Rethinking Hell:

Readings in Evangelical Conditionalism

Do all people have everlasting life? Many evangelical Christian scholars and teachers today answer no—only those rescued from death by Jesus Christ. This important new book assembles the best contemporary writings on the topic of conditional immortality. Discover the reasons why so many are rethinking Hell!

About the Book

Most evangelical Christians believe that those people who are not saved before they die will be punished in hell forever. But is this what the Bible truly teaches? Do Christians need to rethink their understanding of hell? In the late twentieth century, a growing number of evangelical theologians, biblical scholars, and philosophers began to reject the traditional doctrine of eternal conscious torment in hell in favor of a minority theological perspective called conditional immortality. This view contends that the unsaved are resurrected to face divine judgment, just as Christians have always believed, but due to the fact that immortality is only given to those who are in Christ, the unsaved do not exist forever in hell. Instead, they face the punishment of the “second death”—an end to their conscious existence. This volume brings together excerpts from a variety of well-respected evangelical thinkers, including John Stott, John Wenham, and E. Earle Ellis, as they articulate the biblical, theological, and philosophical arguments for conditionalism. These readings will give thoughtful Christians strong evidence that there are indeed compelling reasons for rethinking hell.


Christopher M. Date
Gregory G. Stump
Joshua W. Anderson


John G. Stackhouse, Jr.


Peter S. Grice Igniting an Evangelical Conversation
Glenn A. Peoples Introduction to Evangelical Conditionalism
Edward W. Fudge The Final End of the Wicked
Stephen H. Travis The Nature of Final Destiny
John R. W. Stott Judgment and Hell
Clark H. Pinnock The Destruction of the Finally Impenitent
John W. Wenham The Case for Conditional Immortality
Basil F. C. Atkinson The Doom of the Lost
E. Earle Ellis New Testament Teaching on Hell
Ralph G. Bowles Does Revelation 14:11 Teach Eternal Torment?
Harold E. Guillebaud The General Trend of Bible Teaching
Anthony C. Thiselton Claims about “Hell” and Wrath
Philip E. Hughes Is the Soul Immortal?
Henry Constable Divine Justice
Christopher D. Marshall Divine and Human Punishment in the New Testament
Nigel G. Wright A Kinder, Gentler Damnation?
Richard G. Swinburne The Future of the Totally Corrupt
Kim G. Papaioannou The Development of Gehenna Between the Old and New Testaments
LeRoy E. Froom Conditionalism in the Early Church
Evangelical Alliance Hell and Evangelical Unity
Roger E. Olson Diverse Christian Beliefs About Life Beyond Death
Ben Witherington III Equally Orthodox Christians


“As more and more people open their minds to rethink the doctrine of final punishment, this book will be a valuable resource and reference. I wish it had been available when I did my own research. This volume is extensive, inclusive, and impressive in scope and approach. I am delighted to endorse it! A book for our time, it should enjoy great success.”

— Edward Fudge, author of The Fire That Consumes

“This volume is to be welcomed and recommended for its usefulness in gathering together some of the most significant contributions from leading scholars and preachers who question whether the eternal conscious punishment of the wicked is a correct interpretation of the biblical teaching.”

— I. Howard Marshall, Professor Emeritus of New Testament, University of Aberdeen, Scotland

“Because the case for annihilationism is generally not well understood, this expertly chosen selection from often difficult to find writings, along with helpful introductory essays, will be immensely valuable to the church. Everyone, regardless of their current understanding, can welcome this historical and biblical resource that will make fruitful dialogue more possible than ever.”

— Terrance Tiessen, Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology and Ethics, Providence Theological Seminary, Manitoba, Canada

“Those who read this book either will be challenged to reconsider their views about the traditional teachings of the church on hell or they will be convinced that the conditionalist view of hell is the right biblical teaching.”

— Claude F. Mariottini, author of Rereading the Biblical Text

“Rethinking Hell is a much-needed compendium of classic and contemporary defenses of conditional immortalism—a view that offers a welcome alternative to universalism and the traditional concept of eternal conscious torment. Bringing together about twenty proponents of conditionalism—theologians, biblical scholars, and philosophers--Rethinking Hell is destined to be the definitive sourcebook on the topic for years to come. Highly recommended!”

— James S. Spiegel, author of The Benefits of Providence


Rethinking Hell: Readings in Evangelical Conditionalism



A Consuming Passion: Essays on Hell and Immortality in Honor of Edward Fudge

In 2014 Christians from around the world gathered at the inaugural Rethinking Hell conference, to celebrate Edward Fudge’s life and work and to discuss the nature of hell. Out of that conference comes this diverse collection of essays exploring the topics of hell and immortality, for which Fudge has been widely known through his magnum opus, The Fire That Consumes.