Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Episode 71: Forever the Pain

Episode 71 of the Theopologetics Podcast is now available! Debate topic: "The punishment of the damned will actually be torment forever and ever." Hiram Diaz, creator of the Involuted Speculations blog and contributor at Grassroots Apologetics, affirms. Chris Date, host of the Theopologetics Podcast, denies. Moderated by Mike Felker of The Apologetic Front. This episode contains part 2 of the debate, including the second round of cross-examination, listener Q&A and closing statements. Listen to episode 70, "Perish in Fire," for part 1's opening statements, rebuttals and first round of cross-examination.


  1. Hi there Chris,

    What's been the reaction to this? I appreciated the sentiment you had at the end - that we are duty bound to ensure we constantly weigh up what we believe in the light of the Scriptures rather than that which we have always been told. Importantly, if it can be shown that the Scriptures teach something that doesn't align with what we already believe, we can't simply align Scriptures to what we already believe in order to suit ourselves. We have to reassess, and if in fact it really does reveal something to us that we hadn't previously understood, we have to act on that.

    One thing that has always prevented me from any belief in any kind of immortality from the beginning is the fall. Genesis 3 clearly tells us that there were two trees in the garden, and both were freely available to Adam and Eve. One gave eternal life, the other certain death. They ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, but not from the Tree of Life. Adam & Eve had the potential to eat from the Tree of Life (and live forever, i.e. become/confirm immortal) but they did not. We read in Gen 3:22 that God in fact said he wouldn't allow them to, and then proceeded to banish them to make sure of that (thus confirming their mortality, not immortality).

    Now couple this with there being no where in the Bible that teaches that God changes humans to have an immortal state post fall, except through the gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus, and what are we left with? Certainly not a 'hell'-like place where there is eternal conscious existence (immortality) of the reprobate, for where would the eternal nature of that existence come from? God would in some way have to sustain them in an eternal state. Not something that the Bible teaches.

  2. I've gotten overwhelmingly positive responses. Traditionalists have told me that whereas they once thought it was only for emotional and philosophical reasons that people were drawn to annihilationism, they say I've shown them that annihilationism has an exegetically strong case. Annihilationists have told me I did well, too. People on the fence have told me I was very persuasive.

    All that being said, some say they'd like to see my case discussed with someone more experienced in the subject, like a Morgan or a Peterson. I'm hoping Justin Brierley will have me on his show to put my position to the test.

    I agree with you about Genesis 3, of course :)