Following the inaugural Rethinking Hell Conference (Houston, 11-12 July 2014), a Festschrift is being published for Edward Fudge on the occasion of his 70th birthday. My class at the conference was selected to become one of the chapters in the new book.
To hear part 1 of Doctrinal, Biblical, and Psychological Obstacles to Accepting Conditionalism: Successfully Rethinking Hell in a Small Christian Movement (31 minutes), click on the podcast icon below.
Click here to download.
I. The corporal / capital paradigm
II. The Restoration Movement: ICOC
III. Rethinking Hell, 1984-2014
IV. Obstacles: Doctrinal, Biblical, & Psychological
V. Strategy for Effecting Change
VI. Attitude: Guarding our Spirit
Given the benefits in terms of implications for divine mercy and proclaiming the gospel, one would think conditionalism would receive a hearty and global welcome. And yet conditionalism continues to encounter significant resistance among persons of faith. This study considers three clusters of impediments to the acceptance of conditionalism. A number of the obstacles are doctrinal—the effects of indoctrination. A handful are biblical—intrinsic to the text of Scripture. Many obstacles are psychological—and perhaps the most intractable.
Mainstream denominations seldom embrace conditional immortality. Although increasing numbers of individuals are rethinking hell, better chances for large-scale doctrinal change may lie with independent Christian groups. In my experience as a member of a small Christian movement (approximately 125,000 members in 160 nations), none of the doctrinal, biblical, or psychological obstacles has proved insurmountable. In fact, “terminal punishment” has won widespread acceptance. Rethinking hell has occurred not only at the grass roots, but also among the vast majority of leaders worldwide.
The story of why so many in my denomination have changed their minds has implications for Christian unity, communication, and humility.
To read or print the entire paper (9 pages), click here. Note that the final version of the chapter will be determined by the publisher; this should be considered a draft.
Rethinking Hell- Jacoby