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.

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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.

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