Episode 39: Is Hell Forever? Chris Date and Phil Fernandes Debate Hell

On Saturday, September 28th, 2013, Dr. Phil Fernandes and Rethinking Hell contributor, Chris Date, debated the proposition, “The punishment of hell will be annihilation: the everlasting loss of life and conscious existence.” Date affirmed, articulating and defending conditional immortality and annihilationism. Dr. Fernandes denied, articulating and defending the traditional view of hell as eternal torment.
Both presenters’ opening statements, first rebuttals and notes are available in a book available at Amazon here.

Chris Date vs. Michael Willenborg on Hell

With upcoming debates scheduled for late August and September, I wasn’t going to plan any other debates until next year. However, a last-minute opportunity has arisen to defend conditional immortality and annihilationism in a less formal dialogue with traditionalist Michael Willenborg. Michael holds a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Hawaii, an M.A. in Apologetics from Southern Evangelical Seminary, and is currently pursuing an M.A. in Philosophy.
Our discussion will be webcast live on the internet radio show, “Theology Matters with The Pellews,” on Thursday, August 1st, at 6pm Eastern, 3pm Pacific. The title of the debate is, “Does the Bible Teach Annihilationism?” Calls will not be taken, but listeners will be able to ask questions in a chat room during the live show. For more details, and to listen live or join the chat, visit the show’s blog post.

Chris Date vs. Dr. Phil Fernandes on Hell

“The punishment of hell will be annihilation, the everlasting loss of life and conscious existence.”

I have promoted the conditionalist view of final punishment in debates with two fellow Reformed bloggers, and I recently scheduled a debate on the topic with a Catholic. Now I have been given the opportunity to debate an Arminian, Dr. Phil Fernandes, pastor of Trinity Bible Fellowship in Silverdale, Washington, and president of the Institute of Biblical Defense, a Christian apologetics ministry based in Bremerton, Washington. Dr. Fernandes has a Ph.D. in philosophy of religion from Greenwich University, an M.A. in religion from Liberty University, and a B.Th. from Columbia Evangelical Seminary. He is the author of several books, including The God Who Sits Enthroned: Evidence for God’s Existence (Xulon, 2002), No Other Gods: A Defense of Biblical Christianity (IBD, 1998), God, Government, and the Road to Tyranny (Xulon, 2003), Contend Earnestly for the Faith (PublishAmerica, 2008), and most recently Hijacking the Historical Jesus: Answering Recent Attacks on the Jesus of the Bible (CreateSpace, 2012). Continue reading “Chris Date vs. Dr. Phil Fernandes on Hell”

Chris Date vs. William Albrëcht (Catholic) on Hell

Having promoted the biblical view of final punishment in debates with two fellow Reformed theologians, I’ve been given the opportunity to do so in a debate with a Roman Catholic, William Albrëcht.1 Raised in a non-religious household, William became a Protestant and, later, converted to Roman Catholicism. He has a B.A. in Theology, is an apologist on staff at The Catholic Legate, and has published many videos on his YouTube channel.
Continue reading “Chris Date vs. William Albrëcht (Catholic) on Hell”

  1. Stay tuned to Rethinking Hell for a possible announcement in the near future; I may have an opportunity to engage in my first live, in-person debate defending conditionalism, this time with a well-known Arminian here in the Pacific Northwest. Calvinist, Armininan, Catholic… What’s next? []

Clearly wrong about hell: A response to T. Kurt Jaros

A number of months ago I had the honor of being invited by my friend Nick Ahern to participate in a written debate on the three major views of hell. I was asked to write promoting the conditionalist view; Jason Pratt, who debated pseudonymous blogger TurretinFan on my Theopologetics podcast, wrote promoting the universalist view; and T. Kurt Jaros, founder of Real Clear Apologetics, wrote promoting the traditionalist view. You can read the introduction to the written debate at Nick’s blog, Split Frame of Reference, which includes links to the three essays.
Joseph Dear, fellow contributor here at Rethinking Hell, will be responding to Jason Pratt’s universalism essay, whilst in this article I will be responding to T. Kurt Jaros’ traditionalist essay. As I hope to make clear, the presentation delivered by Jaros, like that of most traditionalists, is mistaken about hell.
Continue reading “Clearly wrong about hell: A response to T. Kurt Jaros”

Dr. James White Reviews Date vs. Whipps

After my debate with Joshua Whipps was published, I suspected that I would hear about it on the Dividing Line (DL), a webcast hosted by one of the theologians and apologists I respect and admire most, Dr. James White of Alpha & Omega Ministries (AOMin). Joshua frequents the AOMin chat channel, and he talked to Dr. White both leading up to and immediately following the debate. The thought of listening to Dr. White review the debate terrified me, but not because I feared being challenged by his arguments; rather, I have such deep respect and fondness for him and his ministry that to hear him speak negatively about me would crush me.
Tuesday’s DL came and went with no mention of the debate, and in it Dr. White said he would be speaking about Islam on Friday’s show. And so I didn’t listen to Friday’s show live, but as I prepared to leave work I visited the AOMin blog and my heart began racing as I read the words, “Started off with a quick review of a recent debate on annihilationism, then took calls. The first two were on the same subject, so we covered a lot of ground on the topic today.” I could feel my heart beating in my neck as I opened my Zune software, downloaded the episode, synced it to my Windows 7 phone and began to listen. But very quickly my terror was replaced by relief and my admiration for Dr. White swelled. I know not everybody is a fan but, I must confess, I love the man and his ministry.
Continue reading “Dr. James White Reviews Date vs. Whipps”

Chris Date vs. Joshua Whipps

I recently participated in my second formal, moderated debate defending annihilationism. The resolution was, “The final punishment of the risen wicked will be annihilation, the permanent end to the conscious existence of the entire person.” I affirmed, and Joshua Whipps, creator of the Razor’s Kiss blog and contributor to Choosing Hats, denied. My friend Dee Dee Warren, host of The Preterist Podcast, moderated.
You can listen to the debate by subscribing to my podcast, which you can find by searching for “Theopologetics” in the iTunes Store or Zune Marketplace, or you can subscribe to the feed here, or you can stream or download the audio from www.theopologetics.com. I have divided it into three episodes: (1) Episode 88, “Death Eternal,” contains our opening statements and the first round of rebuttals; (2) Episode 89, “God of Wrath,” contains the first round of cross-examinations and second round of rebuttals; (3) Episode 90, “Christ Died For Us,” contains the second round of cross-examinations, closing statements, and listener Q&A.
Since my opening argument was, in my opinion, a pretty decent argument in favor of annihilationism—and was a little unique, it seems to me, since it argues from texts historically used to make the case for the traditional view of hell—I’ve included it below. Read on if you’re interested.
Continue reading “Chris Date vs. Joshua Whipps”