Rethinking Hell Book Announcement!



We’ve hinted at it here and there, but we had to keep it on the down low. Now that contracts have been signed and accepted, we are excited to be able to officially announce the upcoming publication of our very first book, Rethinking Hell: Readings in Evangelical Conditionalism! (Cover design in image at left is indicative only.) Wipf & Stock (W&S), the publishers of the 3rd edition of Edward Fudge’s The Fire That Consumes, has agreed to publish our book as well, very likely in time for our upcoming conference in July, 2014.

Rethinking Hell: Readings in Evangelical Conditionalism has been edited by Chris Date, Greg Stump, and Joshua Anderson, and includes original introductory chapters by Peter Grice and Glenn Peoples, as well as a foreword written by Professor John Stackhouse Jr. The book brings together in a single, convenient publication the often difficult to obtain works of a variety of authors articulating and defending conditional immortality and the annihilation of the finally impenitent, or defending it as a view an evangelical can legitimately espouse. Authors and their reproduced works include:

Edward Fudge
“The Final End of the Wicked” (JETS 27:3)
Stephen Travis
Excerpts from I Believe in the Second Coming of Jesus
John Stott
Excerpts from Evangelical Essentials
Clark Pinnock
“The Destruction of the Finally Impenitent” (Criswell Theological Review 4:2)
John Wenham
“The Case for Conditional Immortality” from Universalism and the Doctrine of Hell
Basil Atkinson
Excerpts from Life and Immortality
E. Earle Ellis
“New Testament Teaching on Hell” from Eschatology in Bible and Theology
Ralph Bowles
“Does Revelation 14:11 Teach Eternal Torment?” (Evangelical Quarterly 73:1)
Harold Guillebaud
Excerpts from The Righteous Judge
Anthony Thiselton
Excerpts from Life After Death
Philip E. Hughes
Excerpts from The True Image
Henry Constable
Excerpts from The Duration and Nature of Future Punishment
Christopher Marshall
Excerpts from Beyond Retribution
Nigel Wright
Excerpts from The Radical Evangelical
Richard Swinburne
Excerpts from Responsibility and Atonement
Kim Papaioannou
Excerpts from The Geography of Hell in the Teaching of Jesus
LeRoy E. Froom
Excerpts from The Conditionalist Faith of Our Fathers
Evangelical Alliance
Excerpts from The Nature of Hell (ACUTE Report)
Roger Olson
Excerpts from The Mosaic of Christian Belief
Ben Witherington III
Excerpts from The Bible and Culture blog posts

When my friend and fellow Rethinking Hell contributor, Greg Stump, originally told me about his dream of publishing a book compiling what many authors before us have variously written in defense of conditionalism, it seemed like a bit of a pipe dream. Later, Greg reported to us that he had had an opportunity to pitch his book idea to John Wipf, co-founder of W&S, who liked the idea and said it sounded like exactly the sort of thing they would publish. What at first seemed like little more than a dream was beginning to seem possible. And then, not long after submitting an official proposal form, I nearly fainted in shock when I received the email telling us W&S had accepted our proposal.

Since then Greg, Joshua and I have been frantically preparing the manuscript for delivery to W&S on December 31st: transcribing originals; writing prefaces and introductions; securing licenses to republish excerpts; and much, much more. The Lord has blessed us and things have come together nearly without a hitch, and we’re confident that wherever you currently stand on the issue of hell, you’ll be personally edified by Rethinking Hell: Readings in Evangelical Conditionalism. And if you’re already convinced of conditionalism, you might want to consider giving the book as a gift to your traditionalist friends and family.

Though not yet officially available for pre-order through W&S and other retailers, Rethinking Hell: Readings in Evangelical Conditionalism is available as an optional addition to your conference registration or sponsorship package, available for purchase now. Reserve your copy today, and pick it up and have it signed in-person in July!

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21 Responses to Rethinking Hell Book Announcement!

  1. Peter Grice says:

    Congratulations to the editors: Chris, Greg and Josh—and thank you all for working so hard to bring this together. This is really something to celebrate!

  2. edwardfudge says:

    Amen to Peter’s comments below! Good work, guys!

