What the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks?!? Pt. 19: Why I Am a Conditionalist

In 2012 I began a journey. A scary and messed up journey. I was shoved into thinking more deeply about the doctrine of hell (at the time I was more of an agnostic on this front). On several occasions I put the task on a side burner, as the topic is something I did not want to weigh on me excessively and affect my mental state (there were times when it did). Wading through arguments for and against various interpretations of Scripture and depictions of hell left me with deep concerns, discouragement, and at times a lot of anger and frustration with the way it’s been handled by too many. I began the journey with a question (actually a series of questions, which narrowed itself into one specific question which became the most important one)- does Scripture support what most Christians seem to believe about hell? After reading a plethora of books, articles, blogs, and listening to lectures, debates and sermons, I came to a conclusion, which I was reluctant to profess at first (except to a few colleagues), but have realized I should be honest about. In my sermon on Sunday, July 15th, (which was not simply about the doctrine of hell, but about death and what comes next) I made my position known to this congregation of which I am the pastor, and now openly profess what I have hinted at in other places: I am a condtionalist.

I am working on a series of posts “Why I Am”, an exercise for myself to lay out my positions in (hopefully) well structured, understandable, and biblical arguments. I am hoping to cover why I am an egalitarian, a credobaptist, a pastor, a disability and mental health advocate, and a few other things. But since this is fresh, I’ll start with why I am a conditionalist.

First, a quick summary; what is a conditionalist? Conditionalism or Conditional immortality (sometimes called annihilationism, but Clark Pinnock has rightly depicted the relationship between the two as two sides of one coin- distinct but interconnected ideas. I know of few conditionalists who aren’t annihilationists also, but in theory it could be possible[1]) states that human beings are not inherently immortal, but are conditionally immortal. By an act of God’s grace, those whom God redeems will be made immortal/eternal, while those who persist in rejecting God’s grace will not receive eternal life, and thus will “perish” into everlasting death. Annihilationism, which depends on the perishability of the human being declares that at judgment, those who have refused God’s redeeming offer will experience destruction, made extinct, cease to exist.

I don’t want to get too much into polemics and deconstruct the “traditional view” (that the “unsaved” will be cast into hell and experience suffering and torment without end, often called eternal conscious torment). Instead, I want to present what I believe to be the arguments in favour of conditionalism (as opposed to the arguments against eternal conscious torment, but some response to objections will likely be necessary). What I present here, will of course only be a brief summary of the total argument, as space doesn’t allow for the totality to be presented here. For that, you’d have to pick up a larger resource. Most conditionalists would put forward Edward Fudge’s The Fire that Consumes or his shorter Hell: A Final Wordor you can pick up a recently published collection of evangelical resources, Rethinking Hell (edited by Chris Date, Greg Stump, & Josh Anderson, all contributors to the Rethinking Hell project, which I just recently became a part of)

So, here goes…

1. The myth of the immortal soul

All conditionalist arguments rest on this main issue. If the soul is immortal, annihilation is impossible, and proceeding would be moot. Although several of the church fathers argued for the immortality of the soul (e.g. Athenagoras, Tertullian, Augustine) it can hardly be defended biblically. In fact 1 Tim. 6:16 says the exact opposite, “It is he [God] alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light”. And as other passages make clear, eternal life/immortality are given to humans by God (eg. John 3:16, Rom. 2:7 & 6:23, 1 Cor. 15:42-55). Thus, our eternal existence is conditional, dependent on God, and is revealed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Tim. 1:10). It is worth noting that the fathers who were the most adamant voices for an immortal soul were, before their conversions, students of neo-platonism and/or other Hellenistic philosophical traditions. The belief in the immortality of the soul is imported from that tradition, not the Scriptures. Josephus critiqued (incorrectly mind you) the Essenes for believing in the immortality of the soul, which he labelled the “belief of the sons of Greece” (War 2.154-8, quoted in NT Wright, New Testament and the People of God. Minneapolis: Fotress, 1992. p. 326). In other words, ECT comes when the biblical doctrine of final judgment is combined with the non-biblical, hellenistic idea of the immortality of the soul. As Pinnock notes:

This is how the traditional view of hell got constructed: add a belief in divine judgment after death (scriptural) to a belief in the immortality of the soul (unscriptural), and you have Augustine’s terrible doctrine.[2]

Conditionalism then would state that man was created conditionally immortal, requiring an act of God’s grace to continue in existence forever. This is depicted in beginning and end of the canon. In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve are removed from the Garden, and denied access to the tree of life: “Then the Lord God said, ‘See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever'” (Gen. 3:22, NRSV). Then in Rev. 22, the City- the eternal dwelling place of God and man is described: “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life”. The tree of life, the symbol of God’s gift of immortality, is once again accessible, but only to those redeemed by the Lamb.

