How Western Cultural Norms Blind Us to Understanding Grace

Introduction “Grace” is a loaded word. Grace, as Paul notes in Romans 6:23, is a free gift, yet each one of us approaches the idea of a gift with a set of culturally informed assumptions about what qualities a proper gift should have. Those of us living in the West attach certain expectations to gifts … More How Western Cultural Norms Blind Us to Understanding Grace

Annihilationism in Revelation — The Lake of Fire

The lake of fire in John’s apocalypse is the misunderstood angst-y teenager who everyone gossips about but few actually take the time to get know beyond the stories commonly shared over school lunches and microwaveable hot pockets. To the gossipers’ credit, the lake of fire is shrouded in mystery and takes a little bit of … More Annihilationism in Revelation — The Lake of Fire

Annihilationism in Revelation — Rev. 14:9-11

Does John’s apocalypse support the eternal conscious torment of those who reject God? Perhaps, but perhaps not. Here are the words in question:  9 Then another angel, a third, followed them, crying with a loud voice, “Those who worship the beast and its image, and receive a mark on their foreheads or on their hands, 10 they … More Annihilationism in Revelation — Rev. 14:9-11

Annihilationism in Revelation — Intro to Apocalyptic Literature

As a 90s kid, I grew up in the era of “Left Behind” books and discussions about the Rapture drawing ever nearer, as the rapid fulfillment of “end-times prophecies” clearly indicated. Though I never read the books, the descriptions of believers being taken from Earth at the sound of trumpets and the tales of coming … More Annihilationism in Revelation — Intro to Apocalyptic Literature

The Case for Annhilationism from the Teachings of Paul

Paul. Missionary, preacher, apostle to the gentiles, teacher of all things deemed “orthodox” by the doctrinally pure American evangelical church (sarcasm) including a hell filled with the screams of the damned for all eternity. Paul was a solid, A+ Christian, never compromising on those harsh, uncomfortable teachings found in the Bible. Though this may be … More The Case for Annhilationism from the Teachings of Paul

The Teachings of Jesus Concerning Divine Judgement

Jesus is often credited with speaking the most on hell out of the pool of biblical characters. This is partially true. Besides the direct references to a valley called “Gehenna” (which translators pull out of its context by translating it “hell”), Jesus spoke a lot on the topic of judgment. Jesus’s particular method for communicating … More The Teachings of Jesus Concerning Divine Judgement

How Eternal is Eternal?—Matthew 25:46

Matthew 25:46 is typically viewed as one of the clearest statements made by Jesus regarding the fate of the wicked and the nature of their punishment. “46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” The plain contrast presented here is a dichotomy between eternal punishment and eternal life. The … More How Eternal is Eternal?—Matthew 25:46