Episode 83: Pastor With No [Good] Answers (On Hell), a Response to Sean Cole (Part 3)

Rethinking Hell contributor William Tanksley joins Chris Date to play and respond to clips from an episode of Pastor Sean Cole’s “Understanding Christianity” podcast, which he recorded before his debate with Chris was published on Bad Christian’s “Pastor With No Answers” podcast. This episode contains the third and final part of their three-part discussion.


Sean’s debate with Chris on the “Pastor With No Answers” podcast
Sean’s podcast, “Understanding Christianity”
Part 1 of Peter Grice’s article, “Conditional Immortality”—What it means and why it’s the best label
“Their Worm Does Not Die: Annihilation and Mark 9:48
“The Fire Is Not Quenched: Annihilation and Mark 9:48 (Part 2)”
“The Meaning of ‘Apollumi’ in the Synoptic Gospels”
A Consuming Passion: Essays on Hell and Immortality in Honor of Edward Fudge
Rethinking Hell Books
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  • Jim O

    Thanks for the efforts you guys put into these podcasts. I think you do a great job and I find them helpful.

  • Webb Mealy

    A lot of head-scratching goes on in trying to interpret 2 Thess. 1:9, but I think the key piece of information that is the most important in interpreting this verse is that the words “from the presence (lit. “face”) of the Lord and from the glory of his power” constitute, with the exception of the missing words “the fear of,” a word-for-word quotation from Isa. 2:10, 19, 21. Paul is also, as I think Chris mentioned, alluding to Isa. 66:15, by his use of the words “giving a rebuke in flame of fire.” The words “rebuke,” “flame,” and “fire” are all identical in the Greek.

    My approach, which won’t please everyone, is to say that Paul is being both poetic and maximally allusive here, so there is much more to be gained by going to the passages in Isaiah that he is pointing you to–especially Isaiah 2–than by trying to take a microscope to the grammar. He is actually stretching grammar a little in his attempt to draw in as much OT prophetic allusion as he can.

  • Webb Mealy

    I’ll also mention, in relation to the head-scratching about whether Paul is talking about those who oppose Jesus at his coming in glory being killed or judged-and-destroyed or (with Peter Grice) both at the same time in 2 Thess. 1:6-10, that one option is to understand olethros aiwnios as an age-lasting destruction. For a prediction of fiery destruction (and indeed, torments, basanoi) that is/are described as aiwnios, and immediately interpreted to be “for the whole age,” see 4 Macc. 12:12.

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