Episode 80: Four Views on Hell 2.0—Traditionalism, with Denny Burk

Professor Denny Burk joins Rethinking Hell contributor Chris Date to discuss his traditionalist contribution to Zondervan’s forthcoming second edition of Four Views on Hell.


Four Views on Hell @ Zondervan
Four Views on Hell @ Amazon
First Edition of Four Views on Hell
Boyce College
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Denny Burk’s Website
A Consuming Passion: Essays on Hell and Immortality in Honor of Edward Fudge
Rethinking Hell Books
Interviews Podcast
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6 Responses to Episode 80: Four Views on Hell 2.0—Traditionalism, with Denny Burk

  1. Jim O says:

    Thanks for another great interview and discussion. I have followed Denny Burk’s website for some time now and find it a valuable resource. I was glad to see you snagged the interview with him. Merry Christmas to all.

  2. Joel Frederick says:

    It may just be me but I found the illustration of the man pulling the legs off various creatures a bit psychotic. Maybe one of the biggest drawbacks to the traditional view of Hell in my book.

    • Dean says:

      I thought the grasshopper story he told was ironic, Burk was using that story to suggest that we had an instinctual understanding that a “sin” committed against a grasshopper should be punished differently than a “sin committed against a puppy or a human baby. But the story itself was particularly bizarre in making that point. For one, it implies that our “sin” is able to harm God in some way, and therefore, warrants an infinite type of punishment. That notion certainly goes against the traditional Christian notion of God as transcendent. Secondly, the traditional notion of hell would seem to more appropriately put God in the place of the man in that story, and it brings up the exact qualms most people have about the traditional notion of hell, which is an equally instinctive notion that a being who is all powerful (and all loving, I guess?) would seem to have better things to do than torture lesser creatures all day, particularly creatures he created himself in the first place and in the Calvinist world, particularly creatures whose actions and desires he personally predetermined. The story had absolutely the opposite effect that I think Burk intended it to have. Hopefully Chris will have something to say about it in the next podcast.

    • HaakAway says:

      I am only partially through the interview but I was reminded by that story that one rule of logic is, “An illustration does not prove anything.” Now who is making an appeal to emotion that has no Scripture reference? Not us Softy Annihilationists

  3. HaakAway says:

    I did finish listening and wanted to compliment you Chris on your restraint and hints at #81 being a follow-up? A question I need to pursue with my ECT friends is why they feel it is so important (except for the obvious issue of Scriptural Authority)? I think you got a bit of that in this interview that acknowledged we are not outside the Body of Christ. Otherwise the complaints seems to return us diminishing the Holiness of God but that is ultimately, 100% subjective.

  4. Tlytly says:

    Ideas and beliefs are justified and rationalized through many means, and the grasshopper illustration is a good example of one such way. Here, the disturbing belief in ECT is being made palatable by saying the magnitude of God’s holiness and greatness and presence demands an infinite punishment for even the slightest of sins committed against a God so good and magnificent. Or perhaps this belief stated differently: sins committed against a God with no limits necessarily demands punishment without limits.

    Perhaps those believing this then feel less conflicted with the presence of ECT, but there is no logical or rational basis for this belief. More importantly, there is no Biblical basis to support this justifying belief. So, the belief that an “infinite” God requires an “infinite” punishment for any sin is just simply not supportable (and I think not true).

    I’m looking forward to reading this book.

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