2018 Conference Announcement: March 9–10, Dallas–Fort Worth

In 2016 and 2017 we took our Rethinking Hell Conferences across the Atlantic to London and across the Pacific to Auckland, respectively. But in 2018, we’re returning to the U.S. to hold our fifth annual Rethinking Hell Conference in the Dallas–Fort Worth area. We’ll be at The Heights Baptist Church in Richardson, Texas on Friday and Saturday, March 9–10, 2018.

“Crushed for Our Iniquities:
Hell and the Atoning Work of Christ”

This will be an occasion for Christians to consider and discuss the nature and purpose of hell in light of the person and work of Jesus Christ. Mainstream views of the atonement entail Jesus serving as a substitute for sinners, suffering the consequences of sin in their place. Speakers will explore how this should inform a Christian’s doctrine of hell, and will cover a variety of related topics including (but not necessary limited to):

  • The nature and meaning of life and death
  • The nature and purpose of divine justice
  • The goodness of God in his treatment of sinners
  • What Jesus taught about hell
  • Christian teaching on these topics in history

Join us as we reason together from the Scriptures and sharpen one another as iron sharpens iron, testing conventional and controversial views of hell in the light cast by the light of the world.

Call for Papers

In addition to the plenary speakers listed below, the 2018 Rethinking Hell Conference will feature several breakout/parallel speakers. We’d like to invite anyone interested in speaking on the conference theme and related topics listed above to submit a proposal by December 31, 2017. Just email an abstract or description of your paper, along with biographical information, to conference@rethinkinghell.com. We will choose the top proposals and notify their authors by January 14, 2018.

Speakers

Preston SprinkleDr. Preston Sprinkle has authored several books, including the New York Times bestselling Erasing Hell (with Francis Chan; 2011), Fight; A Christian Case for Nonviolence (David C. Cook, 2013), Paul and Judaism Revisited (IVP, 2013), Charis: God’s Scandalous Grace for Us (David C. Cook, 2014), and the recently released People to Be Loved: Why Homosexuality is Not Just an Issue (Zondervan, 2015). Preston frequently speaks at various venues including college chapels, churches, music festivals, youth camps, family camps, and anywhere else where people desire to hear relevant Bible teaching.

Craig A. EvansDr. Craig A. Evans is the John Bisagno Distinguished Professor of Christian Origins and Dean of the School of Christian Thought at Houston Baptist University in Texas. Author and editor of more than sixty books and hundreds of articles and reviews, Professor Evans has given lectures at Cambridge, Oxford, Durham, Yale and other universities, colleges, seminaries and museums. He also regularly lectures and gives talks at popular conferences and retreats on the historical Jesus, Archaeology, the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible.

Gregg AllisonDr. Gregg R. Allison is Professor of Christian Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Professor Allison is the author of Historical Theology: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine, Roman Catholic Theology and Practice: An Evangelical Assessment, The Unfinished Reformation: What Unites and Divides Catholics and Protestants after 500 years, and other books. He also serves on the Evangelical Theological Society editorial committee as book review editor (in the areas of theology, history, philosophy, etc.) and referee (for articles).

Chris DateChristopher M. Date is a well-known evangelical author, editor, speaker, blogger, debater, and podcaster. Representing a global movement known as Rethinking Hell, Chris has been interviewed in such secular media outlets as the New York Times and National Geographic, and co-edited Rethinking Hell: Readings in Evangelical Conditionalism (Cascade, 2014) and A Consuming Passion: Essays on Hell and Immortality in Honor of Edward Fudge (Pickwick, 2015). He is currently a Master’s student at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Registration

To register for the 2018 Rethinking Hell Conference, and for additional details, visit the conference website. While ordering, don’t overlook the option to add discounted copies of Rethinking Hell and A Consuming Passion, signed by co-editor Chris Date, which you can pick up at the conference. Also, add a catered lunch with Preston Sprinkle and Chris Date as they record a live joint episode of the Theology in the Raw and Rethinking Hell podcasts, in which they’ll discuss the conference topic and presentations and answer your questions.

Rethinking Hell: Readings in Evangelical ConditionalismA Consuming Passion: Essays on Hell and Immortality in Honor of Edward FudgeTheology in the Raw PodcastRethinking Hell Podcast

After the Conference

The Beer & Bible ConsortiumAre you local to the Dallas–Fort Worth area, or if you’re coming in from out of town can you stick around an extra evening? On Sunday evening, March 11, a day after the conference, Chris Date will be speaking at a Bible & Beer Consortium event in Fort Worth. Details will be posted at the conference website as they become available.

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  • LP Dion

    Ooooh! This one could be epic! Do throw out a little teaser… What position will Prof Evans be speaking from?

    • Chris Date

      Profs. Evans and Allison will be speaking as believers in the doctrine of eternal torment.

    • Peter Grice

      As it turns out, Prof. Evans may not have committed himself to a particular position at this point in time. Regardless, it will be very interesting to hear from him next March.

  • Jim O

    Congratulations on getting the guest speakers. It would seem to be a great step toward being accepted at the table and a form of breakthrough. Kudos to those involved in booking them.
    Separately, I have wondered about an aspect of Rev 14:9-11. Since this speaks of only a very tiny slice of unbelievers, shouldn’t the traditionalist have to show that it somehow relates to all unsaved before he touts it as proof of ECT?

  • Joe Saligoe

    Having a spotlight on the “the nature and meaning of life and death” sounds very interesting to me, particularly regarding the nature of death. A focus on physicalism, or Christian mortalism, for awhile at this conference could be helpful regarding rethinking hell. What guidelines on this subject, regarding the breakout/parallel speakers, could be expected there?

    • Chris Date

      Such a talk would need to last somewhere around 35 minutes, leaving about 15 minutes for Q&A. But we at Rethinking Hell do not promote any particular view of the human soul and intermediate state, and do not as a team think that any of them is substantially more consistent with conditionalism than another. As such, if a breakout/parallel speaker wishes to cover this ground in his or her talk, it’d need to be connected to the topic: How does physicalism make more sense of the atoning work of Christ, or of what he taught about hell, etc.? That kind of thing. And of course, the conference planning committee would have to choose its proposal over the others it receives :)

  • This is going to be great!! We should have held the conference in August in Texas rather than March. August in Texas is a great time to learn about hell in an experiential way…

  • Shellie Moore

    I heard Preston Sprinkle on his podcast asking ECT folks to send him their best arguments before March and he totally commits to Our Position. I think that’s a lost cause. He loves the Bible too much.

Featured audio: Dr. Al Mohler & Chris Date debate
"Should Christians rethink Hell?" on Unbelievable?