RH Conference 2015: Full Schedule!

With only a few weeks remaining until our second Rethinking Hell conference, taking place at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, we wanted to share the full speaking schedule with you all and invite those who have not already signed up to consider registering at a special discounted price of $50, which we can offer thanks to some funds that have come in to help scholarship registrations (use discount code RH2015  at the checkout page of the registration process at www.rethinkinghellconference.com/2015/).
Here is the updated full speaking & activity schedule for this year’s conference, along with some notes about our plenary & breakout session presenters: Continue reading “RH Conference 2015: Full Schedule!”

Celebrating the One Year Anniversary of Rethinking Hell, the Book

It was one year ago today, on April 15, 2014, that our book, Rethinking Hell: Readings in Evangelical Conditionalism, was released by Cascade Books.*  We thought that we would take a moment to honor this anniversary with a post reflecting on the process of publication, pointing out some responses to the book, and finally, sharing a special 50% DISCOUNT offer on obtaining this volume directly from us (see end of post for info).
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Hell and #thedress

I want to apologize straightaway for capitalizing on the baffling, yet wearisome global conversation happening around the color of a dress that was buzzing on the web last night (and if you’re reading this months later, I apologize for referencing something that has long been relegated to the dustbin of internet disinterest), but I think that the experience of cognitive dissonance (and indeed questioning of objective reality!) between those people who perceive a white & gold dress and those who obviously see the fabric as blue and black is analogous to what many of us at the Rethinking Hell project have experienced.
I tried (and may have failed) to explain this in my Preface to our book, Rethinking Hell: Readings in Evangelical Conditionalism, but my own obsessive interest in studying the topic of hell (which, I mean, why would ANYONE make this an object of 20 years of study??) comes from a very similar experience to those who see different colors in the dress.  How can we be looking at the same thing, but see something completely different? Continue reading “Hell and #thedress”

2015 Rethinking Hell Conference Announcement

After a successful and inspiring first conference in Houston last summer, we are looking forward to the prospect of more conferences both in the US and abroad! We are pleased to now announce the second Rethinking Hell Conference, which will take place at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California from June 18-20, 2015.


Our theme this year will be “Conditional Immortality and the Challenge of Universal Salvation.”
In selecting this theme, Rethinking Hell is promoting dialogue among evangelicals, by bringing our own view of conditional immortality (also called annihilationism), into conversation with universalism. Universalists believe that hell is a place of purification, out of which God will eventually redeem all who are sent there. This view has gained some popular momentum within evangelical communities since the publication of Rob Bell’s best-selling book Love Wins.
As well as the engagement of these two views, our conference will also facilitate a “trialogue” with representatives of the widely-held traditional view of eternal torment.
Continue reading “2015 Rethinking Hell Conference Announcement”

2014 Conference Detailed Schedule

Although some details of the 2014 Rethinking Hell Conference have been in place for over a year, we have only recently finalized the rest of our conference schedule, including breakout session speakers and other details, which we are excited to share with you all now. If you haven’t registered yet, visit our registration website here! Continue reading “2014 Conference Detailed Schedule”

A Visit with Edward & A Trip to the Library

DON’T MISS THE EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT!  REGISTER FOR THE RETHINKING HELL CONFERENCE BY FEBRUARY 1st!!

“ONWARD & EDWARD.”  These were the words in bold letters on the front of Edward Fudge’s t-shirt as he greeted me with a warm embrace at the door of his lovely home in a suburb of Houston, Texas, during a brief visit I had with him on a chilly day in late January.  He pointed to his shirt and said, “I had this made when I went in for my first surgery, then I took it back out when I went back in for a second and third surgery!”  This man does not take adversity sitting down, whether it be severe spinal issues or theological opposition.

Continue reading “A Visit with Edward & A Trip to the Library”

Rethinking Hell 2014 Conference Announcement!

Register Now!

Tipping point. Critical mass. Paradigm shift. Whatever expression you prefer, we believe that a time is coming very soon when conditionalism will explode onto the evangelical consciousness and become a well-known, if not dominant understanding of immortality and final judgment among evangelical Christians. And we feel certain that, if conditionalism finally gets a fair hearing among those people who base their convictions on clear thinking from the Word of God, traditionalism and universalism don’t have a snowball’s chance in Rethinking Hell.
Given the momentum that continues to build for this view, we believe that we are at a kairos point in time, that most opportune moment when something special is about to happen, and so we are ready to build upon the work that has already been done by those who came before us and look to the work that lies ahead for our and future generations of conditionalists to do. Continue reading “Rethinking Hell 2014 Conference Announcement!”

Episode 42: Hell and Mr. Fudge, with Jim Wood

Jim Wood, co-producer of Hell and Mr. Fudge, joins Rethinking Hell contributor Greg Stump to discuss the making of the movie, and the story it tells of Edward Fudge’s life and persistence in the face of controversy and opposition.
Listen from start to finish to find out how you can be entered into a drawing to win a free copy of Hell and Mr. Fudge on DVD! Submissions are due by November 30th. The winner will be notified by email. Continue reading “Episode 42: Hell and Mr. Fudge, with Jim Wood”

Merry Christmas and Happy Judgment Day!

The church that I grew up in didn’t celebrate the season of Advent.  For most of my life, I only understood the term “advent” in terms of some sort of countdown calendar to Christmas Day that involved a small sweet treat that would tide me over until the deluge of presents and candy began.  It was not until I became part of a more liturgical church which celebrated the Christian year that I finally discovered that the season of Advent focused on celebrating our anticipation of Christ’s coming.  But the strangest part of all was that we were celebrating not only his first coming, as little baby Jesus/God incarnate who would be the savior of humankind, but also his SECOND coming, as the righteous judge and rightful ruler over all humanity.
I remember being shocked and almost appalled at this eschatological intrusion into the time of year when we were supposed to be recounting the timeless details of the classic Christmas story and singing carols about mangers and wise men.  So it was even more disconcerting when our Director of Worship pointed out to me that the song, “Joy to the World” was actually a carol celebrating the second coming of Jesus to reign on earth!  I thought, what has Bethlehem to do with Armageddon?  Where does the judgment day fit in to the nativity scene? Continue reading “Merry Christmas and Happy Judgment Day!”

The End of Hell: Introducing Greg Stump

Getting knocked by John Knox
Like my fellow contributors, it is truly a delight to join the Rethinking Hell project. I have been hoping for years to be part of a larger conversation among evangelicals on the topic of hell. For a long time I was constrained from talking about my views due to my position on staff at Biola University and my role as an elder at two conservative evangelical churches. However, I now have the freedom to express my own convictions about hell without having to honor an institutional position with which I respectfully disagree—namely, eternal conscious punishment of the unsaved. I am now able to openly share and talk about this view of hell that I have come to hold known as “conditional immortality.” More often than not I would refer to myself as an annihilationist, as that succinctly describes my view of the nature of hell itself, but since this term has some baggage and unhelpful associations attached to it I am comfortable referring to myself as an evangelical conditionalist.

Continue reading “The End of Hell: Introducing Greg Stump”