The Eternal Destruction of the Wicked: An Argument for Annihilationism (Seminary Papers)

(The following is my term paper for Systematics III at Reformed Theological Seminary, submitted Winter 2020. Formatting not retained.)

There is no doctrine in Scripture that is more emotionally and intellectually challenging for mankind than the doctrine of hell. The notion of a final, eternal judgment and punishment for our sins strikes fear in the heart of sinful men, who in their sin downplay the reality of hell’s existence or seek to disprove it’s truthfulness altogether. For Christians, the doctrine of hell is a terrifying doctrine but one that also provides comfort to the church and joy and wonder for Christians who marvel at the grace of God in saving them from such a horrible place. The urgency of evangelism and missions rests on the fact that those who die without professing faith in Christ face this final reality, and only the Gospel has the power to deliver them from this fate.

For most of church history, there have been two basic positions on the nature of hell, with the vast majority of Christians holding to a traditional view of hell as a place of eternal conscious torment (ECT) over against the minority of Christians who held and advocated for some form of universalism. But in the past century and a half, a third position, known as annihilationism, has appeared, and has challenged many of the longstanding assumptions of ECT without capitulating to universalism. In this paper, I will attempt to demonstrate that the exegetical arguments for annihilationism are considerable enough to make the position an acceptable biblical position and that, at the very least, the traditional view of ECT should no longer be considered the default view of the nature of hell. I will begin by outlining the theological parameters of the argument, and then consider several major exegetical arguments made by annihilationists focusing on important passages of Scripture that speak to the nature of hell.

Overview and Paper Parameters

Annihilationism, or sometimes referred to as “conditional immortality” (or less frequently as “conditionalism”), is a position on the nature of hell that states that the eternal destruction of the wicked in hell consists of 1) a period of conscious torment followed by 2) annihilation and complete extinction of both body and soul. In contrast to the traditional view of the nature of hell, known as “eternal conscious torment” or ECT, annihilationism holds that “immortality is not a necessary attribute of the immaterial soul but conditional on its behaviour during its life in the body[1]”, and that only those who will inherit eternal salvation in Christ will receive immortality as a part of their reward. Arguments for annihilationism are made primarily on exegetical grounds, although there are several theological concerns that theologians arguing for annihilationism raise as corollary reasons for embracing the teaching, including questions about the nature of God’s justice and mercy, the nature of Christ’s death on the cross, and more. In contrast to the relative conservative hegemony of ECT and liberal hegemony of universalism, annihilationism enjoys representation from a diverse range of theologians, including Anglican (John Stott, Philip E. Hughes, Glenn Peoples), non-denominational (Edward Fudge), and even Open Theist (Clark Pinnock). Currently, the position is predominantly held among Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Christadelphians[2], although it is steadily gaining strength as a reputable minority position among evangelicals.

Annihilationism is a robust position, boasting several full books and hundreds of pages of writing to argue comprehensively for this teaching. It will not be possible for this paper to summarize, much less make arguments for, every exegetical or theological argument made by annihilationists, or to do justice to other presuppositions relative to eschatology and the doctrine of hell. For this paper I will assume the existence and reality of a place known as “hell”, and that hell involves conscious torment for a period of time; I deny any position that rejects either of those points, including universalism and secular/pagan versions of annihilationism. I will focus primarily on the major general and specific exegetical arguments made by annihilationists and, with the exception of one topic, will not explore the theological arguments made by annihilationists in support of their exegetical arguments. Space will not permit such examinations, and theological positions ultimately stand or fall based on exegetical arguments from the text of Scripture. Additionally, while annihilationist writers are relatively consistent in their exegetical arguments for the position, they are wildly divergent in their corollary theological arguments and the motivations behind those arguments. As mentioned above, annihilationism is a position held by a wide range of theologians, and it should be no surprised that the theological arguments and motivations of Anglican writers (Stott, Peoples) differ starkly from the arguments of an Open Theist (Pinnock). An example of this can be found in Clark Pinnock’s admission that he likes the annihilationist position because he believes that ECT portrays God as “a vindictive and sadistic punisher”,[3] and annihilationism solves this (perceived) problem with ECT and the justice and mercy of God. Needless to say, theologians like John Stott and other theologically conservative Christians would repudiate such language and the arguments that reinforce such language. In fact, Stott explicitly addresses this problem in the book that revealed his endorsement of annihilationism, writing,

 “Emotionally, I find the concept [of ECT] intolerable and do not understand how people can live with it without either cauterizing their feelings or cracking under the strain. But our emotions are a fluctuating, unreliable guide to truth and must not be exalted to the place of supreme authority in determining it . . . my question must be — and is — not what does my heart tell me, but what does God’s word say?”[4]

 This paper will follow Stott’s charge, and I recommend evaluating the theological arguments and motivations of annihilationist writers on a case-by-case basis.

