Episode 98: Date vs. Pettis Debate Review (Part 3)

Rethinking Hell contributors William Tanksley and Daniel Sinclair, and guest contributor Peter Berthelsen, join Chris Date for a massive five-hour review of his recent debate with Len Pettis of the Bible Thumping Wingnut, and of some of the conversations that have taken place since.

This episode contains part three of three.

Debate and Follow-Up Audio

Chris Date and Len Pettis Debate Hell
Len Pettis is Second Caller Into Matt Slick Radio
Conversations from the Porch Reviews the Debate in Episode 21
The Bible Thumping Wingnut Reviews the Debate in Episode 202

Links Discussed

“A Seat at the Table: An Appeal for Dialogue and Fellowship,” by Chris Date
“The Same Before and After: A Response to Matt Slick,” by Chris Date
“Cross Purposes: Atonement, Death and the Fate of the Wicked (Part 2),” by Chris Date
“A Philosophical Case for Conditional Immortality,” by Daniel Sinclair
“Intrinsic Value, Sanctity of Life, and Capital Punishment: A Response to J. P. Moreland,” by Chris Date
“Conditionalism and Evangelism,” by Daniel Sinclair
“Five Reasons Why Len Pettis is Wrong About Μενω,” by Peter Berthelsen
“Whatever death means, it supports conditionalism,” by Joseph Dear
“Traditionalism and the (Not So) Second Death,” by Chris Date
“Lazarus and the Rich Man: It’s Not About Final Punishment,” by Chris Date

Ministry Links

2016 Rethinking Hell Conference Website
Conference Ticketing Page at EventBrite
Debates Podcast
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One Response to Episode 98: Date vs. Pettis Debate Review (Part 3)

  1. Webb Mealy says:

    In relation to Len’s accusation of obscurantism around apocalyptic imagery…

    I would say that it gets you nothing to talk about apocalyptic imagery being wild strange and difficult to interpret. It may be that, but traditionalists are going to pounce on that because they are wary of anything that looks like it could be a Procrustean bed tactic–namely, an attempt to use verses like Rev. 20:14b to chop off any meaning in other punishment passages that does not conform to the meaning you prefer, namely death.

    There is no benefit in saying anything that could be construed as meaning, “These are hard passages to understand, so we are safest to flee to easier to understand passages.” That is a game that everybody plays when they are confronted with passages that seem to convey unwelcome information: “interpreting the obscure by reference to the clear,” and that sort of thing. But we don’t have to do that–in fact, we should show confidence in going deeper into the question of apocalyptic imagery, rather than retreating to the literal as the key to the imagic. It’s part of the mix, but the most powerful key to apocalyptic imagery is the intertextual fabric of biblical apocalyptic imagery in which it takes part. In the case of Revelation’s use of burning day and night forever and ever (14:10-11; 20:10), a careful look at how John uses phraseology from Isaiah 34 offers a definitive answer as to the significance of the “to the ages of the ages” terminology.

    I posted on the RTH forum recently (see link below) a color-coded synopsis of Isa. 34:9-10, Rev. 14:10-11, Rev. 18:8-9; 19:3, Rev. 20:10, and I gave an exegesis of the four passages that made it clear that you run into very ugly contradictions on any reading that takes the temporal language of everlastingness literally. This post is a digest of material that I’ve published at greater length in two of my books. I’m convinced that this is the proper answer to the question of imagery of everlasting burning and/or torment.


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