John Stott notes “It cannot, I think, be replied that it is impossible to destroy human beings because they are immortal, for the immortality-and therefore indestructibility -of the soul is a Greek not a biblical concept. According to Scripture only God possesses immortality in himself (1 Timothy 1:17; 6:16); he reveals and gives it to us through the gospel (2 Timothy 1:10)”[3] I am inclined to agree.

2. The biblical language of destruction, death, consuming.

When the Scriptures speak of the final “destination” of the unredeemed, the words used paint a picture of what is forthcoming. The words which one selects (as opposed to selecting other available words) matter. The overwhelming sense one gets when examining the words chosen to depict the punishment for rejection is not unending torment. The words chosen demonstrate instead, I would argue, an end of life and existence. Here is a summation of the most prevalent:

a. The apoleia word group (apollumi, apoleia, and other words with similar or same meanings; oletheros, ptheiro, katargete). This word group, made of the noun destruction and the verb translated as destroy or perish, is the most common word group used when describing judgment. Jesus states that God can destroy body and soul in Gehenna (Matt. 10:28), and that those who believe will not “perish” (John 3:16, the logical follow up being that those who reject Christ do perish). Paul states that the end of those who oppose Christ is destruction (e.g. Romans 2:12, Philippians 1:28, 3:19, 1 Thess. 5:3, 2 Thess. 1:9) and 2 Peter tells us that the fire which comes at judgment is “being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the godless.” (3:7) This vocabulary used in depicting final punishment leads me to conclude that destruction means just that.

On apollumi and oletheros John Stott notes:

The vocabulary of ‘destruction’ is often used in relation to the final state of perdition. The commonest Greek words are the verb apollumi (to destroy) and the noun apoleia (destruction). When the verb is active and transitive, ‘destroy’ means ‘kill’, as when Herod wanted to murder the baby Jesus and the Jewish leaders later plotted to have him executed (Matthew 2:13; 12:14; 27:4). Then Jesus himself told us not to be afraid of those who kill the body and cannot kill the soul. ‘Rather,’ he continued, ‘be afraid of the One [God] who can destroy both soul and body in hell’ (Matthew 10:28; d. James 4:12). If to kill is to deprive the body of life, hell would seem to be the deprivation of both physical and spiritual life, that is, an extinction of being. When the verb is in the middle, and intransitive, it means to be destroyed and so to ‘perish’, whether physically of hunger or snakebite (Luke 15:17; 1 Corinthians 10:9) or eternally in hell (e.g. John 3:16; 10:28; 17:12; Romans 2:12; 1 Corinthians 15:18; 2 Peter 3:9). If believers are hoi sozomenoi (those who are being saved), unbelievers are hoi apollumenoi (those who are perishing). The phrase occurs in 1 Corinthians 1:18, 2 Corinthians 2:15; 4:3, and in 2 Thessalonians 2:10… the word used in 1 Thessalonians 5:3 and 2 Thessalonians 1:9 is olethros, which also means ‘ruin’ or ‘destruction’). It would seem strange, therefore, if people who are said to suffer destruction are in fact not destroyed; and, as you put it, it is ‘difficult to imagine a perpetually inconclusive process of perishing’. [4]

Also appearing a few times are ptheiro and katargeo. Ptheiro can be translated as “to corrupt” (e.g. 2 Cor. 7:2, Eph. 4:22), but in certain contexts is rendered “destroy” (e.g. 1 Cor. 3:17, Jude 1:10, 2 Pet. 2:12). Given the context (especially in 2 Peter & Jude), destroy is the best option for understanding those verses. Katargeo (e.g. 1 Cor. 15:26) refers to being rendered nothing or ended.

