Tuesday, January 10

Erasing Hell

Fire. Brimstone. Sinners in the hands of an angry God.

Such used to be the standard fodder for the passionate sermons that blazed from pulpits across America every week.

But anyone who's been to a church in the last couple decades knows that kind of thinking has all but disappeared in waves of effusive praise for God's love, forgiveness, mercy and *gag* tolerance. (Tolerance, by the way, is not in the Bible at all.)

Confronted by what they felt was shaky theology in Rob Bell's Love Wins, Pastor Francis Chan and Professor Preston Sprinkle decided to investigate everything the Bible actually says about hell and what common assumptions on the subject are the result of myth, legend and the natural human compulsion to overlay our mores. beliefs and preferences on any given subject.

The result? Erasing Hell, a compact and powerful book about what we really know, what is speculation and why it matters. Written with complete honesty and compassion by authors who started out searching for the truth and were willing to write what they found - even when it wasn't what they wanted to find - this will be an eye opener and thought provoker for everyone.

Whether you agree with their findings or not, I encourage you to read it, if only for the perspective and excellent literary professionalism they packed into every page.

1 comment:

  1. In 2011 world population reached 7 billion (vs. 3 billion in 1960). There are now approximately 2.2 billion Christians. Chan and Sprinkle seem to be saying that 4.8 billion people may be facing eternal hell.

    Concepts of afterlife vary between religions and among divisions of each faith. Not all Christians agree on what happens after this life, nor do all Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, or other believers. Rebirth, resurrection, purgatory, universalism, and oblivion are other possibilities...none of which can be proven.

    Mystics of all faiths have more in common than the followers of their orthodox religions. True mystics realize that eternal life is here and now; it does not begin after mortal death. The age of Earth is said to be 4.5 billion years, of the Universe 13.7 billion, yet few humans live to be 100. This lifetime is a fleeting moment.

    Scriptures are subject to interpretation; people often choose what is most beneficial for them.