Four Views on Hell is here! Yay

Yay! I have received a copy of Zondervan's new Four Views on Hell. Here you find a respectful but grasping-the-nettle discussion on eschatological punishment. There's
  • An eternal torment guy (Denny Burk)
  • An annihilationist (John Stackhouse)
  • A universalist (Robin Parry)
  • An evangelical purgatory bloke (Jerry Walls)

It is good to find out what all the different contributors had to say about each other (especially what they say about me). And I have to say, it is very interesting—honest.
I especially enjoyed Jerry Walls' interactions with each of the other three.

The original version of the image above can be found here


Is purgatory not a completely separate topic? Presumably one could combine belief in purgatory with any of the other three views.
Robin Parry said…
Correct. It is not a view on hell at all. Jerry's view on hell represents an odd hybrid of eternal torment with my view in which once can be saved from hell.
Anonymous said…
And Robin, when is Ilaria Ramelli's popular version of The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis coming out?
Robin Parry said…
Hopefully early 2017. She is still trying to finish the manuscript off, but has a lot on her plate.
Anonymous said…
Hi Dr. Parry,

Over the course of the past 6 months I have been reconsidering my views on hell. During that process, I stumbled upon your interview on the Rethinking Hell podcast and I was intrigued and challenged by much of what you said. I have since purchased your book, The Evangelical Universalist, and have been listening to some of your interviews in other places as well. During your interview on the Nomad podcast, you mentioned a book by some classicists on every use of aionios from Classical Greek through the Second Temple period and all of the early Christian writings. I did a bit of searching but was unable to find the book. Would you be able to pass on the name of the authors and the title of the book?

Grace and Peace
Robin Parry said…

The book is Ilaria Ramelli and David Konstan, "Terms for Eernity: Aionios and Aidios in Classical and Christian Texts" (Gorgias Press)
Anonymous said…
Many thanks!
Nicolas said…
Interesting review of the book from Roger Olson!
Anonymous said…
Hi Robin,

I was wondering what your thoughts are on why there are so many differing views on the nature of hell. I must admit it is a bit confusing to me as to how Scripture supports so many opposing positions. This seems to be the case with many different theological views. Of course, everyone feels their position is the “right” position and the one most exegetically correct. I think what confuses me the most is that each conclusion reveals a very different picture of the nature of God. Some views revealing a rather horrific view and I believe this ends up harming a persons ability to see Him as loving and kind. To be honest, this makes me sad. Surely, God could have left us a witness that was not so unclear. Thank you for any time you spend in sharing your thoughts with me.
Robin Parry said…

Good question. I don't know why some issues are more clear in the Bible than others. I tend not to ask questions like that so often now; I just think, "It is what it is and I just need to deal with that."

However, perhaps you have discerned a key in your observation. Different interpretations of the texts indicate different views of God, some of which are deeply problematic. But the Bible teaches important things about God (e.g., God is love) and if some of the interpretations of the passages are incompatible with that then this counts against them big time.

Here is what I mean: suppose that passage A can be interpreted in two ways, one of which fits with the doctrine of divine love, one of which does not. Even if nothing in the passage itself will tell us which is the best reading, this does not make them equally plausible. Wider biblical and theological issues, such as those you mention, come into play to helpus to rule some options out of court. The Fathers often spoke about reading the Bible in a manner "worthy of God" (i.e., so that one does not end up proposing a doctrine in which God is imperfect).

So perhaps the issues are not as ambiguous as you fear.

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