Annihilationism: Universalism and The Reality of Eternal Punishment: The Biblical Basis of the Doctrine of Eternal Punishment by Sinclair Ferguson

http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/conference-messages/universalism-and-the-reality-of-eternal-punishment-the-biblical-basis-of-the-doctrine-of-eternal-punishment

Now you see the point that is being made: if you believe in the immortality of the soul, then it’s necessary for you to do something in your theology with that immortal soul that rejects God.

In contrast, it is claimed, the New Testament’s teaching is different. We are to fear him who is able to “destroy” body and soul in hell, and this is what he will do. And it’s vital that we have a biblical response to that.

And it seems to me that the biblical response to that is this: that the immortality of man—which of course is dependent on him who alone has immortality—is not rooted in a Hellenistic view of the immortality of the soul that certainly was not in the Old Testament, but is first of all rooted in the biblical doctrine of man as the image of God, created to bear his likeness and to whom he has committed himself to uphold an everlasting existence.

And on the other hand, the doctrine of the general resurrection of the dead, which otherwise must be viewed as some kind of cynical joke in the heart of this All-Righteous God, that he punishes men and women and then raises them from the dead simply to annihilate them out of all existence. That’s a little bit like having shot Socrates in the head and taking him to the emergency room in order that he may live to drink the hemlock. And there is something in it that is altogether out of keeping with everything that Scripture says about the utter integrity of God and his dealings with men and women.


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