The Exegetical Argument: Preliminary Considerations

If one could condense the core argument of annihilationism down to a single question, it is hard to imagine a clearer and more helpful question than the one offered by annihilationist theologian Glenn Peoples: “Both annihilationists and traditionalists freely admit that the Bible teaches “eternal punishment.” Where they differ is over what this punishment entails. Is it eternal torment, as the traditionalist believes, or is it eternal (and literal) destruction, as the annihilationist believes?”[5] Although this is a relatively simple question, it raises a number of challenges to the presuppositions and methods we use in our exegesis and systematization of Scripture. What do the Scriptures explicitly say about the nature of hell and the fate of those who suffer in hell? Do these texts communicate the full range of ideas that we read them as communicating, or are we supplying concepts and information that the text does not contain? Annihilationists argue that the traditional understanding of the nature of hell are based on interpretations that go beyond what Scripture actually says about hell, or that supplies concepts and ideas that may not be present in the text. Many of the general exegetical arguments made by annihilationists focus on re-evaluating whether or not traditional interpretations of passages on hell are the best interpretations for those passages, and this paper will make constant reference to two examples of those general exegetical arguments.

The first general exegetical argument annihilationists make is that the idea of ECT is not an idea that is made explicit or clear in the text of Scripture, and that the images given of the fate that await the wicked often communicate the opposite. Traditionalists tend to interpret phrases like “eternal punishment”, “eternal destruction”, “eternal fire”, “weeping and gnashing of teeth”, and other phrases as communicating the idea of ECT, and annihilationists charge that this can only happen by ignoring the meaning of these phrases in their individual contexts and insert ECT or other ideas into the text. This can occur in several ways. For example, the phrase “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt 8:12, 13:50, 22:13, 24:50, 25:30) and the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) certainly communicates the idea of conscious torment (and annihilationists affirm that hell will involve immense conscious torment for a period of time), but do these texts actually say the “weeping and gnashing of teeth” and suffering continues eternally? Naturally, one would look to passages that contain phrases like “eternal punishment” (Matt 25:46), “eternal destruction” (2 Thess 1:5-12), or “eternal fire” (Matt 25:41, Jude 7) to conclude that the “weeping and gnashing of teeth” will continue for eternity, but are those phrases synonyms for one another, or do they communicate specific and unique aspects of the nature of hell and the punishment of hell? When Jesus sends the goats ”into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels”, is he saying the wicked are eternal as the fire is eternal? Is “eternal destruction” an expression of the horror of the “eternal punishment”, or is “external destruction” the precise sentence of the “eternal punishment”? These are examples of the types of questions annihilationists ask when making these arguments.

The second general exegetical argument annihilationists make, and a potentially more significant argument, is that the idea of the inherent immortality of the human soul is not an idea that is made explicit or clear and Scripture, but is often unjustifiably assumed as an axiom. Charles Hodge demonstrates this well when writes, “if the Bible says that the sufferings of the lost are to be everlasting, they are to endure forever, unless it can be shown either that the soul is not immortal or that the Scriptures elsewhere teach that those sufferings are to come to an end.” In contrast, Clark Pinnock writes that, “God alone has immortality but graciously grants embodied life to his people. God gives us life and God takes it away. There is nothing in the nature of the human soul that requires it to live forever . . . The soul is not an immortal substance that has to be placed somewhere if it rejects God.”[6] Exploring this particular question is far beyond the scope of this paper, but it should be said that if the traditionalist understanding of the human soul is wrong and we are notinherently eternal, then this fundamentally changes the way we interpret the images and descriptions of the nature of hell and the suffering of those in hell. This exegetical presupposition becomes particularly relevant when interpreting phrases about the wicked that describe them as “weeds that are gathered and burned with fire” (Matt 13:40) or “chaff [that] he will burn with unquenchable fire” (Matt 3:12) – if the traditionalists are right and the human soul is inherently immortal, these phrases ought to be treated metaphorically, but if the annihilationists are right and the human soul is not inherently immortal, these phrases ought to be treated with a stronger literal emphasis.

