Book Review: A Catholic Reading Guide to Conditional Immortality


Robert Wild. A Catholic Reading Guide to Conditional Immortality: The Third Alternative to Hell and Universalism. Eugene: Resource Publications, 2016.1

The official Roman Catholic teaching on the subject of hell is that of eternal torment. Despite this, some have suggested that it is theologoumena rather than dogma, similar to the understanding of hell in Eastern Orthodoxy, where universalism and conditionalism (CI) are both possible options. Fr. Robert Wild is a conditionalist Roman Catholic who advocates for considering both conditionalism and universalism as possibilities for Roman Catholics. He argues that conditionalism is the best understanding both biblically and philosophically, and that CI was likely the most widely held belief among the earliest Christians. He concludes that CI can, and should, become the dominant view again. He writes, “I have come to the conclusion that CI is the more probable answer to the question of the fate of those who remain adamant in their refusal to love… I am also convinced that CI was the most ancient belief in the early years of Christian reflection, that of the Apostolic Fathers and the Apologists… I believe that, eventually, CI will assume its original predominant place and become the main view of Christians.” (p. 175-6).

Continue reading “Book Review: A Catholic Reading Guide to Conditional Immortality”

  1. A free digital copy of this publication was given to the reviewer in exchange for a review. Many thanks to Wipf&Stock/Resource Publications. []

Episode 110: "Hell Under Fire" Under Fire, Part 8: Annihilationism Under Fire


 
Rethinking Hell contributors Peter Berthelsen and Mark Corbett join Chris Date for the eighth and last of a series of episodes reviewing Hell Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents Eternal Punishment, edited by Christopher Morgan and Robert Peterson. This eighth episode in the series reviews chapter 9, “Annihilationism: Will the Unsaved Be Punished Forever?” by Christopher Morgan. Continue reading “Episode 110: "Hell Under Fire" Under Fire, Part 8: Annihilationism Under Fire”

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

Episode 107: "Hell Under Fire" Under Fire, Part 6: The Preacher and Hell


 
Rethinking Hell contributors Graham Ware and Peter Berthelsen join Chris Date for the sixth of a series of episodes reviewing Hell Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents Eternal Punishment, edited by Christopher Morgan and Robert Peterson. This sixth episode in the series reviews chapter 10, “Pastoral Theology: The Preacher and Hell,” by Sinclair Ferguson. Continue reading “Episode 107: "Hell Under Fire" Under Fire, Part 6: The Preacher and Hell”

A Review of Mark S. McLeod-Harrison’s “The Resurrection of Immortality”


McLeod-Harrison’s new book, The Resurrection of Immortality (Cascade, 2017) is a welcome contribution to the growing literature related to personal eschatology. His concern in the book is to explore the question of human immortality. Historically, parties to the debate have generally affirmed either that human beings are essentially immortal or conditionally immortal. Those taking the first view maintain that by nature human beings will live forever. As human beings we naturally possess the property of immortality. Conditionalists deny this, maintaining that humans may or may not live forever. God grants immortality to some, depending on certain conditions (e.g., redemption in Christ).
McLeod-Harrison defends a third alternative, which denies that immortality is intrinsic to human nature but says immortality is an enduring property possessed by human beings. On this view, immortality is an extrinsic property, one which God confers on human beings based on other properties that God gives us. And much of the book is devoted to constructing an argument for this claim—an argument that is philosophical, rather than theological, in nature. Though purely philosophical in methodology, McLeod-Harrison’s argument is nevertheless “in-house,” aimed specifically at Christian scholars in that it assumes certain basic claims of Christian theology—the existence of God, the reality of an afterlife, and the biblical doctrine of salvation. Continue reading “A Review of Mark S. McLeod-Harrison’s “The Resurrection of Immortality””

Episode 105: "Hell Under Fire" Under Fire, Part 5: Hell in Biblical and Systematic Theology


 
Rethinking Hell contributors Peter Berthelsen and Glenn Peoples join Chris Date for the fifth of a series of episodes reviewing Hell Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents Eternal Punishment, edited by Christopher Morgan and Robert Peterson. This fifth episode in the series reviews chapter 6, “Biblical Theology: Three Pictures of Hell,” by Christopher Morgan, and chapter 7, “Systematic Theology: Three Vantage Points of Hell,” by Robert Peterson. Continue reading “Episode 105: "Hell Under Fire" Under Fire, Part 5: Hell in Biblical and Systematic Theology”

Episode 104: "Hell Under Fire" Under Fire, Part 4: "Eternal Destruction" and Hell in Paul


 
Rethinking Hell contributors Nicholas Quient and Graham Ware join Chris Date for the fourth of a series of episodes reviewing Hell Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents Eternal Punishment, edited by Christopher Morgan and Robert Peterson. This fourth episode in the series reviews chapter 4, “Paul on Hell,” by Douglas Moo. Continue reading “Episode 104: "Hell Under Fire" Under Fire, Part 4: "Eternal Destruction" and Hell in Paul”

Episode 103: "Hell Under Fire" Under Fire, Part 3: Hell in the Teaching of Jesus


 
Rethinking Hell contributors William Tanksley and Daniel Sinclair join Chris Date for the third of a series of episodes reviewing Hell Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents Eternal Punishment, edited by Christopher Morgan and Robert Peterson. This third episode in the series reviews chapter 3, “Jesus on Hell,” by Robert Yarbrough. Continue reading “Episode 103: "Hell Under Fire" Under Fire, Part 3: Hell in the Teaching of Jesus”

Episode 102: "Hell Under Fire" Under Fire, Part 2: Progressive Revelation of Hell


 
Rethinking Hell contributors Joey Dear and William Tanksley join Chris Date for the second of a series of episodes reviewing Hell Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents Eternal Punishment, edited by Christopher Morgan and Robert Peterson. This second episode in the series reviews the second chapter, “The Old Testament on Hell,” by Daniel Block, and chapter 5, “The Revelation on Hell,” by G. K. Beale. Continue reading “Episode 102: "Hell Under Fire" Under Fire, Part 2: Progressive Revelation of Hell”

Episode 101: "Hell Under Fire" Under Fire, Part 1: The History of Hell


 
Rethinking Hell contributors Glenn Peoples and Graham Ware join Chris Date for the first of a series of episodes reviewing Hell Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents Eternal Punishment, edited by Christopher Morgan and Robert Peterson. This first episode in the series reviews the book’s introduction, as well as the first chapter, “Modern Theology: The Disappearance of Hell,” by Al Mohler. Continue reading “Episode 101: "Hell Under Fire" Under Fire, Part 1: The History of Hell”