The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Debate: "Three Views on Hell: Introduction"


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.

Johnny, change your avatar, bro! I can’t read your comments because I’d have to look at it if I did. :frowning:

+1 w/Cindy. Even I don’t use the related “Picardasplode” jpg except for humorous posts where no one really has to read them. (I voluntarily took it down shortly after I posted it in a review thread for a book; the only other place I’ve put it is in a dry technical reply to how to get the forum engine to upload attachments, to try to add some humor to the process–and I feel kind of bad about that!)

I realize the famous Scanners headasplode screenshot reflects your temper/attitude at even considering ECT or anni to be true, but surely that doesn’t apply to every post you’re going to make (and have ever made) on the board?? :confused:

At least switch over to the Toht facepalmelt jpg, which is partially obscured by a hand. :wink:

Meanwhile, my comments on TKJ’s introductory position are still at over 1800 words; which is trimmed down from over 2000, but I’m still trying to get down to 700. Unsure if I can, though: most of that involves short paragraphs about his scripture references, which I want to go into more contextual detail about.

[tag]DisposableSoul[/tag], do you have an idea of how long the rebuttal entries should be?–keeping in mind there will be two entries from each of us, one for each other side?

wish i could have an avatar pic. i can’t seem to shrink anything down to the required size though smashes head against wall, resulting in Johnny’s pic

I think I’ve missed something. I was not aware of any plan to do responses on Nick’s blog, constrained to a particular word count. I have a response to TKJ’s post pending review by our editor at Rethinking Hell, and it’s very long. That was how I planned to respond, and how Joey Dear plans to respond to Jason’s essay.

If Nick (DisposableSoul) wants a sort of formal response format at his blog, limited to particular word count, I’m sure Joey and I can do that, but they will be brief summaries of our longer responses at RH, to which we’ll no doubt link.

Ugh! Jason! That’s at least as bad! :frowning:

CL, I had the same problem – very frustrating. I did an on-line search for an avatar creator and that’s how I got my avatar. I’d have to search again to find it if I wanted to do a new one, though, and it’s been so long, long ago I probably wouldn’t even find the same one, but I’ll bet you’d find a good one if you do a search.

Jason, it was my understanding from what DS said earlier that your responses could be as long as you like. That said, if you want people to read them (not just the devoted few here), you’d do best to keep it to under 1000 words. You can always add short comments. People, even people who will read WHOLE BOOKS of really boring stuff off-line will not typically read more than 1000 words on-line. And that’s pushin’ it.

I used to write for a little local paper, and for a pottery magazine (how-to) and of course they had limited space. I always felt I should charge more for fewer words because writing long is e-a-s-y, but writing short and still saying what you want to say takes a lot of work. For philosophical/theological stuff, it’s even harder, I think, but probably worth it.

Love to all (even the melting/exploding/shrinking head people. :wink: )

Chris (Theopologetics),

I’m not sure there was a “plan” per se, but Nick (DS) wrote in his introduction to the debate:

This was in regard to comments posted on the three threads of his blog, I think (based on a Q&A I had with him earlier in the thread), and he does go on to say he “may add a follow up post to this series, offering links to various responses by the contributors.”

However, he also calls what he’s doing a “series”, so I didn’t want to presume he wasn’t thinking of posting followups directly to his blog as the next entries in the series (rather than only providing links to longer followups elsewhere).

Thus my ping to him about wordcount, just in case.