Amazon.ca Best-Seller

It’s a wonderful blessing to see Is There Anything Good About Hell? selling so well in Canada. Recently it hit #1 in its category (Systematic Theology) on Amazon in Canada, and #4 in Christian theology overall with the release of the Kindle E-book. Thanks everyone.

Article at The Light Magazine

Thanks you to The Light Magazine for publishing an introduction I wrote to Is There Anything Good About Hell? The article begins, “I wish there was no such thing as hell.” It was a statement written by one of my favorite bloggers, a theologically-oriented brother with whom I usually agree. The rest of the article was helpful, but this one sentence didn’t sit right in my soul. Could we simply do away with the doctrine of hell? Is the only reason we hold to the eternal punishment of the wicked – of those who fully and finally reject God in their sin – the fact that it is there in the Bible? What would we lose if we lost the doctrine of hell? See more below

Is there anything good about Hell?

Hell and Revival: A Presentation at Westwood

It was a great privilege and blessing to present the thesis of my book to Westwood Community Church where my dear friend and fellow soldier Pastor Giulio Gabelli is the Pastor. I had the opportunity in 30 minutes to present the thesis of my book with a brief overview of each of the chapters on the “good” aspects of hell, and then also to make a particular application to revival and evangelism. There are strong reasons to think that when revival comes it will be by the means of Christians speaking the truth boldly of the fruits of evil in eternal punishment. Click below to see the Facebook post and video.

With permission from and thanks to Westwood!

 

Sermon: The Joy of Judgment

It was a joy preaching at Westlynne Baptist in North Vancouver, where my good friends Sam and Esther Chua minister. The text was Isaiah 30:27-33 and the title was “The Joy of Judgment.”

Degrees of Punishment in Hell

In chapter 7 of Is There Anything Good About Hell?, I argue briefly that there are degrees of punishment in hell precisely because there are degrees of sin.

It is a serious error of Christian doctrine to make all sins equal in the sight of God, and it is surprising just how prevalent this error is in Christian circles. If all other things are equal, rape is more heinous to God than lust, although both are sins of sexual violence. Murder is more abhorrent to the Lord than anger, though they are cut from the same cloth (Mt 5:21–22, Jas 4:1–2). False teaching is more odious than ignorance, though they are offspring of the same deceiver. What is important in light of the variation in hell’s degrees of punishment is that we preserve the truth that “whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it” (Jas 2:10).

Recently, I stumbled across an excellent and concise essay at The Gospel Coalition by Albert Martin and Fred Zaspel that does an excellent job of explaining the rationality of hell’s degrees of punishment. It probably doesn’t warrant an entry into the literature database, but it is worth a bit of your time. Some excerpts are selected below.

Top 5: Building Theological Depth

For this top five, I want to share five books referenced in Is There Anything Good About Hell? which could help establish a younger or less mature believer in some deeper theological thinking. None of these are about hell or punishment itself and I have deliberately not included longer works: systematic theologies, commentaries, or other reference-type works. I also ruled out sermon compilations, or larger collated works (no Jonathan Edwards or Charnock here). If when you think of theological books, you are a toe-dipper, think of this top five as the moment you take a breath and submerge under the water. It may take a moment to acclimatize, but when you do it will be so much better!

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“Peerless”: Review of Hartman’s Divine Penology

Decretum Books will soon be re-publishing L. B. Hartman’s phenomenal book on justice and hell, Divine Penology (public domain), which will include a biographical introduction. This has been a fascinating project, as no significant biography of Hartman exists at present. Appendix B in the new publication is a glowing review from Christian Work: Illustrated Family Newspaper, Vol. 67, in 1899, which captures many of my own thoughts about the work, idiosyncratic as it is. It is printed here in hopes it will whet your appetite for this “peerless” treatise.

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C. S. Lewis and Three Biblical Images of Hell

Along with G. K. Chesterton and John Piper, C. S. Lewis is among my very favourite authors. Combining English wit with a deep understanding of the Bible’s themes and story, there is a good reason Lewis is among the 20th Century’s most beloved figures. Above all, however, Lewis has a knack for making deep insights plain to the everyman. In the case of his doctrine of everlasting punishment, this fact may explain his widespread influence on the topic in spite of the fact he never wrote a major work on hell. In spite of my deep appreciation for Lewis, I explain in chapters 5 and 9 of Is There Anything Good About Hell? that his teaching on hell has contributed to some very negative trends in evangelicalism since.
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David Powys’ Misreading of Irenaeus

Eisegesis isn’t just a problem for reading the Scriptures, it can also be a problem in reading the early church fathers. While I am by no means an early church scholar, I have read widely enough now on a few topics in the fathers  to come across some troubling misreadings. I’m not sure I have encountered any, however, as problematic as David Powys’ characterization of Irenaeus’ views of eternity and hell.
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