b. death. Paul wrote “For the wages of sin is death”. If death means an end of life, sin leads to a cessation of life, a movement in non-existence. How then can we say sin is punished with ongoing existence in suffering? Would not Paul have written “the wages of sin is suffering”? Paul also tells us that the “The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Cor. 15:26; here “destroyed” is katargetai meaning annulled, abolished, ended, rendered inert or nothing). Death is annulled after those who are in Christ are raised (15:23 cf. 1 Tim. 1:10) and all enemies are “destroyed” (katargese). 1 John 3:14 states we (the redeemed) “have passed from death to life”. Revelation refers to the effect of judgment on the unredeemed as “second death” 4 times (2:11, 20:6, 20:14, 21:8). This makes most sense when understood to mean an end to conscious existence. The use of the word death to describe an unending consciousness and suffering seems unlikely.

c. Burn up/burn/fire. John the Baptist compares the wicked to chaff, which is burned up (Matt. 3:12, Lk. 3:17). The Greek is katakaio. Jesus uses the same word root in the parable of the weeds (Matt. 13:40). The same word is used to described a sin offering in Hebrews 13:11. This word group is an intensified form of the verb to burn. It usually means burn up, destroy/consume with fire. 2 Peter 2:6 uses a word with a similar meaning: tephroó (used only in this verse) which means reduce to ashes. In that case, 2 Peter compares the destruction of the wicked to Sodom and Gomorrah, which God destroyed with fire, not afflicted with torment forever. The same image is used in Jude 1:7 which connects Sodom and Gomorrah to “eternal fire” (which sheds light on Matthew 18:8 & 25:41). Obviously Sodom and Gomorrah are not still burning, so eternal fire doesn’t appear to mean a fire which torments without end, but a fire which consumes. The “unquechable fire” of Matt. 3:12/Luke 3:17 cannot be read as eternal torment, as that fire is said to “burn up” the chaff (see also Mark 9:43). This phrase is borrowed from Jeremiah 17:27 (see also Isaiah 66:24), in which an unquenchable fire will “consume” Jerusalem’s fortresses. Unquenchable, argues Edward Fudge, refers to a fire which can’t be extinguished, but burns until it has burned all it can (See Fudge, Fire that Consumes, 76-77). This makes sense within the context of these verses, which became the basis of much of the talk about Gehenna in the Synoptic Gospels (see more below).

3. Not a contrast of this or that place, but life or destruction/death

In the sermon on the Mount, Jesus declares: “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction (apoleian), and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14) It would seem that the options are not eternity in heaven or in hell, but life and destruction. Similarly, James 4:12 declares that “There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy (apolesai)” (see also 1 Cor. 1:18, 2 Cor. 2:15).

The dualism of heaven and hell as the places of disembodied souls is hardly the biblical depiction. It appears more akin to the Elysium/Tartarus dualism of pagan mythology (see for e.g. Virgil, Aeneid, 6.535) transferred into the Christian faith. Instead what we see in the Scriptures is resurrection to new, eternal life in the new creation for those who are in Christ, and an extinction of those have rejected his offer of grace and redemption. It is God offering life and accepting the decision and relinquishing of those who chose to reject said life. God, we are told in 2 Peter is “not wanting any to perish (apolesthai which could be translated “be destroyed”)” (3:9). God is working to prevent people from perishing, but people choose death. Sin, says James, “gives birth to death” (James 1:15). We are not presented with a malevolent or angry God doling out fury for all eternity because he must punish sin eternally. It is God allowing sin, which kills and destroys, to do so, because his creation has chosen sin over life. God is creator and sustainer of all life (Heb. 1:3). To “be punished with eternal destruction away from the presence of the Lord” (2 Thess. 1:9) is to be cut off from the source of life, and thus to perish completely.

