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.
This polemic from preachers Chan and Sprinkle offers a direct rebuttal to Love Wins, evangelical leader Rob Bell's recent bestseller that outlines a theological case against the doctrine of eternal damnation for nonbelievers. The authors who take great pains to emphasize their initial reluctance to dwell on the subject of hell assert there is no evidence to support Bell's optimistic take on the afterlife. With the refrain "We can't afford to be wrong about this," the authors firmly if not theatrically posit that the idea of universal salvation lacks biblical grounding. Sprinkle's folksy narration is steady and sincere. His conversational reading makes the book's grave topic accessible to listeners and his delivery reflects that he and his coauthor don't want to alienate anyone even listeners who may (or may not) be headed to hell. This audiobook should find a ready-made audience among those seeking a conservative counter to Love Wins, but with an approach that offers more teaching than preaching. A David C. Cook paperback.
Not a Fun Topic, But an Important One
It is my strong preference to read, talk, and think about Heaven, but it is essential that we also know about Hell. I want to have a proper understanding of Hell for a host of reasons. I read about it regularly in the Good Book, people often talk about it unbiblically, I teach about it occasionally, and Jesus has saved His people from it eternally. I want others to know what it means to call Jesus the Savior of the world therefore I need to learn about Hell. Erasing Hell helped with that.
Erasing Hell is the third Francis Chan book I have read. Like thousands of others, I have greatly benefited from reading his books as well as listening to his sermons. Francis Chan can make challenging topics more understandable, and he has a knack for getting people from both ends of the spectrum to listen. Preston Sprinkle is new to me, but I think he's alright since he rolls with Chan.
Erasing Hell did not get my juices flowin' like some of Chan's other books (Crazy Love and Forgotten God), but the book is solid. Erasing Hell came largely in response to Rob Bell's Love Wins, and Chan and Sprinkle respectfully refute some of Bell's unorthodox teachings. Regardless of whether you are a fan of Bell's teachings, Chan and Sprinkle provide a profitable book about a not so easy topic. You may not always agree with what Chan and Sprinkle say, but they speak humbly and in a manner that can appeal to both seasoned and beginning theologians. Below is how the book is organized.
Chapter 1: Does Everyone Go to Heaven?
Chapter 2: Has Hell Changed? Or Have We?
Chapter 3: What Jesus Actually Said about Hell
Chapter 4: What Jesus' Followers Said about Hell
Chapter 5: What Does This Have to Do with me?
Chapter 6: "What If God ...?"
Chapter 7: Don't Be Overwhelmed
Appendix: Frequently Asked Questions
About the Author
About the Coauthor
Sample Chapter from Forgotten God
Not very compelling...but worth the read.
The book was easy to read, a fast read, and seemed to me to be disingenuous. The arguments Chan makes are debatable and based on debatable passages of Scripture, and debatable snippets of history.
Nevertheless, I would encourage people to read the book. The discussion on Hell is worth having. And I think it's important to understand - as much as you can - the different perspectives and ideas.
In my opinion, Erasing Hell does a great job of exposing just how unstable, weak, and debatable the mainstream, Calvinistic ideas of Hell are (Chan's position, no less - also Driscoll, Piper and others). And it's done in a fashion that attacks your ability to reason or understand God; ironically, by claiming to have figured Him out. Still, try to see past those weak attacks to fairly evaluate how this position stands in comparison to the many different sides and aspects of the discussion.
1 Corinthians 13:8 - Love never fails...
Great insight, humble and realistic approach on common questions. Challenge yourself.