What is more frightening than eternal torment in a burning hell? Yet many believe that uncountable millions or billions of people will actually experience this dread punishment–forever and ever. I believe this is inconsistent with the Father’s love, and furthermore I don’t believe the Bible even teaches such a thing.
Rob Bell, Love Wins (click to see the book on Amazon)
Bell begins his book with:
I believe that Jesus’s story is first and foremost about the love of God for every single one of us. It is a stunning, beautiful, expansive love, and it is for everybody everywhere.
Upon reading this, I thought immediately that I might really like Love Wins, and I did. Bell points out that many have been taught that ‘a select few Christians will spend forever in heaven, while the rest of humanity spends forever in torment and punishment in hell with no chance for anything better.’ (read the rest of my review here)
C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce (click to see the book on Amazon)
I read this small volume many years ago and it impacted my thinking tremendously. In years since, I have been amazed by the number of other evangelicals who have said the same thing about this book—it was transforming in their perspective on hell.
Though I remembered its major thrust and recalled a number of specific scenes from the book, I didn’t remember a lot of the detail; so I read it again. And it was as good this time around as it was before. (My full review is forthcoming).
Clark Pinnock, A Wideness in God’s Mercy (click to see the book on Amazon)
From Jesus without Baggage
- What about Hell?
- Jesus and Hades
- Jesus and Old Testament Imagery
- Jesus and the Fires of Hell
- Hell and Enoch in the New Testament Writers
- Revelation and the Lake of Fire
- What Does Jesus Mean by an Outer Darkness of Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth?
- Outer Darkness, Weeping, and Gnashing of Teeth in Matthew
- Who Would Reject the Father and What Becomes of Them?
- Conditional Immortality and Natural Death
- Hell? Conditional Immortality? Something Else? What Happens to Those Who Reject God?
- “If There’s No Hell then I Will Sin All I Want!”
- The Second Death, the Book of Life, and the Lake of Fire–Are They About the Endtimes or Something Else?
- Sheep, Goats, and the Bosom of Abraham
- What Did Jesus Mean by the ‘Eternal Fire Prepared for the Devil and His Angels’?
- The Influence of Zoroastrianism on Jewish Thought in Jesus’ Time
- The Origin of Satan and His Demons in the Book of Enoch
- Judgment and Punishment in the Book of Enoch
- If We Are Free to Approach God Without Fear, What Becomes of Our Other Religious Fears—Like Hell?
- Hopeful Universalism and a Gentle Alternative
- A Gentle Alternative to Punishment in Hell for Those Who Reject God’s Offer of Eternal Life—Conditional Immortality
From Benjamin Corey
- What Jesus Talked About When He Talked About Hell
- Letting Go Of Hell (Without Letting Go Of The Bible)
- 25 Bible Verses That Disprove Eternal Conscious Hell
- A Sincere Question for My Friends who Believe in Hell
- The 3 Biblical Options for a Theology of Hell
- If Hell Is Real, Why Did God Wait So Darn Long To Warn Us About It?
- Would An Eternity In Hell Even Be Fair? (The Problem of Proportionality)
Articles from Other Writers
- Black Saturday: Satan, Hades, and the Beginnings of Hell by Don M. Burrows
- Life after Death – A Contentious Post on Decision Points by Tony Cutty
- “All right, then, I’ll go to hell” by Rachel Held Evans
- Did Anne Frank go to hell? by Rachel Held Evans
- Biblical considerations for an inclusive view of salvation by Rachel Held Evans
- Sheep and Goats by Rob Bell
- Why Hell Makes So Many Christians Happy by Richard Beck
- So Much Bigotry Comes Down to the Doctrine of Hell by Lana Hope
- What I’m Going To Tell My Daughter About Hell (When She Asks) by Josh Way
- Do universalists evangelize? by Chuck Queen
- Could you be so holy that you wouldn’t be sad when your children go to hell? by Randal Rauser
- Teaching Children About Hell by Cindy Brandt
- The great eternal Auschwitz by Rob Grayson
- Hell – Part 1: A “Biblical” Staple The Bible Never Actually Mentions by Jacob McMillen
- Hell – Part 2: Why The Lake of Fire, Lazarus & Gnashing Teeth Can’t Conjure Up Eternal Torment by Jacob McMillen
- Hell – Part 3: How & When The Idea of Eternal Torment Invaded Church Doctrine by Jacob McMillen
Jesus without Baggage exists to assist and support those questioning beliefs they have been taught in fundamentalist, traditional evangelical, and other groups. If you know someone who might find Jesus without Baggage helpful, feel free to send them the introductory page: About Jesus without Baggage.
Pages in this series:
Resources on Angry, Violent, Vindictive God
Resources on Inerrancy and Reading the Bible
Resources on Hell and Conditional Immortality
Resources on Legalism, Sin, and Salvation
Resources on Gays and the Church
Resources on Christian Patriarchy, Abuse, and Extreme Fundamentalism
Resources on Young Earth Creationism and Evolution