As mentioned above, space does not permit an examination of every text relative to this debate. In this paper, we will examine Christ and his use of the word “Gehenna” to describe hell, Peter’s usage of Sodom and Gomorrah as an image of the destruction of the wicked in hell, and Christ’s remarks about the “everlasting fire” and the “everlasting punishment” of the wicked in Matthew 25. Each of these sections will make reference to the exegetical arguments discussed above.

The Image of Gehenna

Jesus speaks more about the reality of hell than anyone else in the Bible[7], and the term he uses most often, Gehenna, is a term that his Jewish audience would’ve understood very well. The name Gehenna, which can be translated as “valley of Hinnom” or “valley of crying”,[8] refers to a valley southwest of Jerusalem where fires burned perpetually to consume children sacrificed to Molech in worship. Although the valley was no longer being used for idolatrous sacrifice in Christ’s day, fires still burned continually to consume the remains of animals offered in the temple, and the region was renamed “the valley of Tophet (spittle)” to signify it’s ritual uncleanness and the disgust the Jews had for the area.[9] The historical significance of the word Gehenna, and it’s then-existence as the Valley of Tophet, would not have been lost to the Jews of Christ’s day: the wicked will be thrown into an unclean place where fires burn continually, and will be consumed as the children and animal carcasses that are thrown into the fire. 

The image of Gehenna offers significant insight into the nature of hell, including confirming the idea of hell as a location of suffering and the presence of fires that burn unendingly, but what insight do we gain about the nature and extent of those who suffer there? With respect to the actual valley, the fires were the only thing that burned perpetually; nothing that was thrown into the fire, whether living (children) or dead (animal carcasses) continued to burn perpetually, and everything would’ve been reduced to ash. But does this mean that the wicked that are thrown into the fires of Gehenna are reduced to ash? Passages like Matt 13:40 seem to reinforce this possibly by comparing the wicked to “weeds [that] are gathered and burned with fire”, but at two points later in that same chapter Jesus will describe the wicked as being thrown “into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt 13:42 and 13:50). On the one hand, we have the image of Gehenna being a place that consumes everything that is thrown into it, and yet in Gehenna there will also be weeping and gnashing of teeth – can these two realities be reconciled with each other?

Annihilationists argue that these two realities are only in conflict with each other if one assumes the inherent immortality of the human soul. If that is the case, the “weeping and gnashing of teeth” is eternal and, unlike everything that is thrown into the fires of the Valley of Himmon, the suffering of those thrown in there is eternal. On the annihilationist position, Gehenna is a place where the wicked do suffer conscious torment and, like the weeds of the field, are eventually destroyed and reduced to ash. The language of Gehenna as a “fiery furnace” is instructive as well: furnaces are meant to consume and destroy, not to put someone or something in, as Stott described it, “a perpetually inconclusive process of perishing.”[10] As graphic as the description is, the reference to the Valley of Himmon as “the valley of crying” further emphasizes this point: the children who were thrown into the fire suffer, and then perish and are reduced to ash. 

Traditionalists raise a significant objection to the idea that the fires of Gehenna would eventually reduce those thrown in there to extinction, based on Revelation 14:11: “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” Annihilationists, while affirming the eternal fires of hell, question whether or not those thrown into hell are eternal simply on the basis that the fire is eternal. John Stott remarks that “the fire itself is termed ‘eternal’ and ‘unquenchable,’ but it would be very odd if what is thrown into it proves indestructible. Our expectation would be the opposite it would be consumed forever, not tormented forever. Hence it is the smoke (evidence that the fire has done its work) which “rises for ever and ever.”[11]  In response to this claim, traditionalist theologian Robert A. Peterson observes that, “on the contrary, our expectation would be that the smoke would die out after the fire had finished its work. How could the smoke from the fire rise forever if its fuel had been consumed?“[12] Although this response does not undermine the entire exegetical argument for annihilationism (especially given the significant genre differences between the Gospels and Revelation), it may temper the extent to which we can interpret the fires of Gehenna as having a literal correspondence to the fires of the Valley of Himmon in terms of their effect and the impact on those burning there. That being said, the annihilationist position is the only position that can make the most sense of the biblical data surrounding the suffering and consumption of the Valley of Himmon and Gehenna, and taken in it’s individual and historical context these images, at the very least, communicate nothing of the idea of ECT.

The Images of Old Testament Destruction

The second and third images we will look at are both found in 2 Peter 2:4-6: 

“4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; 5 if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6 if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly…”

Peter refers to the Noahic flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as “an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly.” If “the infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is Scripture itself”[13], then considerable weight ought to be given to these two early examples in Scripture communicate to us in understanding the fate that awaits the damned. Do these two examples inform us that the fate of the wicked will be one of ECT, or of suffering followed by extinction?