  3. Jonathan says:

    This is wonderful news, guys! Ditto Peter and that Edward kid’s comments. I am looking forward to this and the conference with great anticipation. I’m shooting for the Second Circle in registering! ;o)

  4. Adam says:

    Outstanding! It looks like it will be a valuable resource…

  5. Pat Arrabito says:


  6. Ian Elsasser says:

    Looking forward to this volume, a nice collection of solid works on the subject. I am especially happy to see Guillebaud’s “Righteous Judge” (which is not around) and Ellis’s piece. I will be keeping an eye open for pre-publication order!

  7. The Remonstrant says:

    This is really good news. I, for one, am quite pleased to see Clark H. Pinnock’s “The Destruction of the Finally Impenitent” included in this upcoming volume. This was the first serious theological essay I read on my journey away from the conventional view of “hell’. Also, I am equally pleased to see the inclusion of Bowles’ article on Revelation 14:11 and “excerpts” from David J. Powys (the excerpts presumably being from his work, ‘Hell’: A Hard Look at a Hard Question). Powys’ volume on “the fate of the unrighteous in the New Testament” is vastly underrated, in my judgement. His work should be included alongside Mr. Fudge’s Fire That Consumes and Henry Constable’s nineteenth century treatise, The Duration and Nature of Future Punishment, as essential Protestant annihilationist reading. (Note: I have yet to read or obtain a copy of The Geography of Hell in the Teachings of Jesus by Kim Papaioannou, so I have no basis for evaluating his work apart from his article “Shedding Light on the Outer Darkness: A Fresh Look at the Language of Hell [which is excellent, by the way].)

    Thanks to all at RethinkingHell, contributors and guests past and present, for your work in reigniting the (unfortunately) ofttimes stagnant discussion of final punishment among Protestants/evangelicals (if I may be permitted to mix metaphors). Also, I am thankful for Wipf and Stock for publishing many fine volumes in support of annihilationism.

    • Chris Date says:

      Unfortunately we were not able to include Powys after all. We have, however, been able to include excerpts from Kim Papaioannou’s book in Powys’ place.

      • The Remonstrant says:

        That truly is unfortunate. I’m sure Kim’s book will be great as well (though, as I indicated above, I have yet to obtain a copy). His is the first annihilationist work that I am aware of that was written specifically in order to address Jesus’ teaching of the future and final punishment of the unrighteous in the gospels.

        Also, I have Thiselton’s Life After Death. I hope to see more evangelicals handle the subject of “hell” with the kind of care he does in his work. I have often found that strong adherents to the conventional view are seemingly oblivious to the weakness of their case for endless conscious torment. Their overconfidence in their view oftentimes astounds me.

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  13. Dan F. Merrill says:

    May God speed and bless your wonderful work here at Rethinking Hell concerning this salvation-vital matter! After reading Leroy Froom’s comprehensive two-volume set CONDITIONALIST FAITH OF OUR FATHERS, when I was a young adult, I saw that I was believing a lie of Satan’s that was the main one settling me in skepticism about God’s character. Even though I was an Adventist for a number of years (Seventh-day Adventists are officially conditionalists), I hadn’t studied the matter before and Adventist preachers now generally tend not to expound doctrine from the pulpit, so I just hung with my Catholic mother’s view on the ongoing torture of the ungodly. That is until I had good and decent friends who were innocently ignorant about their needed life-walk for Christ, and some of those friends died without fully accepting Christ. I thought to myself, is God going to really torture them throughout endless ages for being raised in an a Christless, yet morally decent homes? I had to investigate the matter further. I purchased Froom’s books and as I read them I saw that the conditionalist position was both historically and Biblically, overwhelmingly accurate and a totally awesome work. They not only brought relief for me about God’s character, but enlarged my view of my work in acceptance of His wonderful loving character for myself, and imaging that blend of justice and mercy for my character.

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  15. Bill says:

    This looks great! For those of us who cannot make the conference but are interested in both books (I have a few smaller, thinner books right now), do you have any plans to eventually sell both books as a package deal? I would rather buy them from you than from Amazon, unless it would be easier for your ministry if I and others just went to a retail outlet or to another website like Amazon to purchase them.
    Thanks guys!

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