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Erasing hell : what God said about eternity…

Erasing hell : what God said about eternity and the things we made up (edition 2011)

by Francis Chan, Preston M. Sprinkle

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423825,018 (4.04)1
Title:Erasing hell : what God said about eternity and the things we made up
Authors:Francis Chan
Other authors:Preston M. Sprinkle
Info:Colorado Springs, CO : David C Cook, 2011.
Collections:Your library
Tags:hell, theology

Work details

Erasing Hell: What God said about eternity, and the things we made up by Francis Chan

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I found Chan to be open, yet clear in his convictions. I appreciated his willingness to admit that most of us would like some aspects of our faith to be more palatable, but our faith is not of our own making and we cannot dismiss or rewrite what we find uncomfortable.

I thought his use of Scripture as well as his explanation of the history surrounding its interpretation were accurate and the questions he poses to modern authors, including Rob Bell were fair and challenging.

The book was recommended to me and I am glad I read it. ( )
  ChuckS65 | Oct 7, 2013 |
I've always been a fan of Francis Chan since I heard him speak at Worship Central conference in London an 2009.

I ordered this book to compare it to the Universalist proposal by Rob Bell in Love Wins, which I also really like. While Chan rebuts many of the arguments in of Bell, I think it's beautiful to hold these two books and positions in tension.

Chan keeps central the idea of God as sovereign and high above us, so high that we don't have the right to judge what He has declared to be just. He also examines mainstream America's attitudes toward hell and judgment--declaring not that we should judge others, and not that escaping hell should be the main way to evangelize, but that the reality of hell should inspire us to love harder, go farther, and reach as many people as possible--because that is God's heart--to reach everyone.

He also discusses our "embarrassment" of hell, and alternatives to the attitude of "apology" for hell.

I think both books have a lot to offer in terms of rethinking American Christian Culture and our attitudes toward hell and judgment. I recommend reading them together, and spending much time in prayer and group talks over the topics within. ( )
  JennyElizabeth | Mar 31, 2013 |
An analysis of what Scripture teaches regarding hell.

The research behind the book comes from Sprinkle; Chan writes the substance. It is well-researched and well-presented. Chan does well at seeking to strike a balance between not being happy about what is revealed while accepting and emphasizing what is revealed; understanding his personal bias while recognizing how seriously the Bible takes the issue of hell.

The book is, in a sense, a response to Rob Bell's "Love Wins," but unlike some other such responses, Chan tries to seriously deal with the issues Bell brings up, but in terms of Chan's (and Sprinkle's) work in understanding the Bible text.

And they do so quite well: they discuss what is revealed in the Old Testament, spend some time on extra-Biblical Jewish literature between 400 BCE - 100 CE to understand views about hell during Jesus' lifetime, understand what Jesus says in that context, go beyond the word "hell" to see other descriptions of that place without using the term in both what Jesus wrote and also in the rest of the New Testament, and come back to matters concerning not just God's love but also God's justice and holiness while taking seriously what Scripture says about the type of people who will be experiencing hell-- and it goes beyond the stereotype to those who condemn others, do not help the poor, engage in discrimination, etc.

This is an excellent resource regarding the issue of hell, with appendices handling other issues that would have been tangential in the main text. The "altar call" at the end is understandable but bothersome; yes, hell is a serious issue, but so is salvation, and a written "altar call" without proper connection and guidance can cause difficulties.

Nevertheless, Erasing Hell is highly recommended to help understand what Scripture teaches regarding hell. ( )
  deusvitae | Jan 26, 2012 |
Erasing Hell: What God said about eternity, and the things we made up was released last year amidst the rush of books sent to print after Rob Bell's, Love Wins. Most of the evangelical world responded in blogs, papers, books, and video critiques of what Rob Bell was churning out in his latest authorial offering. Laughably, most of this critique came long before the book was released, and the overwhelming response was to a video promotion pre-released by the publisher. It was effective in creating curiosity and bordered sheer marketing genius. Although the book only served a specific niche in Christian subculture, I am sure it helped to sell the book well. Without access to actual publishing data, Amazon records the sale of Love Wins at #16 in "Christian Books and Bibles" and #677 overall. I'd say that is pretty good for mid-western pastor from Michigan.

