Episode 136: Conditionalism Stands to Reason (Part 5)

Rethinking Hell contributors William Tanksley and Darren Clark join Chris Date to critique Greg Koukl and Tim Barnett’s article series at Stand to Reason called “Hell Interrupted.” This episode contains the fifth and final part of their discussion; listen to episodes 132 through 135 for the first four parts.

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Episode 135: Conditionalism Stands to Reason (Part 4)

Rethinking Hell contributors William Tanksley and Darren Clark join Chris Date to critique Greg Koukl and Tim Barnett’s article series at Stand to Reason called “Hell Interrupted.” This episode contains part 4 of their discussion; the next episode will contain the final installment of the series.

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Episode 134: Conditionalism Stands to Reason (Part 3)

Rethinking Hell contributors William Tanksley and Darren Clark join Chris Date to critique Greg Koukl and Tim Barnett’s article series at Stand to Reason called “Hell Interrupted.” This episode contains part 3 of their discussion; the next one or two episodes will contain the remainder of the series.

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Episode 133: Conditionalism Stands to Reason (Part 2)

Rethinking Hell contributors William Tanksley and Darren Clark join Chris Date to critique Greg Koukl and Tim Barnett’s article series at Stand to Reason called “Hell Interrupted.” This episode contains part 2 of their discussion; the next two or three episodes will contain the remainder of the series.

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Episode 132: Conditionalism Stands to Reason (Part 1)

Rethinking Hell contributors William Tanksley and Darren Clark join Chris Date to critique Greg Koukl and Tim Barnett’s article series at Stand to Reason called “Hell Interrupted.” This episode contains part 1 of their discussion; the next two, three, or four episodes will contain the remainder of the series.

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Episode 119: “Why I am Not (Yet) a Conditionalist”–Part 2, With Chris Woznicki

Chris Woznicki joins Rethinking Hell contributor Chris Date at the Rethinking Hell 2019 Far West Chapter Symposium to discuss the theological reservations he has about conditional immortality and which prevent him from yet embracing it, despite what he acknowledges is its exegetical strength. This is part 2 of the recording; listen to part 1 with Zachary Seals in episode 118.

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Episode 118: “Why I am Not (Yet) a Conditionalist”–Part 1, With Zachary Seals

Zachary Seals joins Rethinking Hell contributor Chris Date at the Rethinking Hell 2019 Far West Chapter Symposium to discuss the theological reservations he has about conditional immortality and which prevent him from yet embracing it, despite what he acknowledges is its exegetical strength. Also, listen for an important announcement about the upcoming 2019 Rethinking Hell Conference!

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“Hath God said?” A Response to Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan, and T4G

“You just got a shout out from Al Mohler at T4G.” A friend posted the notice on my Facebook wall while I was at work, and as I could not immediately access the Together for the Gospel (T4G) live video feed, my mind raced until my next short break. What might Mohler have said? I had debated him three years earlier, and he had been kind and gracious, even telling me after the recording was over that he’d love to meet me if I ever find myself on the east coast. I listen to his podcast “The Briefing” almost daily, and share much of his very conservative and Calvinist worldview. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mohler, and the thought that he might have mentioned me in a positive light excited me.

Sadly, I had been naive. Mohler hadn’t mentioned me specifically; he had mentioned our recent Rethinking Hell Conference in Dallas–Fort Worth. And his comments were not at all positive, but were instead derisive and even mocking. With his brief words, he had misrepresented the conference, the ministry, and the broader conditionalist movement. While the derision and contempt hurt, it was Mohler’s unfair mischaracterizations that frustrated me most. I believe that he should know better.

I tried to contact Mohler, asking if he would be willing to discuss his comments with me, but I have not yet heard back from him. So, in this article I shall respond to his comments and those of his co-panelist Ligon Duncan. If you like, you can hear them in this video before reading on:

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Infinity, Divine Value, and Hell: A Rejoinder to Jacob Brunton

Sin plus God does not equal eternal torment, in spite of traditionalists frequently telling us otherwise.

Jacob Brunton of For The New Christian Intellectual lives in the Dallas–Fort Worth area, which happens to be where we recently held our annual Rethinking Hell Conference. Mr. Brunton heard of the upcoming conference and marked the occasion by writing an article arguing against conditional immortality (or annihilationism as he prefers to call it), however we wish that he had been able to join us in person. At our conference we received critical engagement from scholars such as Dr. Gregg Allison, demonstrating how we strive to uphold the standards of Christian intellectual inquiry by fostering dialogue between different positions on hell. Mr. Brunton could have helped to sharpen our views by engaging in conversation there, and hopefully benefited from finding his own views sharpened by the experience (although as you’ll see below, in my view his argument may not have fared very well when exposed to other able minds!).

In any case, prior to publishing this response to his argument, we followed standard practice by reaching out to a representative of the organization, letting them know that we’d seen Mr. Brunton’s critical argument, and offering to share a link to our pending response. Surprisingly, we were told, “I’m not interested in your article, thanks.” Although others do have the right to remain ignorant of our responses to their criticism, it must be said that in reality this preference doesn’t reflect the spirit of Christian intellectual inquiry that we are used to in the world of theology. We do often encounter critics of our view that are better described as mere apologists, compared to intellectuals in that more virtuous sense, so we’d like to take this opportunity to call the important movement of Christian apologetics to the higher standard of back-and-forth critical engagement.

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The Hermeneutics of Conditionalism: A Defense of the Interpretive Method of Edward Fudge

I was recently honored to be published in volume 89 of Evangelical Quarterly. Available for free at my Academia.edu profile, my article argues that, contrary to the claims of critics like Robert Peterson, “when one applies accepted principles of hermeneutics and interpretation in the task of exegeting Old and New Testament texts, one will conclude that they teach conditionalism, and not the traditional view of hell.”1Christopher M. Date, “The Hermeneutics of Conditionalism: A Defense of the Interpretive Method of Edward Fudge,” Evangelical Quarterly 89:1 (2018), 72–73. Here is the introduction, to give you a feel for what I go on to argue:

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1. Christopher M. Date, “The Hermeneutics of Conditionalism: A Defense of the Interpretive Method of Edward Fudge,” Evangelical Quarterly 89:1 (2018), 72–73.