Objections to Conditional Immortality Answered with David Burge

January 8, 2010

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David Burge is the pastor of the Takanini Church of Christ in Auckland, New Zealand. He also leads the Advent Christian Conference of New Zealand and the Conditional Immortality Association of New Zealand (www.afterlife.co.nz). He has researched, written, and spoken extensively on the topic of conditional immortality (the belief that dead people are asleep until the resurrection at the return of Christ).

Conditional immortality has already been discussed in these previous shows:

In this episode, rather than asking David to present a positive case for this doctrine, I pummeled him with difficult verses for him to explain. Amazingly, time after time, he was able to show where the misunderstanding was, and how to interpret each sensibly. Verses discussed include:

  1. Luke 16.19-31
  2. Luke 23.43
  3. 2 Corinthians 5.8
  4. Philippians 1.23
  5. Revelation 6.9-11
  6. Revelation 14.11
  7. Revelation 20.10

Also, as of right now David is fighting for his life against acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Please pray for him, his wife, and their eight children. Updates about him can be found here.


The History of Hell with John Roller

February 22, 2009

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Dr. John Roller has served as an interdenominational youth evangelist, as a pastor of churches in Illinois, Florida, and West Virginia. He has a Ph.D. from Bethany Theological Seminary in Dothan, Alabama, where he specialized in tracing the early christian history on the afterlife and the doctrine of hell. Dr. Roller has written an e-book, The Doctrine of Immortality in the Early Church, which is available for free upon request by emailing him (johnroller@faithbiblechristian.com). More information about John Roller can be found at www.JohnRoller.com.

In this show John articulates with lucidity the shift from the biblical notion of annihilation to the pagan mythology of eternal torment. From the earliest days Christians believed that at death one was asleep until the resurrection when Jesus returned to establish his kingdom. Only then would hell exist as a means by which God would destroy the wicked and rebellious. However, through the late second century influence of Athenagoras of Athens, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian of Carthage, the hell doctrine combined withe the Greek philosophic idea that souls are immortal into the grotesque abomination that is so popular today. Join us as we delve into the history of hell to document the remarkable shift that occurred in the second century.


The Truth about Hell with John Cortright

February 15, 2009

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Rev. John Cortright brings thirty years of biblical teaching experience to bear on the critical subject of hell. Most Christians believe that hell is the place that one goes to immediately at death if he or she is unsaved. In hell a person is supposedly tormented without relief, not for ten, twenty, or thirty years, nor even for a million years, but for all of eternity. This grotesque mythology has grown out of exaggerations by people like Dante whose imaginations, no doubt, got the better of their exegetical powers.

John demonstrates from the Scriptures that the dead are in Sheol (also called Hades) where they are unconscious (“asleep”) until Jesus comes to resurrect. Even so, after the millennial rule, a great white throne will be set up and the final judgment will occur. At this time everyone whose name is not found written in the book of life will be thrown into the lake of fire (gehenna) to be burned to death.

John shows that the idea of gehenna (the word translated hell in the New Testament) came from an actual place–the Valley of Hinnom (see picture at right). What’s more, John has actually been there–to the Valley of Hinnom–in modern day Israel and he describes it with chilling detail. Furthermore, John shares what took place there historically so that it became the prototypical way of talking about God’s fiery judgment to be delivered in the last day. If you have ever questioned the typical view of hell, and have been at a loss to reconcile the belief that God will torture people forever with the notion that “God is love,” then this show would be well worth your time.