Saturday 3 January 2015

Unbelievable Hell

Recently (as in: the last few days) I participated somewhat half-heartedly in an online discussion about the validity of theology. Without reiterating in detail my established views on the subject I'll just say it is my belief that theology has minimal validity or practical use other than as an exercise in literary criticism.

By way of example, just today my podcatcher downloaded the latest edition of Premier Christian Radio's Unbelievable? podcast, which once again confirmed its status as the radio equivalent of the Curate's Egg. The blurb for today's show is this:

Should Christians rethink Hell? Dr Al Mohler & Chris Date debate the traditional & conditionalist view

Saturday 3rd January 2015 - 02:30 pm
Following an article in the New York Times about scholars who adopt an annihilationist (also called 'conditional immortality') view of hell rather than the traditional 'eternal conscious torment' view, Justin is joined by two evangelicals to debate the issue.

Dr Al Mohler is President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He spoke against the annihilationist view in an edition of his daily podcast The Briefing.

Chris Date is one of the founders of Rethinking Hell and adopted an annihilationist view after he became convinced the Bible teaches it. They debate the scriptural evidence and whether scholarship is moving away from the traditional view.
I realise this isn't aimed at the likes of me, but Unbelievable? has been billed as the show that gets Christians and non-Christians talking, and often has atheists debating believers. This particular show isn't one of those — at least as far as the blurb indicates. I haven't listened to this one, and probably won't, because it appears to be concerned with stuff on a par with pinheads and dancing angels (plus it's been covered before). This is the kind of stuff I have in the past characterised, charitably, as "vacuous theology", and less charitably as "piffle".