The prospect of eternal punishment represents an insurmountable obstacle for many. Christianity is often rejected outright for its doctrine of hell, and even believers occasionally hold skeptical views. This volume was prepared to address this difficult doctrine for those both inside and outside the church.
In The Doctrine of Endless Punishment, Shedd makes a rational case and a biblical case for the doctrine, along with a historical sketch. He surveys the depiction of hell in the Bible, along with the technical terms use. He grounds the doctrine of endless punishment not in history, the Bible, or the church, but in the decrees of God.
William G. T. Shedd was born in 1820 in Acton, Massachusetts. He attended the University of Vermont, where he studied under James Marsh and encountered the writings of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He graduated in 1839 and entered Andover Theological Seminary, where he studied under Leonard Woods. At Andover, he became committed to Calvinism in general and Presbyterianism in particular. Upon graduating in 1843, he became a minister at the congregational church in Brandon, Vermont for two years. He taught at the University of Vermont from 1845 to 1852, at Auburn Theological Seminary from 1852 to 1854, and at Andover Theological Seminary from 1854 to 1862. He began teaching at Union Theological Seminary in 1864, where he remained until his death in 1894. While at Union, he defended the Reformed theology of Old School Presbyterianism against the increasing influence of modernism and higher criticism.