“Hell and the Gospel”
Having held our annual conferences in Houston (2014), Pasadena (2015), London (2016), Auckland (2017), and Dallas–Fort Worth (2018), this year’s sixth annual Rethinking Hell Conference will be held in Enid, Oklahoma at Emmanuel Enid Church on Friday and Saturday, August 16–17, 2019. Gathering under the theme of “Hell and the Gospel”, this will be an occasion for Christians to consider and discuss the nature, duration, and purpose of hell in light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Christians generally agree that the gospel or “good news” is the message of Jesus’ life, substitutionary death, and resurrection, by which he saves sinners and secures eternal life for them. Speakers will explore how this should inform Christians’ understanding of what they have been saved from, and what final punishment or consequences await the unsaved in hell, discussing such questions as:
- How essential to the gospel is a correct view of hell?
- What is the nature of life and death in light of the gospel?
- How is immortality brought to light through the gospel (2 Tim 1:10)?
- How does Christ accomplish redemption in his atoning work?
- How should the incarnation of God in Jesus inform a Christian view of hell?
- What are the implications of the New Heavens and New Earth when it comes to hell?
- How do views of hell impact the sharing and defense of the gospel?
If you haven’t registered yet, visit www.rethinkinghellconference.com and sign up today! Continue reading to preview the complete conference schedule of plenary & breakout-session speakers:
FRIDAY, AUGUST 16
- 5:00-6:00pm | Registration, check-in, & book tables
- 6:00-6:15pm | Introduction & Prayer
- 6:15-7:30pm | Plenary #1: Johnathan Pritchett
– VP for Academics at Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary
- 7:30-8:00pm | Mingle, book tables, etc.
- 8:00pm | Dismissal and blessing
SATURDAY, AUGUST 17
- 8:00-9:00am | Free breakfast
- 9:00-9:15am | Break
- 9:15-9:30am | Welcome & housekeeping
- 9:30-10:45am | Plenary #2: Marvin Jones
– Assistant Professor of Theology at Louisiana College
- 10:45-11:00am | Break
- 11:00am-12:15pm | Plenary #3: Lindsay Brooks
– former Staff Apologist at Apologetics.com
- 12:15-1:30pm | Free lunch
- 1:30-2:45pm | Breakout Session
- “Hell and the Problem of Heavenly Grief” – James S. Spiegel (Taylor University) – Jim is Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Taylor University, and he has authored several books, including most recently, Hell and Divine Goodness: A Philosophical-Theological Inquiry. Having presented a philosophical case for conditional immortality at the 2015 Rethinking Hell Conference, at this conference Jim will ask how believers can expect to be truly happy in heaven knowing that some of their loved ones either are experiencing unending torment in hell or have been destroyed, and he will explore a variety of possible answers to the problem.
- “Redeemed from Death: Atonement, Incarnation, and the Fate of the Damned” – John Bush (Covenant College) / Zachary Seals (Biola University) – In response to recent criticisms against the traditional account of hell as eternal conscious torment (ECT), John and Zachary will argue for the basic compatibility between ECT and penal substitutionary atonement (PSA), when properly contextualized among other accounts of the atonement. Additionally, they will argue that although conditional immortality is consistent with a strict theory of PSA, it cannot finally account for all of the biblical data relating to the effects of Christ’s work.
- “To Proclaim the Acceptable Year of the Lord” – Adela New Villers – Using Jesus’ quotation of Isaiah 61:1–2 in Luke 4:18–19 as an outline, Adela will examine various Old Testament concepts and elucidate their pertinence to and their realization in the New Testament gospel.
- “In Christ All Will be Made Alive: Jesus Christ’s Death as the Payment that Ransoms Every Human Being from Death” – J. Webb Mealy – Webb is the author of The End of the Unrepentant: A Study of the Biblical Themes of Fire and Being Consumed, and he intends to show that Christ is describable as “the savior of all people” (1 Tim 4:10) in the sense that he provides for the forgiveness of every person’s sins and for the rescue of every person from the deserved fate of death, but some will turn back to their wicked ways in the eschaton, to the point that they will have to be destroyed for the protection of those who are living in the full harmony that God desires for his beloved.
- 2:45-3:00pm | Break
- 3:00-4:15pm | Plenary #4: Chris Date
– Steward of Rethinking Hell and editor of Rethinking Hell and A Consuming Passion
- 4:15-4:30pm | Break
- 4:30-6:00pm | Panel discussion with plenary speakers
- 6:00pm | Final announcements & dismissal