Tag Archives: annihilationism

Handbook to Hell


Hortus Deliciarum - Hell (Hölle) Artist: Herrad von Landsberg (c. 1180)

Dear readers,

Christian History magazine is now considering putting together a sort of handbook, resource guide, or annotated bibliography on the history of Christian thought about hell. This should aid the research of folks whose interest in the topic has been stirred by Rob Bell‘s Love Wins, which has the Christian blogosphere buzzing and as of this writing sits as www.amazon.com’s  #16 book.

So next to my desk is an ample box of books on hell, and many more will arrive soon through interlibrary loan–because when I started searching the online catalogues of Twin Cities’ consortium of theological schools, I discovered an interesting thing: most local library copies of most books on this topic are now marked as “out.” This is no coincidence. It’s amazing how much influence a single book (e.g. Bell’s) can have in stirring up conversation and research on a single topic!

So for now, this post comes in the form of a request: Oh erudite reader, what Christian thinkers, movements, books, articles, must we not fail to consult in constructing our proposed “Handbook on the History of Hell in Christian Thought”? I look forward to hearing from many of you.

Yours in the hope of heaven,

Chris

Universalism? Annihilationism? A reflection on Rob Bell’s latest book, by CT managing editor Mark Galli


"Souls chained and tormented in hell," from Kalender of Shepherdes: a 15th-c. miscellany of religious, farming, astrological and medicine texts and illustrations

Well done, Mr. Galli! Mark Galli is the former editor of Christian History magazine and current (and long-time) managing editor of Christianity Today. He ministers in an evangelical Anglican church in the Chicagoland area. And he has just provided us with what I think is a helpful and charitable reflection on the significant minority position, among Bible-believing, gospel-teaching Protestants.

The position? That the traditional Christian doctrine of “conscious, eternal punishment” for the damned is out of kilter and should not be held as orthodoxy. Here’s a bit of Galli’s reflection, which was spurred by a recent book by the celebrated (and vilified) American pastor Rob Bell, and can be found in its entirety here: Continue reading