4. The borrowing of the Old Testament 

a. Gehenna:

The word rendered “hell” in the New Testament is of course the Greek Gehenna. Gehenna is the transliteration from Hebrew to Greek of ge-hinnom or the Valley of (the Sons of) Hinnom. This is of course an actual place, a valley south of Jerusalem (roughly perpendicular to the Kidron Valley which runs between Zion and the Mount of Olives). For more on Gehenna (and sheol and hades) see part 1 and part 2. It was made famous by Ahaz and Manasseh who sacrificed their sons to the Moabite god Molech there (2 Kings 16:3, 2 Chronicles 28:3). Jeremiah later prophesied (7:30ff):

For the people of Judah have done evil in my sight, says the Lord; they have set their abominations in the house that is called by my name, defiling it. 31 And they go on building the high place of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire—which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind. 32 Therefore, the days are surely coming, says the Lord, when it will no more be called Topheth, or the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of Slaughter: for they will bury in Topheth until there is no more room. 33 The corpses of this people will be food for the birds of the air, and for the animals of the earth; and no one will frighten them away. 34 And I will bring to an end the sound of mirth and gladness, the voice of the bride and bridegroom in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; for the land shall become a waste.

Gehenna then is depicted as a site of corpses being picked at by scavengers. It is place of disgrace and disgust. Jesus then picks up this image in the New Testament (Paul never uses Gehenna, it is used only in the Synoptic Gospels and once in James). But an image for what?

R.T. France, in his commentary on Matthew (NICNT, Eerdmans, 2007) states that Jesus’ mentions of Gehenna in Matthew present Gehenna “as the place of final destruction of the wicked” (on Mt. 5:22, pg. 202) and “a place of destruction, not continuing punishment” (on Mt. 10:28, pg. 403) and  he continues: “These pointers suggest that an annihilationist theology (sometimes described as ‘conditional immortality’) does more justice to Matthew’s language in general, and if so the sense of ‘eternal punishment’ here will not be ‘punishment which goes on forever’ but ‘punishment which has eternal consequences,’ the loss of eternal life through being destroyed by fire.” (on Mt. 25:46, p. 967). Matthew of course contains more references to hell by name (Gehenna) than any other book of the New Testament (for Gehenna in the Gospel accounts, see here). The overall sense which Jesus gives in Matthew’s recording, is that Gehenna is a place where those who choose to remain unredeemed are destroyed.

b. Unquenchable fire and worms

Jesus also uses the image of unquechable fire and worms that don’t die (Mark 9:48). This of course is lifted from the Old Testament. He is using (among other texts) Isaiah 66:24, “And they shall go out and look at the dead bodies of the people who have rebelled against me; for their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.” This of course is a text referring to God’s return to Zion to vindicate the afflicted and punish the afflictors. He punishes them with death, and their lifeless bodies are left to the elements, and to fire. This is not an image of disembodied souls, or resurrected bodies suffering conscious torment eternally, but a depiction of the shameful end of unredeemed persons, who come to a ruinous end. When Jesus invokes this image, he is not, as many assume, referring an “other-worldly” place of torment, but an image of people who have died, and have no hope of sharing in the new creation. It is meant to depict a vision of “Nothing less than eternal life and death”.[5] It is the image of the fires and worms of Gehenna removing all trace of God’s enemies from creation.

c. “Eternal fire”

As noted above, although judgment is thrice described with the phrase “eternal fire” (twice in Matthew- 18:25, 25:41, and once in Jude 1:10) this should not be read as a fire which eternally torments. As I. Howard Marshall has stated “The language of fire is traditional for destruction, and it need not convey the sense of unending torment”.[6] The fact that Jude equates “eternal fire” with Sodom and Gomorrah implies that it can’t mean a fiery realm which inflicts unceasing pain. It probably should be read as indicative of an eschatalogical fire (whether literal of metaphorical) which burns with eternal ramifications. The mention of fire and sulfur (or brimstone) in Rev. 14:11 also draws on this image, and the image of Edom’s destruction prophesied by Isaiah (34:8-11). The smoke rising from Sodom and Edom testify to the complete destruction of those cities. All that remains is rising smoke.

When we look to the Old Testament, which is where Jesus and the Apostles draw from in depicting final punishment, we still see images and language of destruction, death, and cessation of existence. Some other examples:

By the breath of God they perish (Hebrew abad, to perish, be destroyed or annihilated),
    and by the blast of his anger they are consumed (kalah, to finish or end). (Job 4:9)

For the wicked shall be cut off,
    but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.

Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more;
    though you look diligently for their place, they will not be there. (Ps. 37:9-10)

Is your love declared in the grave,
    your faithfulness in Destruction (abaddon- Hebrew for place of destruction)? (Ps. 88:11)

“Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the Lord Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them.” (Malachi 4:1-2)

These are the images that the New Testament draws from, and it is a picture of destruction, not eternal conscious torment.

