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(Review) Erasing Hell: What God Said About Eternity, and the Things We've Made Up by Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle

Publisher and Publication Date: David C. Cook. 2011.
Genre: Nonfiction Christian 2017, Hell.
Pages: 208.
Source: Self-purchase.
Rating: Good.

Amazon

An interview of Francis Chan by Christianity Today on Rob Bell and Hell.

From the Gospel Coalition, by J D Greer, 7 Truths About Hell. 

I've had this book in my to be read pile several years. I'm embarrassed at how long it took me to finally read it.

In the Preface, it is stated Preston Sprinkle did most of the research for the book. Sprinkle and Chan "partnered" for this book on the subject and place of Hell.
Hell is not a subject talked about like it was when I was a child. Back then, some Sunday sermons were referred to as "hell fire and brimstone." I have a strong memory of our pastor beating on the pulpit as he preached this type of sermon. It is certainly a different method than the one I see most Sunday's in my current church. Our pastor paces on the stage, he has an engaging type style, he has a ready smile on his face and uses illustrations that are relatable and witty.
I've read studies where many people do not believe in Hell. They believe in Heaven but not Hell. And, I've heard some people remark they've already lived through Hell on earth. Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkles have written a brief study on Hell. This book is not in-depth. It is a broad overview. Their focus is on what Scripture has to say about Hell.
This book was written shortly after Rob Bell wrote his piece, Love Wins. 
In 2011, I read several online articles about Rob Bell's book. I had meant to read it, but did not. I manage to read 100 to 180 books per year. I just never got around to reading Rob Bell's book.
Several points I liked about Erasing Hell:
  • The history of first century Jewish belief about Hell.  
  • Chan and Sprinkles explains we are not going to understand God's ways because "God's ways are far beyond us...." 
  • Look at the context of Scripture. Do not pull out of Scripture certain points to validate a human belief. 
  • Instead of disagreeing about Hell, share the solution which is the Gospel. 
  • Scripture is given to expound on the teaching of Hell. 
  • The authors reveal their findings on whether there is a Hell or not.   
The notes section is usually located at the back of a book. In Erasing Hell, the notes section is at the end of each chapter.
The book does not have discussion questions.
The last chapter includes several questions that are commonly asked. For example, "Are there degrees of punishment in hell?"
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 'For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me; I was in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and take you in, or without clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in prison, and visit you?' And the King will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine you did for me.' Then he will also say to those on the left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels! For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink; I was a stranger and you didn't take me in; I was naked and you didn't clothe me, sick and in prison and you didn't take care of me.' Then they too will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or without clothes, or sick, or in prison, and not help you?' Then he will answer them 'I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these you did not do for me.' And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. Matthew 25:31-46. Christian Standard Bible.
 Scripture reference courtesy of Bible Gateway.


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