Sunday, July 09, 2006

Book Review: Four Views on Hell

What do you think of the Christian doctrine of hell? Many people find it abhorrent - how can a good and loving God inflict eternal burning on people as punishment for their sins? Of course, this is only one Christian view, albeit the most popular. If you have ever wondered about the doctrine of hell, and what the Bible really teaches about it, then Four Views on Hell edited by William Crockett might be just what you need to read. The book is one in the series of Four Views on ... books which provides an opportunity for a proponent of a view to argue for their position and the other contributors to respond to each argument. The four views on hell covered in this book are: the literal, metaphorical, purgatorial, and conditional. John Walvoord opens with his explanation of the literal view which interprets the biblical passages on hell exactly as they read with God consigning the wicked to actual flames that will burn them forever. William Crocket follows with the metaphorical view that doesn't see the descriptions of hell in Scripture as literal but as metaphors which express a spiritual reality of eternal conscious punishment but not necessarily with real smoke and fire. Zachary Hayes offers the Catholic view of purgatory followed by Clark Pinnock's conditional immortality view which results in the eventual destruction of the wicked. The way that the different authors understand the same Scriptural data is fascinating -- and all of them see the Bible as authoritative when it comes to doctrine. The book will not tell you which of these views is the best or most biblical one. You will need to think through that yourself. The one failing of the book is the lack of opportunity for each author to respond to their critics. In most arguments, the proponent should have the last word. Overall, this little volume is very helpful in outlining the main options on hell and the pros and cons of each view. Related Links

1 comment:

  1. Hi: Can we get someone to do a review on this download:
    Thanks, Albert