5. The “all in all” factor

One day, says Paul, God will become “all in all” (1 Cor. 15:28). We are told in Revelation 21:4 that “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” The new creation in other words will be free of suffering, death, and sin. God will be reconciled to all things in the new creation. But if we assert that hell is a place of unending torment, how can we say God is “all in all” if sin and death continue and unreconciled people remain in agony? If there is no more crying or pain, how can the tradionalists’ hell be present? God would not have done away with evil, simply quarantined or imprisoned it. For God to be all in all, that which exists must be that which is reconciled. This makes ECT an impossibility. Either all things are reconciled (ie. universalism) or all things are either reconciled or pass out of existence (annihilation). The dualism of heaven and hell existing side by side for eternity does not make sense with the picture of new creation.

6. The character of God

God describes himself as “gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abundant in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Ex. 34:6). Of course, in verse 7 we read that he will by no means leave the guilty unpunished. So God does punish the unredeemed for their rejection of himself and affliction of the redeemed (several judgment passages in Paul seem to be directed at those who persecute the redeemed, eg. Phil. 1:28). But is the punishment unending? The Psalmist writes “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” (Ps. 30:5 cf. Ps. 77, Ps. 103:9). Jeremiah said to the people of Judah: “The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart.” (23:20 & 30:24) In other words, God’s anger is poured out for a time. But there is mercy and compassion as well. His anger will not last forever. Even in punishment there is mercy on the horizon. God takes no delight in punishment.

Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
    so great is his unfailing love.
For he does not willingly bring affliction
    or grief to anyone. (Lam. 3:32-33)

Habakkuk prayed in the midst of impending catastrophe:

Lord, I have heard of your fame;
    I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord.
Repeat them in our day,
    in our time make them known;
    in wrath remember mercy. (Hab. 3:2)

In wrath, remember mercy. Annihilation is the only way to balance the two. ECT is wrath without mercy or redemptive purpose. In some forms universalism there is punishment which is redemptive. But this fails to take into account free will. Will God redeem some against their will? I don’t see any way to reconcile the clearly biblical testimony that God hates afflicting, but then chooses to do so for eternity. God, in both the Hebrew and Greek Testaments, declares himself to be full of grace and compassion, but also a God who creates us in his image- which means we have wills and freedom and choice. God takes no delight in wrath or vengeance. It grieves him. If God loves his people, and desires that none should perish, he will not make “perishing” something which goes on forever (an idea which seems nonsensical, since perish/being destroyed implies a process which ultimately ends). He will not glory in subjecting those who spent 70 years (give or take) sinning to an eternity of pain and suffering. There is neither joy, nor justice in that.

The Law of Moses excludes torment or torture from acceptable punishments which Israel could impose on those who violate the laws. It is either one to one restitution or capital punishment (an end of life). And given that humans are not inherently immortal (see above) God would have to grant immortality, keeping the unredeemed alive for the sole purpose of continuing to inflict torment. Since God is “sustaining all things by his powerful word” (Heb. 1:3), eternal conscious torment requires that God sustain the existence of the unreconciled in this place of torment within his new creation which is being made new, and free from suffering. This is hardly consistent within itself, or with the character of God most profoundly demonstrated in Christ and his reconciling work on the cross. If God has offered himself to ransom his enemies from death, and called upon us to be “imitators of God” (Eph. 5:1) who are “compassionate as your father in heaven is compassionate” (Luke 6:36) and who are challenged to love our enemies (Matt. 6:44), how can we say he delights in their eternal sufferings, and chooses to ensure that said suffering is eternal?

