Episode 109: “Hell Under Fire” Under Fire, Part 7: Will Everyone Ultimately Be Saved?


Rethinking Hell contributors Daniel Sinclair and Graham Ware join Chris Date for the seventh of a series of episodes reviewing Hell Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents Eternal Punishment, edited by Christopher Morgan and Robert Peterson. This seventh episode in the series reviews chapter 8, “Universalism: Will Everyone Ultimately Be Saved?” by J. I. Packer.



2018 Rethinking Hell Conference Website
Rethinking Hell Donations Page
Ilaria Ramelli’s case for the historicity of universalism, The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis: A Critical Assessment from the New Testament to Eriugena (Amazon)
“Dismissive of Hell, Fearful of Death: Conditional Immortality and the Apologetic Challenge of Hell,” article by Chris Date in Hope’s Reason
The Love of God: A Canonical Model, by John C. Peckham (Amazon)
“Burning Love: The Theological Hermeneutics of Hell,” universalist Robin Parry’s plenary presentation at the 2015 Rethinking Hell Conference
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  • LP Dion

    On Rev. Ware’s point about Greek rhetoric and Chrysostom’s fiery brimstone; RH listeners will find this fascinating. http://onscript.study/podcast/meghan-henning-educating-early-christians-through-the-rhetoric-of-hell/ On point of “frightening bluff” (awful terminology) I think George Blaurock used to do this. Can anybody confirm or refute?

  • Joel

    I’ve always appreciated the scriptural emphasis of “Rethinking Hell”. I think you do a good job on this one with one exception. I do think you spent a lot of time, however, discussing “Universalism” with a 20th century not a Biblical perspective…

    If you look at the preaching of Jesus and the apostles, the topic of a Hell is rarely brought up. In fact using a terrible time after death as leverage to preaching is only really valid in the ECT camp and maybe only half valid in the Annihilation camp.

    Although I am more in the Annihilation right now, the version of Universalism that I see supported in Scripture is more of an Ultimate Reconciliation viewpoint.J

  • Ayreonaut

    Prison was never a punishment legislated by God in the civil Law. It was an invention of man.
    Locking someone up until they are rehabilitated is a modern concept. There’s no biblical type for that. Demons are said to be chained, and the lost are said to be reserved for judgement -
    they are being held for the trial and punishment to come.

  • Danton

    As a former universalist there are a couple of points that I would like to add to this excellent discussion. The claim that universalists let philosophy drive exegesis was true in my case only insofar as I approached the Bible assuming the doctrine of the immortality of the soul which is Platonic rather than biblical, but I assumed it was biblical. As long as I assumed that it was of no avail to urge me to take the destruction verses more seriously as, if the soul is immortal those verses can only mean some form of ruin.
    Also the case for post mortem opportunity is stronger than conceded (a natural reading of 1Peter would see 4:6 as proceeding from 3:19) There are also the last penny passages, linked to hell by many commentators of all schools. However post mortem opportunity entails universalism only if combined with infinite time to repent and a prohibition on finally choosing against God. Without these assumptions one only gets to purgatorial universalism.

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