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Christians: Have you ever wondered if the "ever-burning hell" idea is all washed up?``

With Rob Bell's new book coming out ("Love Wins"), and pretty soon a new movie about a guy who changed his beliefs on hell, this question has really been stirring the Christian world. I'm just curious if there is anyone who's NEVER even thought of a different way of viewing hell then that "wicked" people burn forever.

Not necessarily trying to start a HOT argument here, I think it's kind of crazy the way people get all heated up about it, I'm just curious if anyone's never thought about it before.


Asked by Adelicious at 8:42 PM on Jun. 30, 2011 in Religious Debate

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This question is closed.
Answers (28)
  • honestly, i have! i thought, at one time, as hell being the way it was depicted in 'what lies beneath'...that movie w/robin williams where he went to 'hell' to find his wife and pull her out. i once thought of hell as that place that is your vice that you couldn't quite get out of or escape here on earth no matter how much you prayed/paid tithes/went to church, etc.

    now, i'm not sure what 'hell' is...but i wanna study the word of God to find out and then pray and do all i can to not get there!

    Answer by HappyHmsklNapps at 4:44 PM on Jul. 2, 2011

  • Even as a christian I rejected the idea of hell long ago. It is contrary to the nature and character of the God I believe in.

    I loved Rob Bell's book, though I think there are others better suited towards explaining a universalistic approach - Boyd Purcell's Spiritual Terrorism is a GREAT one, for example. There are plenty of resources, and even studying the Bible can prove that hell was never intended to refer to a literal place of eternal torment. Looking at the original language and the original context, it is a concept I completely reject.

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 9:42 PM on Jun. 30, 2011

  • Oh, and if you're looking for books that show the original language and context, and show *biblically* how unsupported the idea of eternal torment is, there are :

    Martin Zender Goes to Hell: A Critical Look at an Un-Criticized Doctrine by Martin Zender

    At the End of the Ages......The Abolition of Hell by Robert Evely

    and Hope Beyond Hell by Gerard Beauchemin

    I want to add that I reached my rejection of hell long before reading these books, so it's not like they simply swayed me or that I was just easily led astray, lol

    If you're interested, I think the place I got them from is still giving them away for free, and I could check for you....

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 9:47 PM on Jun. 30, 2011


    Should we be trying to convert people by scaring them into believing? No.

    Should we ignore the reality of hell and the brevity of sin because it makes people squirm/uncomfortable/feel bad about themselves? No.

    Rob Bell is not teaching doctrine that aligns with Christ's teachings.


    Answer by -Eilish- at 9:50 PM on Jun. 30, 2011

  • What's funny is that Christian Universalism has a history that goes all the way back to the beginning of the Christian faith. There is nothing contradictory with Christ's teachings - in fact the idea of Universailsm is *more* compatible with his radical love and inclusion, with his breaking down of the various isms and boundaries of his day, than the current exclusionary version of Christianity, IMO.

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 9:54 PM on Jun. 30, 2011

  • Of course. I saw in _the Shack_ an implication that the torment is simply regret and guilt for past sins, for not living right. That is one way I have thought about it, my preferred way.

    I have always had a very hard time believing that God would send anybody to some literal lake of fire. And I was surprised how little the Bible had to say about it, as well.

    Answer by Tracys2 at 11:33 PM on Jun. 30, 2011

  • LOL. I find this new movement (or old one?) within the Christian Church very encouraging, as Hell is one of my biggest problems with Christianity. If hell exists, it's a bad reason for doing the right thing. If you accept that the teachings of the Church are designed to have people live their lives "well" then it is certainly unnecessary and possibly derogatory to a person's true faith and love of God because it brings fear and retribution and punishement into the discourse, istead of making it all about forgiveness and love.

    Answer by judimary at 12:24 AM on Jul. 1, 2011

  • "Rob Bell is in the new liberal Emergent church movement. They are less about the Bible and God and more humanistic."

    I'm not sure what your definition of Humanist is, but don't see where a humanist philosophy is incompatible with Christianity? Did I miss something? (I'm not a Christian anyway, but I did not think there was a conflict there)

    Answer by judimary at 12:26 AM on Jul. 1, 2011

  • The idea of it may have gone out of fashion, but the reality is quite another story

    Answer by adnilm at 1:23 AM on Jul. 1, 2011

  • I'm not sure what your definition of Humanist is, but don't see where a humanist philosophy is incompatible with Christianity? Did I miss something? (I'm not a Christian anyway, but I did not think there was a conflict there)
    It is and it isn't. In secular Humanism you have those who believe that humans own dignity and worth, as a stand alone. And that humans are a stand alone and decider of moral code. And if God is not involved, it's just a hop to God does not exist and then sin suddenly is subjective. Christians believe that we have intrinsic dignity and worth because we are made in the image of God.
    Christians and SH's can hold many of the same values and morals and get along famously, it's the genesis of the morals where the trouble creeps in

    Answer by adnilm at 1:38 AM on Jul. 1, 2011