This coming Saturday I’ll be hosting an exciting, new live discussion between two Christians on the question of what the Bible teaches about Hell. Naturally a bit more theological in nature, we’ll be discussing a positive case for an alternative view of Hell called Annihilationism (if you are unfamiliar with the view, I’ve detailed it briefly below). The two participants joining me are Chris Date (Annihilationist) and Jason Crowder (Traditionalist).
The discussion goes live right at 11am CST on Saturday, May 20, 2017. Here’s the link to view live (and watch later):
Representing a global movement known as Rethinking Hell (rethinkinghell.com), Chris Date specializes in the areas of Hell and Conditional Immortality, and has participated in debate with the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Dr. Albert Mohler, and been interviewed for the popular One Minute Apologist video series. He has edited and co-authored two books in this area: Rethinking Hell: Readings in Evangelical Conditionalism (Cascade, 2014), and A Consuming Passion: Essays on Hell and Immortality in Honor of Edward Fudge (Pickwick, 2015)–and has been centrally involved in coordinating and presenting at the Rethinking Hell International Conferences in Houston (2014), Pasadena (2015), London, UK (2016), and Auckland, NZ (2017).
Jason D. Crowder is an Adjunct Instructor of Religion at Butler Community College in Kansas and a Faculty Mentor at Columbia Evangelical Seminary. He holds a Doctor of Theological Studies from Columbia Evangelical Seminary in philosophical theology and apologetics, an MDiv in theology from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a BA in religion from the University of Mobile. He is the author of Philosophy, Who Needs It? A Layman’s Introduction to Philosophy. He is also a doctoral candidate in philosophy with the University of the Free State examining the issue of the immortality of the soul in philosophical and theological thought.
What is Annihilationism?
The traditional Christian view of Hell communicates an eternal state of conscious torment for the ungodly. That is what awaits the unsaved. They will live forever, not in a state of blissful existence, but utter torment. This is what most people have in mind when they imagine what Hell is like. Annihilationism, or Conditional Immortality, is the view that, for the ungodly, conscious existence will one day come to an end. At some point in the future, either at their natural death or the eschaton, the unsaved will be snuffed out, never to return. More information can be found at RethinkingHell.com.
Chris will be providing two positive arguments in support of Annihilationism. The first argument concerns the biblical view of immortality. This is roughly the idea that our life depends upon God. The Bible teaches we are not naturally immortal. At every moment, God sustains our lives and can end our lives at will. The second argument concerns Jesus’ atoning work on the cross. Chris argues that substitutionary models of Jesus’ atoning work are consistent with Annihilationism, but not with the doctrine of eternal torment.