If you’re a Christian, you probably grew up thinking that Hell is a place of eternal conscious torment. That the damned will live consciously in Hell for an infinite amount of time. It may surprise you to learn that there are different views on the nature of Hell. The Traditional view teaches the infinite kind of Hell. Another view, called Annihilationism, teaches that the damned do not live forever. Since they are not “in Christ,” they do not receive the gift of eternal life and will (at some point) cease to exist. Today’s discussion features a structured debate on what the Bible teaches about Hell. Does it teach the Traditional view or the Annihilationist view? James Martin is defending the former, and Chris Date the latter. More info about our guests can be found below.
This live discussion is hosted on YouTube. It’s completely free to watch. Click on the YouTube link in the embedded video below and subscribe to our channel if you’d like to participate in the live chat (or click here).
Chris Date is a well-known evangelical Christian author, editor, and speaker, as well as a popular blogger, debater, and host of events and podcasts. He has published three books, including Rethinking Hell: Readings in Evangelical Conditionalism, and A Consuming Passion: Essays on Hell and Immortality in Honor of Edward Fudge (http://amazon.com/author/chrisdate), as well as several articles in peer-reviewed, academic journals (https://fuller.academia.edu/ChristopherDate). As an expert in the topics of Hell and Conditional Immortality, and as a representative of the ministry at rethinkinghell.com, Chris has been interviewed in such secular media outlets as the New York Times, National Geographic, and most recently NPR, and on a variety of Christian radio shows, podcasts, and vidcasts. Having graduated summa cum laude in 2017 from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science in Religion, Chris is now a student in Fuller Theological Seminary’s Master of Arts in Theology program, and he lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife of nearly twenty years and their four sons.
James Martin is the Pastoral Assistant at Andover Baptist Church where he labors in preaching, teaching, and evangelism. He graduated summa cum laude from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science in Religion and earned his Master of Divinity from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was radically saved from a life of gangs and violence, and now spends his time proclaiming the gospel to a lost and dying world. He has frequently debated atheists, Jehovah Witnesses, and Mormons with the intent to win them to Christ. He has been married to his wife for 8 years and they have four children.
His teaching can be found here:
His personal testimony can be found here:
He can be contacted at
As an atheist, I find a significant objectivity-limiting factor in a debate like this. Each side feels they must reconcile their view with everything in the bible. Given how false and implausible bible inerrancy is, it might make better sense to say the bible doesn’t teach consistently about God’s “need” for justice. the fact that such a methodology might open a theological Pandora’s box might be the consequences we are required to endure for the sake of being honest. We cannot be children and assume that because it’s not fun getting arrested and going to jail, that therefore its only… Read more »