The idea of hell has haunted millions of people all over the world, and continues to do so.
But … what if the fiery image of an eternal torture chamber, which many religious people have been taught, isn’t true?
In this episode, I interview Sharon Baker. She’s an associate professor of theology and religion, and has written numerous articles on hell and nonviolent atonement. Sharon is the author of Razing Hell and Executing God.
IN THIS EPISODE, SHARON ANSWERS THE FOLLOWING:
• When was the first time you found out you were going to hell?
• Is the idea of hell found in the Bible?
• Did any formal doctrine of hell exist in the early church?
• Where does the imagery of hell (fire, torture, screaming) come from? Did it develop over time?
• What does “fire” symbolize in the Bible?
• Doesn’t the Bible clearly teach ETERNAL punishment?
• Doesn’t the word “eternal” mean forever?
• Didn’t Jesus talk about hell more than heaven?
• Can there be a connection between a person’s understanding of the cross with hell?
• Did Jesus die to save people from hell?
• Why do so many Christians want to believe in hell?
• What does a person’s belief in eternal hell say about the kind of God they believe in?
• What about people like Hitler and Osama Bin Laden? Don’t they “deserve” an eternal hell?
• Can you go through some of the problems (“troubles”) surrounding the traditional view of hell?
• Does an eternal hell really solve the problem of evil?
• Respond to this: “God is love, but don’t forget that he’s also a God of wrath.”
• Respond to this: “God can send anyone to hell because everything God does is just and loving.”
• Respond to this: “It doesn’t matter how small your “sin” is, it’s who (God) you’re sinning against.”
• Respond to this: “God sends nobody to hell. People send themselves there.”
• What about the verse, “It’s appointed for a person to die once and then face judgment”?
• Doesn’t God allow people to suffer in hell so he won’t violate their free will?
LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
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(Image Description: Razing Hell book cover & Sharon Baker)