After a successful and inspiring first conference in Houston last summer, we are looking forward to the prospect of more conferences both in the US and abroad! We are pleased to now announce the second Rethinking Hell Conference, which will take place at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California from June 18-20, 2015.


Our theme this year will be “Conditional Immortality and the Challenge of Universal Salvation.”

In selecting this theme, Rethinking Hell is promoting dialogue among evangelicals, by bringing our own view of conditional immortality (also called annihilationism), into conversation with universalism. Universalists believe that hell is a place of purification, out of which God will eventually redeem all who are sent there. This view has gained some popular momentum within evangelical communities since the publication of Rob Bell’s best-selling book Love Wins.

As well as the engagement of these two views, our conference will also facilitate a “trialogue” with representatives of the widely-held traditional view of eternal torment.
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Announcements Conference Universalism 2 Comments

Today, I was playing around with Google’s Ngram viewer, which allows you to see the frequency of use of various words in books that Google has digitized. I ran a search on the following terms, and got the graph below (click graph to enlarge).

  • Annihilationism
  • Conditionalism
  • Conditional Immortality
  • Universal Reconciliation
  • Eternal Torment


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Linguistics Leave a comment


Yes, fellow gamers, I will definitely get to Diablo and Dante’s Inferno! You are right to think that they are in the top 5 of Gameinformer’s list of video game hells. In Part 1, we covered games 6-10, so let’s finish up our tour of video game versions of hell, and what we can learn from their representations, or mis-representations, of hell.
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Culture 3 Comments

The traditional view of hell has certainly influenced western culture, and this is well reflected in the various depictions of hell in video games. The December 2014 issue of Game Informer discussed the Top Ten Hells in video gaming, and they provide some grist for examining the traditional view.

Disclaimer: I know that video games are meant to be fun, and are not meant to be biblically correct. But the mischaracterizations of hell below are a good chance to learn about the real thing.

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Culture Leave a comment

I recently had a very brief exchange with a colleague regarding conditionalism. He knows I’m a conditionalist, and he is not. He had just finished Clark Pinnock’s argument in Four Views on Hell, and stated that it was not a compelling argument, and that Pinnock began with a strawman- that God is love and therefore would not inflict people with torment forever (I don’t think this qualifies as a strawman, but that’s not my purpose here). This colleague argues that God is holy- this was the basis for rejecting Pinnock’s argument. Is this valid? Does God’s holiness stand in opposition to conditional immortality (CI)? Is God’s holiness grounds for believing in eternal conscious torment (ECT)? The purpose here is to examine what (if anything) God’s holiness contributes to our understanding of final punishment.
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Biblical Exegesis Criticisms Graham Ware Hermeneutics 2 Comments