No Retreat on Nouns of Action: TurretinFan's Premature Celebration

Shortly after participating in my second formal debate on final punishment,1 I wrote an article correcting pseudonymous blogger TurretinFan’s misunderstanding of what I had said in my opening presentation concerning the nature of the word punishment.2 Nearly a year later TurretinFan responded, contending that my article exhibited a retreat from what I had argued in my debate. “Over at ‘Rethinking Hell,'” he writes, “Mr. Chris Date has retreated a few steps in his discussion of the meaning of the term ‘punishment.’ Recall that the argument that ‘punishment’ in this case was a ‘result’ noun was one of Mr. Date’s first supposedly ‘positive’ arguments for his position. Now, Mr. Date tries to argue for ambiguity.”3
In fact, I had argued for ambiguity in my opening statement. It is true that I said, “My position, therefore, is that ‘punishment’ in this text is likewise a deverbal result noun referring to the effect or outcome of the transitive verb ‘punish.'”4 But I was not, as TurretinFan suggests, arguing positively for my position. Rather, I was merely stating my position, and in order to underscore the ambiguity of the phrase “eternal punishment” I had asked the questions, “What is the nature of eternal punishment? Is it everlasting conscious suffering in a body and soul which never die? Or is it the permanent end to the conscious existence of the entire person?”5 In order to argue positively for the position I had just stated, I did not allege that “punishment” always, or even normally, carries a result reading. Rather, I argued from context, saying, “And the answer is clear from Jesus’ reference to the ‘eternal fire,’ a phrase found in two other places in the New Testament,”6 at which point I went on to argue for my understanding from the other uses of that phrase.
Putting aside TurretinFan’s mistaken assessment of my article as a retreat, he does try taking me to task on both my treatment of the word punishment as a polysemous deverbal noun as well as my argument in favor thereof from the phrase “eternal fire.” Let us see if his attempt was successful. Continue reading “No Retreat on Nouns of Action: TurretinFan's Premature Celebration”

  1. “Episode 88: Death Eternal,” Theopologetics

    , hosted by Chris Date, June 16, 2012, http://www.theopologetics.com/2012/06/16/episode-88-death-eternal/ (accessed May 27, 2013). This episode contains part one of the debate, including my opening presentation. Parts two and three are available here and here, respectively. []
  2. Chris Date, “‘Punishment’ and the Polysemy of Deverbal Nouns,” Rethinking Hell [blog] (posted June 19, 2012), http://rethinkinghell.com/2012/06/eternal-punishment-and-the-polysemy-of-deverbal-nouns/ (accessed May 27, 2013). []
  3. TurretinFan, “Pressing Chris Date’s Retreat,” Thoughts of Francis Turretin [blog] (posted April 9, 2013), http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/2013/04/pressing-chris-dates-retreat.html (accessed May 27, 2013). []
  4. Date, 00:16:54. []
  5. Date, 00:17:55. []
  6. Date, 00:18:05. []

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”

"Punishment" and the Polysemy of Deverbal Nouns

In the opening statement from my recent debate I had said,

What we disagree on is the meaning of punishment. Traditionalists see it as suffering forever, whereas annihilationists see it as the everlasting effect of being executed. Linguists call this a deverbal result noun, a noun referring to the results of its corresponding verb, and it’s a phenomenon found both in Scripture and in modern language.

This was recently misunderstood by pseudonymous blogger TurretinFan, and understandably so—excuse the pun—because it didn’t come across quite right. I did not mean to say that linguists call “punishment” a deverbal result noun; I meant that they call the object to which I was referring—namely, a noun that refers to the results of its corresponding verb—a deverbal result noun. What’s more, I neither said nor implied that “punishment” is in every case a deverbal result noun, but that it is in the case of .
Nevertheless, TurretinFan argued that the “noun ‘punishment’ is a deverbal noun, but it is not a deverbal result noun” (emphasis his), going on to seemingly argue that this is inherent in the meaning of the noun. Let us examine this claim.
Continue reading “"Punishment" and the Polysemy of Deverbal Nouns”

46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”