Special attention must be given to the image of Sodom and Gomorrah and the phrase “by turning [them] to ashes he condemned them to extinction.” Robert Fudge notes that Peter uses a specific and rarely used verb that literally means “to cover with ashes” or “to reduce to ashes”,[14] and Glenn Peoples notes that this verb, tephrōsas, is used by Greek writers to describe the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79, which reduced the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum to ash by being buried with lava.[15] Peoples presses this point further and declares that, “such graphic language is not subtle or mysterious. There is no disagreement as to the kind of fate being described with regard to Sodom—complete destruction. The question then becomes: What good grounds do we have for exegeting this text in a way other than what would appear to be a ‘literal’ one?”[16]

Peoples’ question can be expanded to other images in the Old Testament that harmonize with the image of destruction given to us by Sodom and Gomorrah. In a brief overview of other ways the Old Testament refers to the destruction of the wicked, Fudge writes that, 

“the wicked will become like chaff or husks of wheat which the wind blows away. They will be like pottery that has been broken to pieces. The wicked will be slain and consumed and will cease to exist. They will be ashes under he soles of the feet of God’s people. None of these Scripture texts even hints at anything resembling [ECT].[17]  

Following a literal understanding of these images, they each involve a period of suffering following by death and extinction, which is what annihilationists claim await the wicked in hell. None of these images inherently contain or communicate the idea of [ECT], even if one were to grant these are simply metaphors for the destruction awaiting the wicked. But should they be treated as metaphors?

This tends to be the approach taken by traditionalist theologians. For example, responding to Fudge’s argument on this passage in his chapter in Two Views of Hell, Robert A. Peterson writes that, “taken in isolation it is possible to understand Peter’s words as teaching annihilationism. Nevertheless, we ought not to do so. It is better to take Peter’s words as more generally predicting the downfall of the wicked than to under- stand them as foretelling their precise fate—reduction to ashes.”[18] Peterson offers no explanation as to why this interpretation is the better interpretation, despite tentatively acknowledging that in it’s immediate context the passage seems to support annihilationism, and it is only when it’s immediate context is overridden by importing a systematic understanding of hell that these images of destruction cease to support annihilationism. This is a good example of the first exegetical argument made by annihilationists – the images given of the fate that await the wicked often communicate the opposite of ECT, and the individual context of these images is ignored for general, systematized understandings of hell to override the annihilationist implications. If passages and images about hell suggest annihilationism in isolation, why would they communicate the opposite when systematized together? 

“Eternal Life” and “Eternal Punishment” in Matthew 25

One of the most significant texts in this debate is found in the Parable of the Sheep and Goats, or the Final Judgment, in Matthew 25. This text contains two important passages regarding the nature of hell, including a description of the “eternal fire” as being something “prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt 25:41) and later a description of the wicked “will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matt 25:46). With respect to verse 41, annihilationists point out that if hell was created for the punishment of the devil and his angels, then there is no problem with saying that the fires can burn eternally as an eternal punishment for spiritual entities it was created for, while the existence of humans thrown into hell is eventually exhausted after a period of suffering. Verse 46, however, requires some more attention.

In the phrases “eternal punishment” and “eternal life”, the same Greek word – αἰώνιος – is used. Traditionalists emphasize this parallel in language to argue that if the nature of the blessed is one of eternal conscious joy and peace, then the nature of the damned must be one of ECT. This is a considerable argument and, unlike most other points in this relatively modern and recent debate, a significant Patristic theologian, the great St. Augustine himself, bolsters this argument. Commenting on this very passage, Augustine writes that,

“…what a fond fancy is it to suppose that eternal punishment means long continued punishment, while eternal life means life without end, since Christ in the very same passage spoke of both in similar terms in one and the same sentence, ‘These shall go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into life eternal!’ If both destinies are ‘eternal,’ then we must either understand both as long-continued but at last terminating, or both as endless. For they are correlative,—on the one hand, punishment eternal, on the other hand, life eternal. And to say in one and the same sense, life eternal shall be endless, punishment eternal shall come to an end, is the height of absurdity.”[19]

