Episode 63: Up For Debate? A Response to Kevin Zuber, with Ronnie Demler and Chris Date

On December 14th, 2013, Moody Radio’s Julie Roys moderated an informal debate between Edward Fudge and Dr. Kevin Zuber on the radio show she hosts, Up For Debate. This episode contains part one of Rethinking Hell contributors Ronnie D and Chris Date’s response to some of the arguments offered by Dr. Zuber.

Links

The Up For Debate website
http://www.moodyradio.org/upfordebate/
The 12/4/2014 episode, “What Does Hell Look Like?”
http://www.moodyradio.org/brd_ProgramDetail.aspx?id=124246

Rethinking Hell Book and Conference Links

Rethinking Hell Book Ordering Information
http://rethinkinghell.com/2014/04/order-now-rethinking-hell-readings-in-evangelical-conditionalism/
Rethinking Hell Conference Videos
https://www.youtube.com/user/rethinkinghell
Conference Website, for Unfolding 2015 Conference(s) Details
http://www.rethinkinghellconference.com
Debates Podcast
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  • Givemhell

    Great episode! Thanks for the shout-out!

    • HaakAway

      Yes, I heard that too Givem’ … see they are paying attention to you. Is your reference here to Nov. 21 another Moody Radio broadcast?

      • givemhell

        I really thought they were purposefully ignoring me because no one was saying anything in response to the things that I was talking about in the forum and comments when it came to how I am growing in position of partial preterism and how it affects my view of hell and from what I remember, they still haven’t interacted with me on it, even though these some of these developments in my theology have been difficult because I hate having unanswered questions. Gary Demar, Joel McDurbon, have ignored me as well. I wonder if they just don’t have time or don’t want to get caught up in something like this before a debate or just don’t know what to say? Well, I actually titled a thread with Chris Date’s name that ended up being really long and kept addressing him over and over and over but no one said anything to me.

        Really though, at least in my mind, my discovery has revolutionized the way that I think about how the bible talks about hell. It’s been a major development for me. Really I’m surprised that the topic never came up and honestly I think that they should at least think about what I’ve been saying since this is “Rethinkinghell”.

        I heard that Chris Date might end up debating Al Mohler. Wow. My reference here is to Unbelievable? not to Moody Radio. Here is a link to listen to the show: http://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Saturday/Unbelievable/Episodes/Unbelievable-Putting-Christianity-on-Trial-Mark-Lanier-vs-Paul-Beaumont

        • givemhell

          Maybe I have bad breath or something and that’s why? Do they still still sell Binaca?

        • HaakAway

          Thanks … I would look for a chance to explain your thinking when THEY come closer to the issue in one of their Blogs. We know they are great guys and so I like your idea that they are just dealing with some other aspect that is not negative towards you but rather just a life-is-happening-fast part of their ability to talk about it yet.

          • givemhell

            Of course, I don’t take it as an insult. I appreciate what they are doing and have really enjoyed listening to the podcast and everything that they have done and are doing. I’m really looking forward to the debate for example and am rooting for Chris. If they met me in real life I think that they would like me. Maybe I’m just pushing buttons a little bit to see if I can provoke a reaction so that they will take a look at what I’m trying to express to them and communicate with me.

          • HaakAway

            Any chance of attending the next Conference at Fuller and introducing yourself? I plan on going … maybe we can all meet in persona and have a “Friendly-Forum-Food-Fight” [or something …alliteration got a way from me there. : > ) ]

          • Chris Date

            Sadly I just don’t have the time for forums or comments threads. I’m looking for a job, going to school, raising a family, preparing for debates, etc. I am very accessible by email, though. chrisdate@rethinkinghell.com

          • givemhell

            Yay! Ok, thanks Chris. I figured that it was something like that. I’m going to send you an email on these two issues because I think that the one issue might be helpful to you and the second because I think that you might be able to help me with a theological issue that’s been bugging me.

  • Givemhell

    Hey, I wanted to give you another heads up. Listen to Unbelievable? from Nov 21st, the episode before last. Mark Lanier and Paul Beaumont. Annihilationism comes up several times in a conversation between a Christian annihilationist and an atheist. It seemed to me that the atheist basically ends up defending the position of eternal conscious torment because he realizes that the position of annihilationism defeats his argument against Christianity. What a bunch of weirdness!

  • Craig Wright

    Congratulations, Chris. The book that you edited, Rethinking Hell, was named one of the top books for 2014 by Scot McKnight in his Jesus Creed blog.

    • Chris Date

      Awesome! Thanks for pointing that out!

      • Givemhell

        I’m going to second his “Congratulations.”

        • Chris Date

          Thanks :)

  • jimmo

    Thanks for the episode! Have a blessed Christmas.

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  • This is what comes from systematic theology. God tells us what he wants us to hear. Sometimes he gives us *information* (which is what we like). Other times he gives us parables that raises questions rather than answering them (which we don’t like), questions he wants us to ask ourselves, so that his Holy Spirit can answer them for us..

    Apprehending the God of ethical monotheism, and believing that He is a being who exists, rather than just a quite brilliant ethical thought experiment (much better than “the veil of ignorance in the original position”), who decreed mortality after the fall of man, and will judge the living and the dead, ought not to engender in us primarily a curiosity as to the literal truth at which literally inconsistent “hell” metaphors galore – outer darkness, the far side of a great gulf, a lake of fire, being put to death as a rebel by an absolute monarch for his enjoyment to name but a few – so much as terror and repentance. That we might reach out to Him, for “He is not far from any of us” (Acts 17).

    Those systematic theologians, or atheist apologists attempting a reductio ad absurdam on the doctrines of the Christian faith, who want to evaluate the bad news inside the good news ultra-rationally, might be interested to observe that we know nowadays that everlasting punishment does not have to be infinite punishment, demolishing one argument against the traditional personal echatology.

    How so? Because of the calculus that Leibniz and Newton developed, formalising the earlier work of Archimedes of Syracuse. There are curves p = f(t) where s is level of punishment endured and t is time, such that although for no t, however large, is p = 0, yet for no t1, however large, does the integral of s from t=0 to t=t1 (the cumulative punishment) exceed a certain finite limit. So, it is possible for God to decree finite punishment that nevertheless lasts forever!

    The question to ask oneself – to paraphrase Blaise Pascal, and to quote a movie character famously played by Clint Eastward – “Do you feel lucky, punk?” If so, go ahead, and make your *own* day – of judgment. The testimony and example of the saints as to the present reality of God, anecdotal and non-reproducible evidence though this might be, ought to be enough to send you running into his compassionate arms, o sinner.

    Are you thinking that maybe you can lodge an appeal, if you bargained for purgatory and end up with hell. But to whom shall you appeal, litigant? There is no higher court that that in which the Lord Jesus Christ will sit as judge, when he returns to judge the world. Perhaps you could at least ask for costs, in that court of courts, because of the ambiguity of the successful party’s offer to settle? They have already been paid. The price that bought a just God the right to judge more graciously than you deserve to be judged, surely covers an adverse costs order, a Pyrrhic victory if ever there was, like receiving nominal compensation for an excessive force, with which to buy sweeties to eat on death row.

    I do not think one can sue God for negligence, for leaving to our imagination what is meant by the phrase, “It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.” All three corners of the “hell triangle” should discourage further rebellion. That is why we do not *need* to know which systematic personal eschatology is correct. It is because we do not need to know, that it isn’t spelled out, not so that we can have interesting discussions in 2014.

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