Thursday, September 22, 2011

Theopologetics Debate: Conditionalism

Announcing what will be the third Theopologetics debate! This time on the topic of annihilationism or conditional immortality. Participants have agreed to field questions from you, my listeners, so send them my way at Stay tuned!

Date: Friday, October 21st (or Tuesday, October 25th if unforeseen circumstances rule out Friday), to be published in the podcast feed shortly thereafter.

Resolution: Unsaved humans will suffer everlasting conscious torment.

Pseudonymous blogger TurretinFan of affirms. Ronnie, creator of the Consuming Fire blog, denies.

Debate format:
  • 20 minutes opening affirmative
  • 20 minutes opening negative
  • 15 minutes rebuttal affirmative
  • 15 minutes rebuttal negative
  • 10 minutes cross-examination of affirmative
  • 10 minutes cross-examination of negative
  • 10 minutes cross-examination of affirmative
  • 10 minutes cross-examination of negative
  • 20 minutes "audience" Q&A, alternating
  • 10 minutes closing negative
  • 10 minutes closing affirmative


  1. Chris, you've done it again! Its awesome that you've arranged such debates on topics that you very rarely hear debated. Keep it up!

    Maybe next you can arrange a debate on physicalism. I don't think i've ever heard of a moderated debate happening on this subject. And come to think of it, I don't think i've heard one on the nature of hell either.

  2. Thanks, Mike! Yes, I'd like to arrange a debate on physicalism. I'll work on it :)

  3. I had a recorded debate with a guy named Kelly Powers on annihilationism once. As far as debates go it wasn't all that (this was back in 2005), but you might be interested in hearing it.

    The debate:

    The Q and A:

    For what it's worth, I'm a better speaker nowadays :)

  4. Just clicked play. That was Dee Dee moderating the debate, wasn't it? What did she think when all was said and done?

  5. Oh my gosh. How did you let Dee Dee get away with pronouncing Dunedin "doon-eh-din?" :)

  6. I'm listening to Kelly's opening statement right now. See, this is EXACTLY why I'm leaning toward annihilationism: the arguments in favor of traditionalism are SOOOOOO weak!

  7. Boy, not a very good rebuttal from Kelly, either.

  8. Yeah that was Dee Dee. When the debate was over, the traditionalist tended not to talk about it so much. Can't think why :)

  9. Although there is no such thing as a good traditionalist argument, I will say that Kelly Powers was not a fair representation. He didn't deal all too much with scripture, was really quite arrogant (why I never go to theologyweb), relied mostly on philosophy and not scripture, and even boasted of it. Although this usually happens to some degree, traditionalist explanations are usually way better.

    (And he tended to miss the point from time to time, like on Dee Dee Warren's question about 1 Corinthians 15 and physicalism).

    And OMG, the Q & A; the death penalty is not punishment? That kind of speaks for itself.

  10. Yeah, he did horribly. I have tried not to let that poor performance contribute to my lean toward conditionalism. I'm still open to the possibility that a good argument is out there somewhere, but every day I'm a little more doubtful.

  11. Doubtful? As well you should be ;)

    Anyway, you should keep reading the books you mentioned on the Facebook page a while back. I would also recommend Robert Morey's Death and the Afterlife (it's a pretty influential book - it's quoted all over the place because he says that "apollumi" doesn't mean annihilate, and apparently he's all the authority we need).

    Also, below are some older books (more like non-fiction novellas), and a few articles that give good insight, are influential, and are free online :) Those include:

    - The Doctrine of Eternal Punishment by Harry Buis
    - The Doctrine of Endless Punishment by W.G.T. Shedd
    - "Evangelicals and the Annihilation of Hell" Parts 1 and 2 by Alan Gomes (article)
    - "The Hermeneutics of Annihilationalism" by Robert Peterson (article).

    And if you wanna be popular with the young folk and ride the thinking-about-hell-because-of-Robert-Bell, there is also Francis Chan's Erasing Hell. It adds nothing new to the discussion, but both me and Ronnie compliment it on our blogs for the various ways that it is not terrible.

  12. Oh, I forget to also suggest "The Importance of Hell" by Timothy Keller. Among other gems,he describes the lost person as being like a corpse (since death is brought up so much). I never knew you could torment a corpses, but anyway...

    (Also, I just discovered that you could connect your name to your choice of URl, and not just your Google account, so now my name is hooked up to my website) :)