Annihilationists respond to the traditional understanding of this passage in two ways: first, by pointing that the word “eternal” refers to the duration of the punishment, and says nothing to the nature of the punishment itself, and second, by challenging the notion that eternal punishment necessary precludes annihilation as a punishment. As Glenn Peoples said above, both traditionalists and annihilationists agree that the Bible teaches eternal punishment, but traditionalists assume the only way that punishment could be eternal is if that punishment is conscious, and annihilationists question why that must be the case. This misunderstanding occurs frequently among traditionalist theologians: J.I. Packer mistakenly writes that, “the assertion that in the age to come life is the sort of thing that goes on while punishment is the sort of thing that ends begs the question”,[20] and Geerhardus Vos explicitly says that “annihilation cannot be called punishment. Punishment demands consciousness of pain. And where existence ceases, consciousness obviously also ceases.”[21]Annihilationists respond (contra Packer) that annihilation, as a punishment, is eternal and everlasting, and (contra Vos) that the notion that “punishment demands consciousness of pain” is a poor understanding of punishment – the death penalty is called “capital punishment” not because there is consciousness of pain in the punishment (which, especially for the death penalty, is usually brief), but because the effects of the punishment are permanent, complete, and irreversible. Peoples’ responds to this objection by noting that, “punishment is obviously not incompatible with annihilation unless we assume that the punishment will consist of torture rather than death, which would be to flagrantly beg the question, and fire, far from suggesting eternal torment, suggests destruction and consumption. What does fire ordinarily do to the objects thrown into it?”[22]

This passage is a good example of the issue raised by annihilationists in their second general exegetical argument: the only reason why suggesting annihilation as the “eternal punishment” is problematic if one assumes the inherent immortality of the soul as an axiom. But if Scripture does not explicitly teach this, and if the other images of the fate that await the wicked – the Valley of Himmon, the Noahic Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, and others – suggest the possibility of annihilation and extinction awaiting the wicked, then there is no problem with concluding, as the annihilationists have, that the “eternal punishment” of Scripture is eternal and literal destruction and extinction of both the body and the souls of the wicked.  

Conclusion

This paper sought to demonstrate that the exegetical arguments for annihilationism are considerable enough to make the position an acceptable biblical position and that, at the very least, the traditional view of ECT should no longer be considered the default view of the nature of hell. This paper could not possibly make a comprehensive case for annihilationism, as entire books are usually written to that end, and this paper omitted discussion on other important verses or theological considerations relevant to this debate. However, I believe I have presented an argument that shows that, even if annihilationism is not what Scripture teaches about the nature of hell, there are significant shortcomings in the traditional understanding of hell as well, and that, as Tony Gray concludes, “traditionalists have often not listened to the [annihilationist] arguments themselves.”[23] Indeed, if Scripture does in fact teach ECT, modern traditionalist theologians ought to strengthen their exegetical work and take the challenges raised by annihilationists more seriously instead of assuming that their position is true by default; both positions cannot be true, but both positions can be false. There remain significant questions and problems with annihilationism, especially with respect to theological arguments made by annihilationists, but the exegetical insight from annihilationist arguments are commendable and, admittedly, quite persuasive. I began this paper unconvinced of annihilationism but I now lean far more in that direction than I do towards ECT, although I’d hesitate to call myself an annihilationist outright. Regardless of which position is correct, my view of hell – as I am sure is the view of both traditionalist and annihilationist theologians – has not changed: hell is a truly awful place, and there can be no greater tragedy than to deny the Gospel that saves us from hell’s eternal horrors. 

Bibliography

Berkhof, L. Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans publishing co., 1938.

Crockett, William, and Clark Pinnock. “Conditionalism.” Essay. In Four Views on Hell, 135–66. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publ. House, 1992. 

Cross, F. L., and Elizabeth A. Livingstone, eds. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Oxford;  New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Edwards, David L., and John R. W. Stott. Evangelical Essentials: a Liberal-Evangelical Dialogue. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1989. 

Fudge, Edward, and Robert A. Peterson. Two Views of Hell: a Biblical & Theological Dialogue. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000.

Gray, Tony. “Destroyed For Ever: An Examination of the Debates Concerning Annihilation and Conditional Immortality.” Themelios 21, no. 2 (January 1996): 14–18. http://search.ebscohost.com.rts.idm.oclc.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lsdar&AN=ATLA0001009640&site=ehost-live.

Hodge, Charles. Systematic Theology. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997.

Horton, Michael. The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016.

Packer, James I. “Evangelical Annihilationism In Review.” Reformation and Revival 6, no. 2 (1997). 

