In Parts 1 and 2, we looked at arguments that were made specifically for the traditional view and saw why they fail when they are taken to their logical conclusions. In this installment of the series, we will be looking at things from a different angle. Here, we will be looking at a claim that some traditionalists make on an unrelated topic, and how, if the logical implications are considered, it would lend a substantial amount of weight towards annihilationism.
A fairly common claim against evangelical conditionalism is that the Second Council of Constantinople of 553 A.D. condemned annihilationism as heresy.
This is meant to score big points in the church history argument against conditionalism (a method that is itself wrought with problems). In this case, the conditionalist has a much easier task than having to explain the shortcomings of the church history argument as a whole. When you actually read the text of the council, you find that this claim about our view being condemned in it isn’t even true in the first place.
Friend and guest contributor Ronnie has a bit to say about that in today’s featured content: “Conditionalism and the Second Council of Constantinople.”
Hey, if Dr. Robert Peterson can do it, so can I. Beg the question, that is, from my article’s outset—in its very title, “Everlasting Torment or Eternal Punishment?” By setting the traditional view of hell up against the biblical phrase “eternal punishment,” the question I ask in the title assumes that eternal torment is not the fate Jesus warned awaits the lost, and it subtly influences my readers to assume the same before they’ve had a chance to consider the case for the view I’m critiquing. But if Peterson is allowed to similarly beg the question and poison the well in his article, “Annihilation or Eternal Punishment?”, featured in the February 2014 issue of Tabletalk magazine, certainly I should be forgiven for doing it.
Rethinking Hell contributor Joey Dear continues to discuss the meaning of death, what the Bible means when it speaks of living people as if dead, and what it all means for conditionalism, in part two of his series.
Rethinking Hell contributor Ronnie Demler delivers his presentation, “Persuasive or Evasive? Subtle and Not-So-Subtle Shifts in Traditionalist Dialectics,” at the inaugural Rethinking Hell Conference, 2014.