interested in reading your thoughts on relates to the nature of salvation vs punishment and the way in which Scripture seems to call us to respond to God. Now, […]
This article, published in the TWU Today Newspaper on January 23, 1996, represents one of my first forays into theological writing. Provocatively titled “Who in hell lives forever?”, the article provides a succinct summary and defense of the case for annihilationism, the doctrine that the reprobate cease to exist in hell.
I’m a long time fan of Gary Larson’s comic strip The Far Side and this cartoon is one of my favorites. Not only does it capture the bizarre, off-beat humor for which The Far Side is justly famous, but it also succinctly summarizes a problem with the conception of God punishing people eternally in hell. How so? Well, let’s start with […]
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. […]
In December, 2015 America’s new drug czar, Michael Botticelli, gave a revealing interview with 60 Minutes’ Scott Pelley. The interview included this exchange: Scott Pelley: Are you saying that the way we have waged the war on drugs for more than 40 years has been all wrong? Michael Botticelli: It has been all wrong. Blunt force didn’t […]
Last year I wrote an article titled “Hell, right doctrine, and right character” in which I explored the link between the formulation of right doctrine and the process of sanctification. The idea, in short, is this: correct doctrine ought to encourage the process of sanctification (aka becoming Christlike). Thus, if acceptance of a particular doctrine tends to undermine the process […]
Twenty years ago I took a course in apologetics at Trinity Western University. The main assignment was a debate in front of the class at the end of the semester. My friend and I were given the task of defending annihilationism — the view that hell constitutes the final destruction of the unregenerate — over-against […]
Yesterday I posted an article posing the question: “If the God of Calvinism exists, would you worship him?” My answer is, yes, of course! Why? Because within Calvinism (as within Christian orthodoxy generally) God is understood to be morally perfect, and it is right and proper to worship a morally perfect being. Of course, I […]
J.I. Packer has long distinguished himself as among the foremost evangelical critics of universalism. At the same time, he also made the following admission: “No evangelical, I think, need hesitate to admit that in his heart of hearts he would like universalism to be true. Who can take pleasure in the thought of people being eternally […]
Joshua Ryan Butler. The Skeletons in God’s Closet: The Mercy of Hell, the Surprise of Judgment, the Hope of Holy War. Thomas Nelson, 2014. The title was the first thing that drew me to this book. One hears a lot about the skeletons in God’s closet, so a book that takes the topic by the proverbial […]
Paul Bernardo is one of Canada’s most infamous rapists and serial killers. While his litany of crimes is too extensive to list here, the court evidence against the man was absolutely overwhelming and included video tapes of the crimes he filmed with the help of his equally psychopathic wife. Suffice it to say, anybody with a […]
Yesterday I watched the latest documentary from the wonderful PBS program “Frontline”. The documentary is called “Solitary Nation” and it is part of a two-part series on the criminal justice system in America which is called “Locked-Up in America.” You can watch the documentaries online here. The film focuses on several months in the solitary […]