In the Vein of “Everything you ever learned was wrong”

There are the Jehovah’s Witness claims that the entire Christian church has always been wrong about, well, almost everything. Except for those few ECFs they could massage into some sort of superficial agreement, of course. Mormonism likewise asserts that all churches ceased to be true churches rather quickly following Christ’s ascension. Islam, with it’s idea of scriptural supercessionism and their revisionist version of what the Scriptures actually are, or taught, have a similar view of Christianity as a whole. It’s much the same with any other warmed-over historical error – be they large, as the wholesale replacement religions seen above …

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Life and Death, Blessing and Curse

The case being made by the annihilationists we have interacted with has certain presuppositional commitments which affect how they read Scripture. The first entails that we view death as an atheist would – empirically. The second entails that we read Scripture as if these descriptions it gives are meant to describe empirical processes or events. The third is that these descriptions are of the process, not describing the nature of the one who punishes. The fourth is that the nature of God is to be understood immanentistically.

As we dealt with the commentary concerning “Think of how an atheist views …

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Various Issues of Interest to the Debate

As I noted in my post “The Central Verses for the Doctrine of Hell,” there is a typical list of verses that are appealed to by the annihilationist. What this means in terms of the debate’s actual focus is still up in the air, of course, given that I have not yet heard what he intends to present, and likely will not, prior to the day. This is not problematic, of course, it just isn’t my typical modus operandi. If he sticks with a similar opener to that which he used with Diaz, I believe that he would …

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Furnaces of Fire and Outer Darkness

Another common argument made by annihilationists is from the imagery of the “furnace”, particularly in Matthew 13:42 and 50. As this is one of the parables Christ gives the most explanation of, we should be able to make a significant amount of headway in exegeting it properly. Date’s exegesis of this passage is significantly lacking – and as with the passages we’ve already looked at, I sincerely hope that what he has offered us thus far is not all that we’ll see, despite his statement that I am in possession of the entirety of his positive case. If this is …

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Point of Contact – Life, Death and Theology

Dealt with approximately 25 minutes of audio from three lengthy Theopologetics podcasts on annihilationism, the presuppositional commitments that are brought to the text, and on the basis of that reading, affect the theology they teach. Had Ben, Matthias, and Justin in with me at various points. We didn’t get to all of it, as we had a near catastrophic recording failure toward the end, where you will hear the audio quality/texture change, and I then make some comments specifically to Chris. Thankfully, it was recovered, and all was then right with the world. Take a listen.

Also, see this post

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Material for Tonight’s Planned Podcast

Tonight, we’re planning on doing a pre-debate episode of “Point of Contact”, dealing with various theological issues encountered in past Theopologetics podcasts, episodes 72, 73, and 74, on the subject of annihilationism. The clips we’ll be interacting with are listed below, and are symptomatic of a common problem we’ve highlighted in response to various ~CT positions over the past several years – a seeming inability to consistently argue from – and against – a systematic theology as a unit.

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Undying Worms and Unquenchable Fire

It is often asserted that there is a problem (for so-called “traditionalists”) with the use of Mark 9:48 due to it’s relation with Isaiah 66:24. This problem, according to Fudge, is that 1) Jesus quotes it “without amendment” 2) That the body is “already dead” and 3) That the fire “is a consuming, irresistible fire”. He relates “salted with fire” to mean the salting of a field, or of a place in order to make it uninhabitable. He cites Fields for his source, but we aren’t told, by Fudge, why this is supposed to have any connection with the passage …

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Matthew 25:41, Kolasis, and The Mediator

(26:19) This phrase eternal fire is used again in Matthew 25:41, where Jesus says he will send those on his left into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. So they will be destroyed, just like Sodom and Gomorrah. He calls this eternal punishment a few verses later, but before you assume that this supports torment forever and ever, consider this. The word rendered punishment refers to a penalty of death in the Septuagint translation of Ezekiel 18:30-32, and in 2Maccabees 4:38. The verb form of the word likewise refers to being killed in at least a

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Sermon: The Morality of Knowledge

I was once again invited to preach at Sovereign Grace Fellowship in Slidell. This week’s sermon was on Rom. 1:26-2:16. It is, additionally, the second installment of my adaptation of the paper in the first edition of In Antithesis.

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Propitiation, Wrath and Substitution

What is propitiation? That was one of the central elements of the Reformation of doctrine, and one of the most problematic issues in the modern Evangelical movement today. It has to do with many, many areas of theology, and we can’t possibly cover them exhaustively in a single blog post. But in a nutshell, what is it? In a nutshell, it is the “turning away of,” “appeasement” or “satisfaction for” the wrath of God due sinners. It is, therefore, intimately bound up to our notion of what the wrath of God actually is. It is bound up with sacrifice, atonement, …

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