Rethinking Hell interview with Robin on new Four-Views Zondervan book

So the wonderfully gifted Chris Date recently interviewed me about my chapter in the forthcoming Counterpoints book, Four Views on Hell, edited by Preston Spribkle (Zondervan, 2016).

You can hear the whole interview here—Chris is a pretty probing interviewer and asks great questions. I say "urm and urrr and well" rather a lot. The brain does not work quickly enough.

The book will be out in March (in the USA) and I think in May (in the UK). You can buy it in the places where you normally buy books—because it is a book. Ah yes, a man of wisdom am I.


Terry Wright said…
Men of wisdom are very hard to find. I salute you!
Denver said…
Robin, I greatly appreciated your calm, logical demeanor during this interview. I was struck by how immature the host acted at times. He seemed to not be able to resist ending your presentations with comments like "Well...that's...fair enough." Or "Well, I know where you're wrong, but let's move on." (I.e. "I can tell you where your exegesis of Revelations is wrong, but..." And again moved on.). It's fine and dandy that he differed but why did he need to add these unneeded comments? In other cases he would bring up a challenge to certain arguments against certain types of universalists. You would then counter how the challenge did not work in your version of universalism. Then he would conclude by lumping you into the very thing you just contradicted. Arg!

Anyway, thanks again for being a polite and still articulate voice for universalism
Anonymous said…
Hello Robin, I really enjoyed this interview and your clear thoughts on Christian universalism. I have a question that I would love to ask you and I'm not sure of the best place to do so. I hope you don't mind me including it here. I have a dear friend who is really struggling with the question of why Jesus warned so often of the reality of hell. To him it seems like Jesus used fear as a motivation to follow Him. For instance, verses like Matthew 18:7-9. I was wondering what your thoughts are on this line of thinking. I think you would agree that Jesus does not want us to follow Him out of a fear of hell but rather out of love for Him. How would you reconcile this with his repeated warnings of hell throughout the Gospels? Thank you for your time. Please know I understand if you are unable to respond for any reason.
Robin Parry said…

Thanks for your support. However, to be honest, I did not think that Chris was out of order in his comments. He is well-known as a defender of annihilation and an opponent of universalism and was not seeking to be completely neutral. The thing to remember is that the interview is on an annihilationist website. So while they are keen to be open to anyone who wants to engage them on the issue that is their focus and are gracious enough to give us space, they don't want to give their audience the impression that all views are as plausible as each other. They clearly think that their view is right and so Chris will occasionally just drop in a comment to the effect that what I say is not to be taken as the final word on the subject—that, in fact, there are (in his opinon) good responses. I don't mind that. In fact, given his very strong views on the subject, I thought that his questions were very non-aggressive and balanced. So I can take the occasional aside to the effect that I am mistaken. After all, I can do the same thing myself! :-)
Robin Parry said…

Well, I think that Jesus did indeed use fear as one motivator to prompt people to think about the road that they were on. He was, among other things, a prophet, and that is one of the messages that prophets bring.

It was certainly not the only motivator he used, but there is a place to warn people that the road they are travelling will take them to a destination that will be harmful to them. Wisdom comes in knowing when fear is an appropriate and effective motivator and when it is not.

I remember once when my dog and I were walking across a frozen lake. The ice began to crack so I very slowly and carefully moved off the lake. The dog, however, was still out there. In my panic I yelled at him to come off, but this only scared him and he stayed where he was. So I changed tactics and offered him positive motives to leave—in a non-threatening voice. He came to me. So wisdom is knowing when a threat is appropriate and when it is not.

(It goes without saying that I do not think that the doom Jesus warned of was a destruction beyond redemption.)
Anonymous said…

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me! :-)
Steve Birss said…
I've been looking for an email for you Robin, but I can't seem to find one anywhere, so I'll just post here because it seems like you interact with these comments...

I've listened to a bunch of interviews with you and am very interested in the theology of Universal Reconciliation. Because of your interviews, I looked into your book as well as Thomas Talbott's The Inescapable Love Of God. I'm a carpenter, and while I work I listen to podcasts and audiobooks, but I don't spend a ton of time reading. I found Thomas Talbott's book on audible, bought it, listened to it and loved it. But I can't seem to find an audiobook version of your book. I'm interested enough in the topic that I bought a copy of your book and have been reading it, but I would love to have an audio version of it. Have you ever thought of recording an audiobook version of the Evangelical Universalist? I would be the first one to buy it. Also, if you did choose to create an audiobook version, could I possibly suggest that you read it yourself. I think you have a great voice and would do a fantastic job of reading your own words.
Thank you for all you do! I'm really enjoying your book and I appreciate all the interviews you've done on the topic of hell and justice. I appreciate the humble tone and loving attitude with which you approach the topic!
God bless!
- steve
Robin Parry said…

That is very kind of you to say. There is no audiobook nor any plans for one. I'm not sure that it is the kind of book that converts well to audiobook as it is a bit dense in places (and has diagrams). However, I have no objections if someone wants to have a go. As far as my voice goes — well, I don't actually like my voice, so I'd cringe at the thought of reading it when there are people out there with lovely voices.

Perhaps I need to do a special book written for audio . . . when time permits.


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