Erasing Hell: What God said about eternity, and the things we made up
By Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle
Preaching to the choir…it’s not just for church any more.
This book is about the opposite of what you think it’s about, but first I need to take a minute to preface our little chat.
Erasing Hell is a Christian book, based on Christian beliefs. It was written as a pseudo-rebuttal to Rob Bell’s book, Love Wins (which I have not read), who preaches that everyone goes to heaven no matter what. Erasing Hell’s goal is to further Christian understanding of the concept of hell, and give us a more truthful and realistic foundation of faith in this live free, die hard world. It is not the book’s intent to convert the unholy, pagan masses or condemn anyone to any kind of afterlife.
Listen, I’m not trying to convert atheists into believers. I’m just trying to say the way schools need teachers, the way Kathy Lee needed Regis, that’s the way I need Jesus.
Oh…wait…that was Kanye.
So anyway, much like how most of my reviews are targeted at folks who enjoy schmoopy romance novels or other girly books, I am going to aim this one at the Christian sector. If this doesn’t float your train, you might want to sit this one out. No harm, no foul. But, if you’d like to get into a deep religious and philosophical debate about the existence of God, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.*
Ok, everybody happy? Well I should say…
I came across Erasing Hell one day while I was shelving new books (it’s like shopping, but without a credit card!). My immediate thought was that it was going to tell me how hell isn’t real and how we can do anything we want whenever we want without consequences.
Hello prevalent world view.
But as I read through the first few pages, I came to realize that the authors were not espousing their own beliefs, but they had researched the Biblical truths regarding the existence of hell. They dug into history, placing Jesus and Paul’s preachings on hell into the context of a 1st century Christian – what the Jewish tradition was and what the people had always held to be true about hell. The authors defined original Greek words based on the context of usage and compared them to other uses in the Bible in order to get the best definitions and meanings.
Erasing Hell is one of the most strongly argued books, based on solid Biblical facts, that I have ever read. A lot of times religion can stir up emotions and fervor – which does not make for any kind of a rational argument. We fight over whose dogma is more right – Catholics vs. Methodists vs. Baptists, etc. Chan and Sprinkle removed the emotional crutch by simply focusing on what the Bible says about hell – even to the point of being uncomfortable with their findings.
Hell, like God, is binary. Either it exists or it doesn’t (atheists, please refer to the above email for further clarification). And as Christians, or really any other religion for that matter – most have some sort of “place for punishment”, it is our duty to learn what we can about it in order to live successfully.
I’d start here.
*This is not a real email, so please don’t send anything. It was just a funny way to say that this is not the forum for religious discussion. The library has books about religion and I happened to think this was a good one. That is all.