What Happens to Non-Christians When They Die

Topics: Annihilationism, Clark Pinnock, Bible Pages: 10 (2319 words) Published: September 8, 2013
What Happens to Non-Christians when they die?

An Evaluation of various perspectives

Felipe Palma

A130101

Alphacrucis College: Baulkham Hills

THE101: Understanding the Faith: A Survey of Christian Doctrine – Major Essay

Due date: 10 May 2013

Submission date: 10 May 2012

Final word count: 2003

Plagiarism Quiz Score: 92%

Plagiarism Quiz Completed: 30/3/13

I hereby declare that the following work in this assessment is my own, except where indicated through due referencing. This assessment has not, in full or part, been submitted for another class or course at AC or any other institution.

Signed: Felipe PalmaDate: 10 May 2013

INDEX

Page Number

Abstract ................................................................................................................................ 3

Essay ...................................................................................................................................... 4

Introduction .................................................................................................................... 4

The Traditional View………….…………………........................................................... 5

The Universal View...................................................................................................... 7

The Conditional/Annihilation View...................................................................... 9

Conclusion ..................................................................................................................... 10

Bibliography .................................................................................................................... 11

Abstract

The purpose of this essay is to present three main positions regards the fate on non-Christians after their death. The positions that will be examined are: The traditional (literal) view, Universalism and Conditional Immortality/Annihilation view.

We will briefly describe these positions and will evaluate their strength and weaknesses.

Since this is a topic in which there is no complete consensus and the biblical witness seems to allow multiple interpretations I will present these views in the order from less adherence to most adherence, leaving the last one as in my opinion has the more Biblical support.

With that in mind, we need to realise that this is just a position and by no means I’m saying that this is the definite and absolute truth.

Essay

Introduction

The question regards hell has been a major topic throughout church history. Many non-believers, and also believers, cannot reconcile the concept of a loving God in one hand and in the other one a Sadist God who will torture for eternity those who don’t believe in Him. They asked themselves: How can a God of love send people to hell for an eternity only because they don’t believe in Him?

There have been many answers to try and solve this tension. In recent years a popular book came out talking about this topic and at the same time making a lot of confrontation between different parties.

Some people decide to completely ignore this issue because of the complexity that it has; others faithfully accept the traditional idea of eternal punishment for unbelievers and they hold to it dearly. There are others who try to redefine hell in a way that is compatible with the view of the loving and just God that scripture portraits.

Since the 1960’s it has been popular to reject the existence of hell or “though hell may exist, it will at the last be untenanted”[1].

But the question still remains: what happens to non-Christians when they die? Do they go anywhere? Hell or somewhere else? What does the Bible say about it? What should our response be?

Through out the course of this essay we will look at three main positions held in the church and will evaluate their...

Bibliography: Boyd, Greg. "The Case for Annihilationism" http://reknew.org/resource/essay/judgment/thecaseforannihilationism (accesses on May 06, 2013).
Crockett, William V. Four Views on Hell - Edited by William Crockett. Michigan: Zondervan, 1996.
Edwards, John Stott and David L. "Essentials: A Liberal - Evangelical Dialogue". London, 1988.
Edwards, Jonathan. Jonathan Edwards on Heaven and Hell. Chicago: Moody, 2010.
Mulder, Jack. "Must all Be Saved? A Kierkegaardian response to theological Universalism" International Journal of philosophy of Religion. 2006.
Seymor, Charles. "A Theodicy of Hell" . Doordrecht: Kluwert Academic Press, 2000.
Woodcock, Eldon. "Hell: An Exhaustive look at a Burning Issue". WestBow Press, 2012.
Wright, Tom. Surprised By Hope - Kindle Edition. London: SPCK, 2007.
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[1] Tom Wright, Surprised by Hope – Kindle Edition (London, UK: SPCK, 2007), p 189.
[2] William V. Crockett “Four Views on Hell” Edited by William Crockett (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996), p 48.
[3] Eldon Woodcock, “Hell: An Exhaustive Look at the Burning Issue” – Kindle Edition (WestBow Press, 2012) p, 475.
[4] John F. Valvoord “Four Views on Hell” Edited by William Crockett (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996), p 27.
[5] Jonathan Edwards, as cited in Owen Strachan and Dough Sweeney, Jonathan Edwards on heaven and hell (Chicago, IL: Moody, 2010)
[6] Crockett, p 50-51.
[7] Greg Boyd, “The Case for Annihilationism” http://reknew.org/resource/essays/judgment/the case for annihilationism. (accessed on May 06, 2013).
[8] Clark H. Pinnock “Four Views on Hell” Edited by William Crockett (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996), p 36-39.
[9] John Stott and David L. Edwards, “Essentials: A Liberal – Evangelical Dialogue” (London, 1988), p 316.
[10] Zachary J. Hayes “Four views of Hell” edited by William Crockett (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996), p 100.
[11] Jack Mulder, “Must all be saved? A Kierkegaardian response to theological Universalism” International Journal of Philosophy of Religion 59, No 1 (F 2006), p 5.
[12] Charles Seymour, “A Theodicy of Hell” (Doordrecht, NL: Kluwert Academic Press, 2000), p 84-97.
[18] Greg Boyd, “The Case for Annihilationism” http://reknew.org/resource/essays/judgment/the case for annihilationism. (accessed on May 06, 2013).
[22] Greg Boyd, “The Case for Annihilationism” http://reknew.org/resource/essays/judgment/the case for annihilationism. (accessed on May 06, 2013).
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