Question from a reader:
I’d like to know Randy’s thoughts on Kris Duerkson’s teachings about hell.
Answer from Stephanie Anderson, EPM staff:
I’m not familiar with Kris Duerksen and have not heard Randy mention him, but I did look over his paper. It seems to give an overview of his beliefs and teachings.
Kris writes, “I think Annihilationism offers a much more biblical and consistent interpretation in that people who are cast into Hell are burned up and destroyed.”
He later writes, “Eternal conscious torment is not consistent with God’s justice and mercy.”
Randy disagrees. He writes, “We may pride ourselves in thinking we are too loving to believe in Hell. But in saying this, we blaspheme, for we claim to be more loving than Jesus—more loving than the One who with outrageous love took upon himself the full penalty for our sin.”
Randy also writes, “I personally have studied the doctrine of Hell in the hopes of being able to come either to a position of universalism, or at very least the doctrine of annihilation. Unfortunately, I have not been able to do so and stay true to the Scripture I see. I don't want it to say what it does, but it does nonetheless (e.g. I have read books by annihilationists, hoping to believe, but the evidence wasn't convincing). If we start selectively believing Scripture only that isn’t troubling to us, we dismantle the authority of Scripture…If we dismantle the biblical doctrine of Hell, what else will we dismantle because we don’t think it fits with other things we believe about God? Where will it stop? I think the answer is, it won’t.”
As I looked over Kris’s paper, his theme seems to be: “I think.” It’s good to think, and we all have opinions, but what the Bible says must always take precedence over our thoughts, feelings, and opinions.
You can read more from Randy at Will Unbelievers Be Annihilated?
Some books Randy recommends are God Wins by Mark Galli, Erasing Hell by Francis Chan, The Last Things (Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell) by Paul Helm, and The Message of Heaven & Hell (The Bible Speaks Today Series) by Bruce Milne.