RH Cheat Sheets: Daniel 12:2

Daniel 12:2: “And the multitude of those sleeping in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

  1. Only “some” will awake to everlasting life, meaning that the others—namely, those who will “awake… to shame and everlasting contempt”—will not live forever. (Everlasting life is just what it sounds like: living forever. “Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life… Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever. – John 6:54, 58).
  2. Only contempt is said to be everlasting, not shame. To properly shame the wicked, their evil deeds and thoughts must be exposed in such a way that they are aware of it, hence the need for them to awake. Once faced with their condemnation, having been shown that they did not escape what they deserved (cf. Job 21:19-20), their shaming is final (Psalm 73:19-20).
  3. The word translated “contempt” (deraon) is only used one other time in all of Scripture, namely in Isaiah 66:24. It reads, “And [those who worship me] shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence (deraon) to all flesh.” In harmony with Isaiah saying that the wicked will be an abhorrence to the righteous, the contempt of which Daniel speaks is not a feeling that will be experienced by the wicked, but it refers to how those who perpetuated evil will be remembered by the righteous—they will forever be remembered in contempt.

In short, Daniel 12:2 teaches that the righteous will rise to everlasting life, while the wicked will rise to a shame-provoking trial exposing their evil deeds and thoughts, for which they will die a second time and be forever remembered in contempt.

William Lane Craig vs. Chris Date (Sort Of): WLC Botches the Atonement in a Question of the Week

Here at Rethinking Hell, we’ve been interacting with relevant comments by Christian philosopher William Lane Craig, and trying to enter into dialogue with him, since nearly the beginning of the ministry. In our very first episode of Rethinking Hell Live in 2019, I critique statements made by Craig in several clips. One of our oldest videos on YouTube is Glenn Peoples’s 2013 review of a clip I filmed at an Apologetics Canada conference, in which Craig mangles 2 Thessalonians 1:9. Joey Dear, in a 2020 blog article, debunks the way Craig often leverages the distinction between the Greek words bios and zōē (as I do below). As we’re both prolific debaters, I dream of debating Craig on the nature and duration of hell. I’ve personally reached out to him on several occasions—a half dozen times or so in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019—inviting him to be interviewed, speak at conferences, and engage with us in other ways. Sadly, Craig declined each such invitation and has thus far chosen not to interact with any of our work, let alone me, specifically.

Until now.

Well, sort of. Continue reading “William Lane Craig vs. Chris Date (Sort Of): WLC Botches the Atonement in a Question of the Week”

Denominational Doctrine on Damnation: The Developing Story of the Bible Fellowship Church

In January of 2022, a church petitioned its parent denomination to reexamine biblical teaching on hell, in part because some congregants had embraced annihilationism. As reported in the minutes of its 139th annual meeting, the Bible Fellowship Church (BFC) was asked by member Whitehall BFC “to form a study committee of five people to examine what Scripture teaches about the eternal destiny of the unregenerate, with careful attention to both its apologetic and shepherding use.”1“Whitehall BFC Petition to BFC Conference,” One Hundred Thirty-nineth Annual Meeting of the Bible Fellowship Church Conference 2022, rev. ed., 137. The stated reason behind the petition:

Whitehall Church has been ministering to some who have serious doubts regarding the eternal conscious torment of the unregenerate; some of whom have abandoned the Faith in large measure due to this historic doctrine of the Church, and others who (remaining devoted to Christ and His Word) have moved away from the eternal conscious torment position and to an annihilation position . . .

Two years later, BFC published its “Report of the Study Committee on Eternal Conscious Torment” on pages 97–111 of its 141st Conference Report Book. It concludes, “passages throughout Scripture indicate that an annihilationist position doesn’t, in a sense, fit the crime,” and “we believe that the Bible teaches that those whose names are not written in the book of life will experience an eternal conscious torment.”2“Report of the Study Committee on Eternal Conscious Torment,” Bible Fellowship Church 141st Conference Report Book, 109–110. Unfortunately, the provided analysis, on which the committee based its conclusions, reflects a poorly informed and less-than-careful study of conditional immortality (or annihilationism) and the larger subject of biblical teaching about hell. Continue reading “Denominational Doctrine on Damnation: The Developing Story of the Bible Fellowship Church”

References
1 “Whitehall BFC Petition to BFC Conference,” One Hundred Thirty-nineth Annual Meeting of the Bible Fellowship Church Conference 2022, rev. ed., 137.
2 “Report of the Study Committee on Eternal Conscious Torment,” Bible Fellowship Church 141st Conference Report Book, 109–110.