This book attracted my attention because I considered it a feasible offering amidst all the clamor during all the Love Wins hubbub. I also anticipated a systematic and reasonable approach to a difficult doctrine, hell. I have never been satisfied with the medieval caricatures of a horned, goatee and mustache sporting red guy with a pitchfork. Nor have I ever been quite comfortable with accepting the idea that we all just fade to black and become annihilated. The subtitle of this book clearly states, "what God said about eternity, and the things we made up." So, as I judged this book by its cover, I expected it to live up to its subtitle.

The things referenced in this book regarding what God said are largely relegated to the teachings of Christ in the New Testament (NT) where reference to Gehenna, Hades, or burning, weeping, and gnashing occur. References to outer darkness also find their way into the list and provide a accentuate the survey of what the NT writers had to say concerning eternal "punishment".

This book, written in conjunction with NT PhD Preston Sprinkle, uses Francis Chan's authorial voice while leaning on Sprinkle's expertise for backup. The candor and tone of this book is indeed in the voice of Chan, and reads smoothly. The style is engaging and it is simple to read very quickly. I was thoroughly impressed with pace of this book. On the other hand, being eager to get a "Jesus" perspective on the teaching of hell, I was also zealous in digging into its pages. Although this book weighs in at 208 pages, approximately one-third of those are compromised of a Q & A section, a sample chapter of Chan's Forgotten God, and a notes section for each the references used in each chapter.

I was not impressed with what really lies beneath the guise of this book. Although it is well written, engaging, and easy to read, this book really falls into the pile of books released responding to Rob Bell's treatise on universalism, Love Wins. Without queuing up the references in this book to Rob Bell or the teachings from his book or ministry, I will tell you that I was able to understand the gist of Bell's book without ever picking it up. Some reviewers have noted that it just may impact the relevance of a book like this in the future when Love Wins falls off the evangelical radar. Addressing a topic like hell, what God said about it, and how we should approach it is a timeless pursuit for all those who are students of the Bible. Erasing Hell could have done much better in these efforts, but overall, it serves well as a primer on the Bible's teaching on hell, and provides some historical nuggets of information along the way.

The back cover of this book sums up what you will find in this book pretty well,

This is not a book about who is saying what. It's a book about what God says. It's not a book about impersonal theological issues. It's a book about people God loves. It's not a book about arguments, doctrine, or being right. It's a book about the character of God.

If you are deeply interested in knowing what God said about eternity, I would encourage you study the scriptures, ask the Holy Spirit to guide your understandings, and wait for the truth to become known. Until then, follow the advice Chan and Sprinkle offer, pause and meditate on the scriptures addressing eternity, ultimately, they are the ones God wanted you to hear. ( )
2 vote thegospelisgood | Jan 17, 2012 |
Christmas 2011, Granny Jeanne; Read 2/2012
  bobbyemccoy | Dec 26, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Francis Chanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sprinkle, Prestonmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0781407257, Paperback)

How could a loving God send people to hell? Will people have a chance after they die to believe in Jesus and go to heaven?

With a humble respect for God's Word, Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle address the deepest questions you have about eternal destiny. They've asked the same questions. Like you, sometimes they just don't want to believe in hell. But as they write, "We cannot afford to be wrong on this issue." This is not a book about who is saying what. It's a book about what God says. It's not a book about impersonal theological issues. It's a book about people who God loves. It's not a book about arguments, doctrine, or being right. It's a book about the character of God.

Erasing Hell will immerse you in the truth of Scripture as, together with the authors, you find not only the truth but the courage to live it out.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:46 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Addressing a variety of views on hell, the Bible, and the character of God, offers an eloquent response to the recent media storm surrounding questions of eternal destiny.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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