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Welcome to Rethinking Hell!
Our position in the Evangelical debate on Hell is that of Conditional Immortality, which holds that believers will receive the reward of immortality, while others will finally be destroyed (annihilated).

It should be apparent why evangelical conditionalists appeal to passages that use the term “eternal life.” The Bible only attributes the fate of eternal life (or life in general) to the redeemed, in contrast to death for the unsaved (e.g. Romans 6:23). At face value, the phrase “eternal life” would mean life that lasts for eternity. If only the saved inherit life that lasts for eternity, then the wicked do not live forever. And therefore, the wicked cannot be tormented forever. For that reason, traditionalism requires that the life and death language in the Bible be metaphorical whenever it is applied to final judgment.

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Statement on Evangelical Conditionalism

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Joseph Dear

The Eternal Joys of The Life To Come Do Not Change The Meaning of “Life”

As many readers will likely be familiar with, one of the main questions in the debate over the nature and duration of hell is what is meant by the term “life” in the Bible when it speaks of the fate of the saved. 1 For more on the broader debate about the language of life and death as applied to final judgment, see “Introduction to Evangelical Conditionalism: Life and Death in the Bible” Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Many conditionalists, of course, are happy to take such language at face value. But face value is not always correct, whether in regards to the Bible or in life, and so traditionalists often argue that there are good reasons to interpret such language differently. 2Regarding the matter of reading scripture at face value, see “Traditionalism and Annihilationism in Light of the Face Value Meaning of Scripture”. 1. ↑ For more on the broader debate about the language of life and death as applied to final judgment, see “Introduction to Evangelical Conditionalism: Life and Death in the Bible” Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. 2. ↑ Regarding the matter of reading scripture at face value, see “Traditionalism and Annihilationism in Light

Joseph Dear

Prolepsis and Hell: A Matter of Life and Death – Part 3

Having now gone over prolepsis in the Bible, and how prolepsis pertains to the language of life and death, here in Part 3 we will address the final, nagging questions and remaining issues. Are there situations where the term “death” is neither proleptic nor literal? What about talk of eternal life in the present-tense? And what about the alternative interpretation of passages like Ephesians 2:1 that was alluded to in Part 2? Is “Death” Ever used Figuratively in the Bible? Yes. But this isn’t nearly as big of a hurdle to the case for the proleptic interpretation of the key death passages as some may try to claim. Granted, the case for prolepsis and against death as a metaphor for (conscious) separation from God would be even stronger if there was never a time where death was metaphorical in the Bible. But when we look at the instances where death language is metaphorical, it will become clear that these instances do not help the separation-from-God model very much because of the following: These instances of death do not speak of hell, damnation, or punishment for sin. None of these passages are ostensibly about separation from God. These instances of death

Joseph Dear

Prolepsis and Hell: A Matter of Life and Death – Part 2

In Part 1, we went over prolepsis as a figure of speech, and how it plays out in few occasions within the Bible. Now, the question we must address is how this affects the Bible’s teachings on hell. As far as the importance of prolepsis goes, it largely comes down, as it so often does, to what the Bible says about death and life. 1 Unless otherwise noted, all scripture is quoted from the New American Standard Bible (NASB). Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. 1. ↑ Unless otherwise noted, all scripture is quoted from the New American Standard Bible (NASB). Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.




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