Most contemporary Christians acknowledge the doctrine of hell, but they’d rather not think about how God punishes the wicked. Four Views on Hell meets this subject head-on with different views on what Scriptures says. Is hell to be understood literally as a place of eternal smoke and flames? Or are such images simply metaphors for a real but different form of punishment? Is there such a thing as “conditional immortality,” in which God annihilates the souls of the wicked rather than punishing them endlessly? Is there a purgatory, and if so, how does it fit into the picture? This volume allows the reader to see the four views on hell—literal, metaphorical, conditional, and purgatorial—in interaction with each other. Each view in turn is presented, critiqued, and defended. This evenhanded approach is ideal for comparing and contrasting views in order to form a personal conclusion about one of Christianity’s key doctrines.
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William V. Crockett earned his PhD from the University of Glasgow and lectures and writes on contemporary theological issues.