Episode 52: The Fire That Reconciles, with Shawn Bawulski

Dr. Shawn Bawulski, Assistant Professor of Theology at LCC International University, joins Rethinking Hell contributor Chris Date to discuss a variation of traditionalism known as “reconciliationism,” and some of the challenges to conditionalism which he offers in his 2010 Philosophia Christi article, “Annihilationism, Traditionalism, and the Problem of Hell.”


Shawn’s faculty page at LCC International University
Shawn’s personal website
Shawn’s recent book, Christian Theology: The Classics (Amazon)

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  • Megan

    I have a question. In this view of reconciliationism, what happens to the resurrected body in hell? He addresses very clearly what he believes happens in the mind and/or soul of the reprobate. It seems that many modern traditionalists reject the literal intepretation of fire and outer darkness and intepret them as metaphors for what the soul experiences apart from God-in this case guilt and shame. But what about the body? Thank you.

    • Chris Date

      Oh good question. I’ll ask Shawn to chime in.

  • Shawn Bawulski

    Hi Megan, thanks for the question. I can’t presume to speak for everyone who defends reconciliationism, but I’ll give you an answer I find attractive. It goes something like this: final punishment is a resurrected reality, and as such, the reprobate experience a resurrection to a non-glorified body, but yet one that is prepared for eternity. I’m inclined to say that suffering is experienced in the wholeness of human existence (both ‘mind/soul’ and body, united together), but that the focus of punishment is spiritual/psychological (although this would not exclude physical manifestations of that spiritual suffering). Thanks for your interest! -Shawn

  • Peter Grice

    I greatly appreciated Shawn’s ability to articulate his view. Listening to this podcast was time very well spent!

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