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ERASING HELL, a book by Chan and Sprinkle
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TOPIC: ERASING HELL, a book by Chan and Sprinkle

ERASING HELL, a book by Chan and Sprinkle 1 week, 6 days ago #5165

  • chloebess
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Just finished. It was a "quick read," thankfully,

I found it quite basic in laying out the case for ECT. And not very convincing, basing almost everything on Matthew 25:46 (in the end) since all else are the same old arguments.

Their assertion that God has a "moral will" and a "decreed will" seems to go against their ECT belief in that if this is true then God's decreed will is that there needs to be everlasting torment. At least that seems to be what they are calling for.

If this be the case, then God created mankind with the intention of sending most of His creation to Hell to suffer. But I thought His intention was to create mankind to have those He can have companionship with.

Am I missing something?
Last Edit: 1 week, 6 days ago by chloebess.

Re: ERASING HELL, a book by Chan and Sprinkle 1 week, 3 days ago #5172

What you're talking about with the whole "decreed will"/"moral will" thing isn't inherent to traditionalism, it's actually a Calvinist distinction. Chan and Sprinkle are Calvinists, and that stems from that theology, those who are traditionalists and not a Calvinists won't make that distinction, annihilationists who are Calvinists (such as Chris Date) will also make that distinction.

To help understand what this doctrine teaches, and its relevance in Reformed Theology, here's a pretty famous article by John Piper explaining it. Hopefully that helps.
www.desiringgod.org/articles/are-there-two-wills-in-god

Re: ERASING HELL, a book by Chan and Sprinkle 1 week, 3 days ago #5173

  • chloebess
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Thanks for that.........actually haven't visited the Calvinist/Arminian "debate" for some time.

That is deep stuff, and I find it difficult to navigate.

BUT......my question would be to any Calvinist: "If God (even though He has the right to do it) knowingly creates people to rebel, and if you believe in ECT, then He willingly creates people to suffer forever. And, even with Arminianism, the same be true, since He would have foreknowledge that much of humanity would end up in an ECT hell.

How can any traditionalist (Calvinist or Arminianism) "live" with this?

Re: ERASING HELL, a book by Chan and Sprinkle 4 days, 2 hours ago #5175

A variety of ways. They believe that there is strength in numbers and therefore they have to be right because their tradition is in the majority. They think that any other view is a cult belief, and therefore never really give other views of hell a chance.

I think the most common way that Christians today deal with their belief in eternal conscious torment is by making hell into an eternal time-out instead of an eternal torture chamber. Have you encountered this?

I've been writing a lot about hell on Facebook, and a friend from work commented on one of my posts saying how what I'd been writing has caused him to do a lot of thinking on this subject. So I went out to eat with him after work one day to talk to him about it. He basically expressed to me that he hates the idea of hell as a torture chamber, but then told me how his pastor said that it's not really a torture chamber, it's just "separation from God" (which I mockingly refer to as being in eternal time-out).

The conclusion of the matter seems to be that he hates the idea of hell as a torture chamber (to the point where it made him not want to worship God), and what I wrote got him to want to rethink hell, but when his pastor explained to him the soft traditionalism that's become very popular today he's just decided to accept that. He's open to the possibility that annihilationism might be right, but since his pastor told him that hell is eternal time-out that's what he's going with.

I think most Christian are in that boat, where technically they do rethink hell, but instead of understanding (or even trying to understand) what the Bible really says, they just take eternal conscious torment and water it down into eternal conscious time-out to make it emotionally acceptable to them. Then the real irony is they'll tell people like us that we just believe in annihilation because we can't handle the truth!

Re: ERASING HELL, a book by Chan and Sprinkle 4 days, 2 hours ago #5176

Also, did you know that both Francis Chan, and Preston Sprinkle, as a result of studying this topic in preparation for their book, have become much more open to the idea of annihilationism? For example Chan said this in an interview with Christianity Today, "I would definitely have to say that if I leaned a certain direction I would lean toward the conscious torment that's eternal. But I couldn't say I'm sure of that, because there are some passages that really seem to emphasize a destruction. And then I look in history and find that's not really a strange view. There are some good, godly men - and maybe even the majority - that seem to take the annihilation view. I was surprised because all I was brought up with was conscious torment. And I see that. I see that in Scripture and I would lean more that way but, I'm not ready to say okay I know it's this one."

You also may have noticed that Sprinkle has a positive quote about Rethinking Hell on their website. He was also interviewed by Chris Date in two episodes of the Rethinking Hell podcast. Part 1 -www.rethinkinghell.com/2012/09/episode-5...ith-preston-sprinkle
Part 2 - www.rethinkinghell.com/2012/09/episode-6...ston-sprinkle-part-2

Also Sprinkle has written a series of blog articles on conditional immortality (what he calls terminal punishment), here are the links to those articles:
1 - www.patheos.com/blogs/theologyintheraw/2...-evangelical-option/
2 - www.patheos.com/blogs/theologyintheraw/2...rt-for-annihilation/
3 - www.patheos.com/blogs/theologyintheraw/2...l-conscious-torment/
4 - www.prestonsprinkle.com/blogs/theologyin...l-punishment-of-hell

So I know I just info-dumped on you, but I hope you find that helpful. I'm actually currently re-reading "Erasing Hell" because I'm going to give it to my father-in-law for Christmas because he's become very evangelical in trying to spread conditionalism to people, and people have responded by telling him to read "Erasing Hell". So I've been sharing these links with him so he can show the people recommending this book that its authors are actually very open to the annihilationist view. So hopefully you'll find these links useful.

Re: ERASING HELL, a book by Chan and Sprinkle 3 days, 16 hours ago #5178

  • kgddds
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chloebess wrote:
I found it quite basic in laying out the case for ECT. And not very convincing, basing almost everything on Matthew 25:46 (in the end) since all else are the same old arguments.


Some of my thoughts on the book...

Best statement from book:
"Don't believe something just because you want to, and don't embrace an idea just because you've always believed it." p.13 (Kindle)

Worst statement from book:
"So it seems best to understand the word death not in terms of total annihilation but as a description of those who will be separated from God forever in an ongoing state of punishment." p.107 (Kindle)

I also liked:

"I really believe it's time for some of us to stop apologizing for God and start apologizing to Him for being embarrassed by the ways He has chosen to reveal Himself." p.102 (Kindle)

the section, "I Wouldn't Have Done That", p.133 (Kindle)

"While I lean heavily on the side that says it is everlasting, I am not ready to claim that with complete certainty." p.85 (Kindle)

"in almost every passage where Jesus mentions hell, He doesn't explicitly say it will last forever. He speaks of torment, and we get the impression that hell is terrible, that it's a place to be avoided at all costs, but He doesn't clearly tell us how long it will last." p.80 (Kindle)

Ken
The beauty of grace is seen in the glory it reveals.
Grace is glory's seed; Glory is grace's bloom.
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