If you are a Christian Nerd like me or a church leader of any sorts you probably been bombarded with the argument about the after life in recent months. There have been countless blog posts, status updates, and book written in response to the controversial book LoveWins by Rob Bell earlier this year. I recently spent the time reading one of these responses entitled Erasing Hell by Francis Chan & Preston Sprinkle. Being a fan of Chan's recent Basic DVD series I thought I would pick up this bit of light reading to see what he had to say regarding the topic of Hell and the after life in general.
All in all, I really was not impressed with the writing as a whole. I thought it lacked the quality authorship that Rob Bell and other scholars have on the topic. It seemed that Chan & Sprinkle were simply trying to make a response to the book LoveWins that would be readily available to the everyday Christian reading. I would have liked him to go much deeper on the topic and instead of focusing so much on the importance of the topic or on his disgrace with Bell, I would have enjoyed some deeper scholarly insight into the issue.
This book was not all bad, it has some great insight and questions regarding the character of God and how it is perceived by non-christians. It is described that for a non-christian it may be difficult for them to understand a God that wouldn't accept all into his holy place called heaven. I did enjoy the chapter regarding the clay and the potter. Much of the time we, being the clay, do believe that we can design the pot, but that would be ridiculous. For God is the potter and his divine hands are the one's molding this world. Therefore, as Jesus states in the first chapter of Acts, we are not to know the time and place of God's actions. This lack of control is something that must be considered when we are trying to live this life of sanctification and justification.
This book was an interesting look at the topic of Hell, but I would have enjoyed some deeper insight into the issue of Hell. Because I am not a fan of responsive writings, it made it difficult to dive deep into the text. If I were you I would grab the book LoveWins, Erasing Hell, and your bible translation of choice and pray that God will lead you to a biblically based interpretation of the issue of the afterlife. For all of these ideas lie in scripture and must be prayerfully considered by each individual Christian. Happy Studying.
till another day,