Tackling the Thorny Issue of Hell

Back in February of 2011, the blogosphere erupted in response to a book challenging the traditionally accepted view of Hell. Social media outlets quickly blew up as well. All sorts of people were coming out of the woodwork to debate and defend a topic which might not normally receive a lot of attention.

Twitter was aflame with words like “universalism” and “annihilationism.” Theological terms regarding eternity were being discussed openly on a medium usually reserved for much more trivial concerns. It seemed that, even if momentarily, Hell had gone mainstream.

Opportunities to discuss issues of eternal consequence, while the general public’s interest is piqued, are rare. With all of the increased discussion, people generally want to know, “What exactly does the Bible say about Hell? How are these passages interpreted? And what are commonly accepted orthodox views?”

Logos has many resources available to help not only solidify your personal stance, but to prepare you for such discussions.

One thoughtful resource can be found in the Contemporary Issues Collection (7 vols.) In Hell: A Hard Look at a Hard QuestionAnglican priest and Archdeacon of Frankston, David Powys dissects the New Testament passages in regards to the fate of the unrighteous.

Powys divides his research into three parts:

  • Historical survey:
    In this section, Powys discusses the perspectives of church fathers like Gregory of Nyssa and Augustine of Hippo. Then he turns the microscope on the pre-reformation era’s views on eternity.
  • Jewish thought and Greco-Roman influence:
    Here Powys dissects Old Testament beliefs about judgment and the afterlife. He then uses the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha to examine how the Hasmonean era affected Jewish thought and rabbinic tradition. This is followed up by looking at both Roman influence and Pharisaical tradition.
  • New Testament passages:
    Looking closely at the Synoptic Gospels, Paul’s epistles, and Johannine literature, Powys interprets the New Testament’s passages dealing with the fate of the unrighteous.

At 508 pages, this book is the largest in the Contemporary Issues Collection. This collection comes with six other titles to help you tackle hot button contemporary issues from a biblical perspective. Whether you are looking for a resources regarding feminism, Christian political involvement, deistic sovereignty, Israel, or a scriptural view of law and justice, The Contemporary Issues Collection will help. And it is currently for sale on Pre-Pub for less than $.05 a page!

If you are looking for more resources dealing with the subject of Hell, Logos has you covered. Other helpful titles dealing with this hot button issue include:

Ultimately, public interest in discussions about Christian topics—even the thorny ones—is a win. Any opportunity to discuss a topic that leads back to the Gospel is positive. With Logos you can follow Paul’s admonition to “be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” (2 Timothy 4:2, ESV)

What other Logos resources have helped you in your studies on the topic of Hell?

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Written by
Jayson D. Bradley

For the last 20+ years, Jayson's been a pastor, worship leader, and church planter. Now he writes about ministry and Christian engagement.

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Written by Jayson D. Bradley