The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Debate: "Three Views on Hell: Introduction"

Howdy folks. Been a while.

Here is the intro link for the hell debate Jason wrote his case for. Hope all is well.

splitframeofreference.blogspot.c … ction.html


Cool, I look forward to seeing how it goes :sunglasses:

I went to the website and read all three articles. From my own studies over the years, I became convinced of the eventual reconciliation of all conscious beings to God. However, if I were searching for the truth, trying to determine which of the views is correct, I would be influenced most (and perhaps even persuaded) by the presentation for annihilation.

I’d say annihilation would be the most convincing view from the perspective of a mainly OT influenced faith; which is I’m sure a significant reason why it is the teaching of the Seventh Day Adventists, who have a heavy OT spin on their overall view.

The NT witness causes some significant problems for annihilation, however; So I come out in favor of universalism.

Some commentary on the articles can be found at the original thread for the topic on this forum, too: An Open Offer (to publish 700 word EU case as article) From there on down (if any are added later).

I’ll have to wait until later (probably no sooner than tomorrow morning) to comment with any extensiveness. (I need to make a supply run to Jackson this afternoon and then a cousin’s and uncle’s birthday party afterward.)

Thanks for being able to finally put it up, Nick! :smiley:

I appreciate your objectively honest evaluation, Paidion, although I’m naturally curious as to the particulars. :wink:


When you say “their responses may be as long as they like”, but you reserve the right to delete a comment or request a rewrite, you mean responses from each of us in the comments for each post, right?


Since this isn’t about “biblical theology” generally, or on a topic other than universalim pro or con, how about porting it over to the general EU discussion subcategory and stickying it there? Or “Discussion negative” if that seems fairer (since after all I’m outnumbered two to one :mrgreen: )? Visitors to the site are more likely to go to one of those two places; ditto for members who don’t habitually use the “view active topics” hyperlink.



Nick where would we write comments or would you have us refrain from commenting on the blog? Perhaps you only want us to comment here on the forum to leave the blog for those who wrote the essays?

You are free to write on my blog. :smiley:


Nick: you forgot to include my scripture reference for “paying justice”, which was 2 Thess 1:6-10.

On the other hand, I haven’t got the faintest idea why I cited Mark 10:30 (of all things) but it was supposed to be Mark 3:28. Please replace.

:open_mouth: :open_mouth: :open_mouth:

Wow, freaky… While I’m sure this had absolutely no bearing on the 700 word essay (since I started this other project long afterward), I just went back to commenting on 1 Peter 4:17-18 for an upcoming post in another thread (which has a ton of discussion on scriptural and metaphysical topics related to Christian universalism)–and there was a(n actually relevant) citation of Mark 10:30!!


Oh well. I’ll take that as a providential opportunity to link to that other thread. :mrgreen:

Done and done. My bad on that.


I’m currently working on a collection of {eriphos} or {eriphon} (and cognates thereof) by lexicon definitions and LXX references, by the way. Going to take a while to write up.

Yay, my friend Chris Date (from Theopologetics) is the anni proponent! :smiley: Seems appropriate we’d get to debate in print this year, since he moderated my radio debate with “FrancisTurretinfan” last year at about this time. (My 700 word essay was a condensed version of that debate in two of the topics, plus the unforgivable sin which TFan and I didn’t discuss.)

Don’t know the other fellow yet.

It means a lot to me that you feel this way about my being your opponent :slight_smile: I, too, was glad you were chosen. I’m currently working on a response to Jaros’ ECT essay at I asked the RH team if anybody else wanted to write the response to yours, as I don’t feel entirely up to the challenge :slight_smile: Joey Dear will be writing the response to yours. But I may respond to your response to my essay, and I’m looking forward to the interaction!

Got to disagree with Paidion, here. Jason’s piece is by far the most persuasive, scripturally and philosophically.

The ECT guy’s piece is pretty shallow. Anybody who has spent time studying the exegetical arguments in favour of UR could refute - or at the very least punch holes in - his arguments easily. His opening gambit of emasculating at a swoop all the ‘hell texts’ as being metaphorical immediately exposes the inherent absurdity of ECT. He then goes on to say, “Annihilationism doesn’t make sense of the biblical data or seem consistent with our knowledge of the character of God”. There’s an obvious rejoinder to that: neither does ECT!

The annihilation guy gets off to an equally poor start with some sweeping and unsupported generalisations. One could simply flip his opening statement thus: “Eternal conscious suffering and annihilationism are based upon tenuous, inconsistent interpretations of passages divorced from context, interpreted through unfounded philosophical claims and flimsy extrapolations drawn from irrelevant texts. Universalism, on the other hand, is based upon relevant texts which actually speak of the ultimate reconciliation of all things, and understands them in their contexts, allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture.”

Worse, he plays dishonestly fast and loose with scripture: “Jesus says God will destroy body and soul in Gehenna in Matthew 10:28.” No, Jesus says *nothing *of the sort. He merely says that God *can *destroy body and soul - an entirely different thing altogether. God *can * do all sorts of things that he doesn’t actually ever do.

Pull that plank away and the rest of the ‘Body and Soul’ section collapses entirely. Hence the asserton that James says “he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death," becomes meaningless. Quite apart from the fact that ‘soul’ is a dubious translation at best.

All in all, a pretty flimsy extrapolation drawn from irrelevant texts, if you ask me.

Way to go, Jason!



Well, it’s a set of 700 word essays, so they have to be judged with that restriction in mind: could they have been better for the size?–and what would “being better” (in whatever ways) entail as a result?

Hopefully I’ll be able to work on reply commentary today in between doing actual ‘work’ work. :mrgreen:

The way I see it is this:

ECT and annihilationism both preach a God who is too weak and/or too callous to bring about the ultimate salvation of his dear beloved children - children he birthed unwilling into this vale of tears.

I don’t buy any twisted scriptural argument that attempts to prove either the ECT or anni position. Sure the Bible is, on a prima facie reading, open to those interpretations. But when you drill down, when you really think about what it means for God to be God, those two positions vanish like the mist. I cannot and will not believe in a ‘god’ who made the universe but who cannot save his own children from *eternal *death, or even worse, *chooses *not to save his children from eternal death.

It really is that simple. Take a step back, take a look at that bigger picture. See that obvious truth. It’s as plain as the nose on our faces. The god of orthodox theology is a Dawkinsian joke. All these nitpicking scriptural and philosophical debates are bollocks really. The god of ECT or anni isn’t worth investigating, let alone believing in, even less worshipping. He is a petty, egotistical, insecure, vindictive, vicious, sadistic, immoral, evil tyrant, a monster who makes Hitler or Stalin or Pol Pot look like Mother Theresa.

He is not Jesus.

What you believe betrays the person you are: a self-righteous, self-satisfied, selfish sadist who gives not one good hoot about his or her fellow man or woman; or a child of God. Or, perhaps, a blind, lost, hurting fool. Yeah, that’s it. That’s it.