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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).

Rethinking Hell contributor Chris Date interviews Dr. Ian Paul, in whose commentary on the book of Revelation articulates a conditionalist reading of Revelation 14:9-11 and 20:10-15.

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Peter Grice

Charles Fox Parham: “Father of Modern Pentecostalism”–and Annihilationist!

At Rethinking Hell we’re not exactly Pentecostal. Then again, we’re not exactly not Pentecostal! Evangelical is exactly what we are, and that covers both bases. But among Pentecostals in particular, the name Charles Fox Parham commands a degree of respect. He is known as “The father of modern Pentecostalism,” having been the main initiator of the movement and its first real influencer. It was his student, William Seymour, who established the famous Azusa Street Mission. Parham would soon become critical of what he saw as emotional excesses at Azusa Street, which led to a growing rift between the two. Seymour’s influence kept rising, while Parham’s dwindled.

Darren J. Clark

Perish the Thought: How John 6 and 11 Challenge the Traditionalist Reading of John 3:16

John 3:16 is one of the clearest texts supporting the conditional immortality view. This is because Jesus contrasts the eternal life received by believers with the death they would otherwise receive if they reject him. After all, to die is just what “perish” normally means whenever we use that word of humans. As John Stott noted, when the Greek verb apollymi is used in the middle voice and without a direct object it means to be destroyed in a way that causes someone to perish or die (Stott points to Luke 15:17; 1 Cor 10:9 for physical perishing, and John 10:28; 17:12; Rom 2:12; 1 Cor 15:18; 2 Pet 3:9 for perishing in hell). Traditionalists often respond by arguing that this term in John 3:16 need not refer to the death or annihilation of unbelievers.2 But beyond a generalized word study of apollymi, most traditionalists do not give a rationale for their interpretation of the phrase “shall not perish.” A few have offered reasons to read it as referring to an unending “perishing” in hell.

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A Place for Torment: Reading The Rich Man and Lazarus Literally

The literal reading of the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (the RML parable) in Luke 16:19-31 takes literally the settings of this life and Hades. In this reading, when Jesus spoke of the Rich Man in Hades, he spoke of a literal place beyond death, a place in which the man was in conscious torment, able to feel and think and speak. The parable is seen therefore to give us information, albeit limited, about this place, which Jesus called Hades.




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