Episode 47: The Dark Side of Destiny, with Greg Crofford

Dr. Gregory Crofford joins Rethinking Hell contributor Chris Date to discuss the threefold doctrinal test he subjects competing views of hell to in his book, The Dark Side of Destiny: Hell Re-Examined.


The Dark Side of Destiny: Hell Re-Examined, by Dr. Gregory Crofford
Dr. Crofford’s blog, Theology in Overalls
Official site of the International Church of the Nazarene

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  • Diane

    My first time to hear this way of understanding what would happen to the sinner was when Mr. Fudge was on Dr. Brown’s broadcast back on December 17, 2013. It was a serious eye opening broadcast to listen to as I grew up believing I could end up in torture of Hell at any moment if I didn’t do exactly as the man on the platform told me to. The fear, confusion, and anxiety I grew up in caused me to eventually wake up in hospitals from seizures. The past few years have been amazing and I thank God for showing me how much He truly loves us all. Even the worst of sinners. I am taking time to read and pray more than ever as He prepares me to be a testimony and a tool in these days. Especially for the many that are in these same kinds of states of mind as I have been but God has delivered me from. God bless.

    • Greg Stump

      Thanks for sharing this story. I’m sorry to hear of the many difficulties you experienced related to the idea of eternal torture. I’m glad to hear that assurance of God’s love has been deepening in your hear these past years!
      Blessings on your continued study on the topic,

  • Hello Chris.

    I find this was an amazing episode and you were incredibly brilliant, clever and insightful (like always).

    I have just written a review of a debate between professor Randal Rauser and an atheist about heaven.

    Since my mood is currently heavenly (or hellish if you prefer) I’m going to write a review of your conversation too, as soon as I find the time.

    While I don’t share your Evangelical presuppositions, I would feel extremely honored to interview you (to reverse the roles a bit) one day.

    Lovely greetings in Christ.

  • Dear Chris,

    I finally wrote my review


    and would be very glad to learn your thoughts on that.

    Cheers from Europe.

    • Chris Date

      It’s an interesting review, and I am blessed by your very kind, if inaccurate, compliments about me :)

      Some thoughts I had as I read it:

      1) I agree that inclusivism is not the same as universalism, and I try to make that distinction myself. I more strongly oppose inclusivism than universalism, if by inclusivism one means (as I take the term to mean) that people can be saved despite not expressing saving faith in Jesus Christ, whether before or after death. For example, Robin Parry would not, in my view, be an inclusivist, because although he believes that the lost have an opportunity to repent and believe after death, it is only those who do so who will be saved (although all will eventually do so). If, on the other hand, one uses the term inclusivism to refer to the ability and opportunity to turn to Jesus Christ after death, I would recommend using a different term. Unless, that is, I am misusing the term inclusivism to begin with :)

      2) I see nothing blasphemous in stating that the native in the story won’t have a chance to turn to Christ. I suppose it might offend some, but then most people today are offended by the notion that human beings are anything less than generally good, decent folks. If, as I think the Bible teaches, humans are hopelessly wicked, despite having been created in the image of God, then there simply is no rational basis for believing that God owes every human being an opportunity to turn to Christ. If we all deserve death, and if some receive death because they were never told how they might be pardoned from it, then nothing unjust has transpired. As such, I simply deny the first premise in your syllogism.

      In any case, I appreciated what you had to say both about me and about Greg.

      • Hello!

        I am a Christian inclusivist in that I believe that Christ will still try to reach out to non-Christians after their death (this is the official view of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches).

        I also believe that (at the very least) some of them will reject Him, thereby showing themselves unworthy of eternal life.

        As for human wickedness, I believe that God would still be extremely unfair if He is responsible of this wickedness in the first place (by cursing us with a sinful nature making sin inevitable ).

        I illustrate this through the following parable.

        I don’t believe in total depravity and think that the Bible speaks with different voices on this issue (as anyone taking an objective look at the debates between Calvinists and Arminians won’t fail to realize).

        While I am very critical of Calvinism, I recognize that my arguments (as laid out on my blog) become considerably weaker if hell no longer means eternal torment but the cessation of existence.

        Given annihilationism, double predestination might be compatible with God’s love.

        So I would feel genuinely honored to have the opportunity to interview you about all these topics and first and foremost the objections of proponents of the traditional view.

        I have several atheist commentators, so the discussion could become quite interesting since they grew up with eternal conscious torment.

        My email is lotharson57@gmail.com

        We could also privately skype if you are a bit interested in my person :-)

        Blessings and best wishes from Europe.

        • Chris Date

          Yeah I’m open to it, especially if I have the opportunity to plug our upcoming book and conference. When you talk about an interview, do you mean you have a podcast of some sort? Or would it be an interview published solely in writing? I’m just curious.

          • It would be a written interview because I have a terrible English accent :-)

            Feel free to advertise any (good :-) ) conditionalist book or event you wish.

          • hab317319 .

            Chris, will Rethinking Hell be offering your book (and perhaps your book and Mr. Fudges book as a set) on this website when they become available?

          • Chris Date

            Hi, our book is available on Amazon right now, just search for “Rethinking Hell”. Unfortunately we don’t sell Edward’s book except as part of registration to the conference, which is in just a few weeks.

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