Conclusion

While more could be said (and already has been by others), this to me is the best interpretation of the evidence. While there are notable objections, and many will be able to poke holes in what I’ve put down here, I maintain with Edward Fudge “greater weight and preponderance of evidence” lies with the case for conditionalism and annihilation. Unfortunately our historical tradition has been influenced by Hellenism which has blurred Western Christian interpretation since the time of Augustine. The early Church shows a variety of perspectives (for example, Iranaeus, The Didache, Arnobius, Ignatius of Antioch and Athanasius affirmed conditionalism. Origen was a universalist, and Gregory of Nyssa held a modified universalism) and the ecumenical councils made no single declaration on the doctrine of hell. The Western, Augustinian view of hell is not shared by our Eastern Orthodox brothers and sisters, who have accepted a certain ambiguity regarding final punishment. Yet somehow the West has determined that ECT is the only acceptable position, in spite of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Recent evangelical scholars have wrestled with, and bravely “come out” with their understanding of conditionalism, in spite of real and vigorous opposition. Fudge, Stott, Pinnock, Wenham, Travis, Bauckham, Stackhouse, Thiselton, France, Marshall and others have challenged the status quo and argued for conditionalism. Others like Bruce and Wright have admitted a discomfort with ECT but have not yet (Bruce has sadly passed away) declared definitively what their view may be (Wright’s view seems to be a strange modification of annihilation where humanity is lost, but whether or not conscious existence continues is unclear. See here). While I don’t think this is necessarily a salvation issue (ie. I don’t think universalists and traditionalists will be excluded from the new creation) our doctrine has done incredible damage, first because of the hideousness of the idea of eternal conscious torment, but also because of the way it has been used as a weapon to coerce people into at least paying lip-service to the Gospel. I do not believe this is the way Jesus has called us to bring good news to the world. It is time we took stock and humbled ourselves enough to accept that maybe we’ve been wrong all along. If we have been wrong about hell, what sort of malicious lies have we spoken about God?

I don’t think I’m completely done with the issue. But for now, here it is. This is where I am. I didn’t do everything I said I would do in terms of research and writing, but I need a prolonged break now.

Notes:

[1] Pinnock writes: “Nevertheless, I do not call my position conditional immortality. It is a necessary, but not a sufficient condition of my view. Conditional immortality has to be true for a negative reason to make the destruction of the wicked conceivable, but it does not positively establish annihilation simply because it would still be possible that God might give the wicked everlasting life and condemn them to spend it in everlasting torment. Conditional immortality then, while necessary to belief in annihilation, does not prove that annihilation is true.” “The Destruction of the Finally Impenitent Wicked”.  So, this would of course imply that I am both a conditionalist and an annihilationist.

[2] Ibid.

[3] David Edwards & John Stott, Essentials: A Liberal-Evangelical Dialogue, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1988, 315-316.

[4] Ibid.

[5] R.T. France. The Gospel of Mark. 383.

[6] Marshall, New Testament Theology, 666.

Resources:

Greg Boyd. “The Case for Annihiliationism”. ReKnew. Jan. 19, 2008. <http://reknew.org/2008/01/the-case-for-annihilationism/&gt;

Francis Chan & Preston Sprinkle. Erasing Hell. Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2011.

Christopher Date (et al) (eds). Rethinking Hell: Readings in Evangelical Conditionalism. Eugene: Cascade, 2014.

R.T. France. The Gospel of Mark. (NIGTC) Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002.

— The Gospel of Matthew. (NICNT) Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007.

Edward Fudge. The Fire That Consumes (3rd ed.). Eugene: Cascade, 2011.

— Hell: A Final Word. Abilene: Leafwood, 2012.

I Howard Marshall. New Testament Theology. Downer’s Grove: IVP Academic, 2004.

Glenn Peoples. “Why I Am an Annihilationist”. Right Reason. http://www.rightreason.org/article/theology/annihilationist.pdf

Clark Pinnock. “The Destruction of the Finally Impenitent Wicked”. Criswell Theological Review 4.2. [1990]. <http://www.sats.edu.za/userfiles/The%20Destruction%20of%20the%20Finally%20Impenitent.pdf&gt;

Steve Gregg. All You Want to Know About Hell. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2013.

Stanley Gundry & William Crockett (eds.). Four Views on Hell. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994.

N.T. Wright. The New Testament and the People of God. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992.

This entry was posted in hell, hermeneutics, Jesus, New Testament, Old Testament, Paul, theology, Why I Am. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to What the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks?!? Pt. 19: Why I Am a Conditionalist

  1. Ken Bussell says:

    Great post Graham! I applaud your courage to seek the truths of scripture and to speak them plainly in the face of criticism. I began a similar journey 18 months ago when I gave a sermon publicly affirming conditionalism. I pray that your efforts will inspire your congregation to diligently study the Bible for themselves.

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