Peoples, Glenn. “FALLACIES IN THE ANNIHILATIONISM DEBATE: A CRITIQUE OF ROBERT PETERSON AND OTHER TRADITIONALIST SCHOLARSHIP.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 50, no. 2 (June 2007): 329–47. Ward, Timothy. Words of Life: Scripture as the Living and Active Word of God. Nottingham, UK: Inter-Varsity Press. 2009.

Peterson, R. A. “A Traditionalist Response to John Stott’s Arguments for Annihilationism.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 37, no. 4 (1994): 553–68. http://search.ebscohost.com.rts.idm.oclc.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rvh&AN=NTA0000016247&site=ehost-live.

Schaff, Philip, ed. St. Augustin’s City of God and Christian Doctrine. Vol. 2. A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1887.

Vos, Geerhardus. Reformed Dogmatics. Edited by Richard B. Gaffin Jr. Translated by Richard B. Gaffin Jr. Vol. 1–5. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012–2016.

Westminster Assembly. The Westminster Confession of Faith: Edinburgh Edition. Philadelphia: William S. Young, 1851.


[1] Cross, F. L., and Elizabeth A. Livingstone, eds. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Oxford;  New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. 397.

[2] Horton, Michael. The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011. 980.

[3] Crockett, William, and Clark Pinnock. “Conditionalism.” Essay. In Four Views on Hell. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publ. House, 1992. 137.

[4] Edwards, David L., and John R. W. Stott. Evangelical Essentials: a Liberal-Evangelical Dialogue. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1989. 315-16

[5] Peoples, Glenn. “FALLACIES IN THE ANNIHILATIONISM DEBATE: A CRITIQUE OF ROBERT PETERSON AND OTHER TRADITIONALIST SCHOLARSHIP.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 50, no. 2 (June 2007): 346.

[6] Crockett, William, and Clark Pinnock. “Conditionalism.” Essay. In Four Views on Hell, 135–66. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publ. House, 1992. 148.

[7] Horton, Michael. The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011. 975.

[8] Vos, Geerhardus. Reformed Dogmatics. Edited by Richard B. Gaffin Jr. Translated by Richard B. Gaffin Jr. Vol. 1–5. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012–2016.  299.

[9] Berkhof, L. Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans publishing co., 1938. 735.

[10] Edwards, David L., and John R. W. Stott. Evangelical Essentials: a Liberal-Evangelical Dialogue. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1989. 315-16

[11] Edwards, David L., and John R. W. Stott. Evangelical Essentials: a Liberal-Evangelical Dialogue. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1989. 316.

[12] Peterson, R. A. “A Traditionalist Response to John Stott’s Arguments for Annihilationism.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 37, no. 4 (1994): 553–68. http://search.ebscohost.com.rts.idm.oclc.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rvh&AN=NTA0000016247&site=ehost-live. 560.

[13] Westminster Assembly. The Westminster Confession of Faith: Edinburgh Edition. Philadelphia: William S. Young, 1851. 1. IX.

[14] Fudge, Edward, and Robert A. Peterson. Two Views of Hell: a Biblical & Theological Dialogue. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000. 69.

[15] Peoples, Glenn. “FALLACIES IN THE ANNIHILATIONISM DEBATE: A CRITIQUE OF ROBERT PETERSON AND OTHER TRADITIONALIST SCHOLARSHIP.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 50, no. 2 (June 2007): 339.

[16] ibid

[17] Fudge, Edward, and Robert A. Peterson. Two Views of Hell: a Biblical & Theological Dialogue. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000. 29-30

[18] Fudge, Edward, and Robert A. Peterson. Two Views of Hell: a Biblical & Theological Dialogue. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000. 156.

[19] Schaff, Philip, ed. St. Augustin’s City of God and Christian Doctrine. Vol. 2. A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1887. 21.23.1.

[20] Packer, James I. “Evangelical Annihilationism In Review.” Reformation and Revival 6, no. 2 (1997).

[21] Vos, Geerhardus. Reformed Dogmatics. Edited by Richard B. Gaffin Jr. Translated by Richard B. Gaffin Jr. Vol. 1–5. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012–2016. 627.

[22] Peoples, Glenn. “FALLACIES IN THE ANNIHILATIONISM DEBATE: A CRITIQUE OF ROBERT PETERSON AND OTHER TRADITIONALIST SCHOLARSHIP.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 50, no. 2 (June 2007): 339.

[23] Gray, Tony. “Destroyed For Ever: An Examination of the Debates Concerning Annihilation and Conditional Immortality.” Themelios 21, no. 2 (January 1996) . http://search.ebscohost.com.rts.idm.oclc.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lsdar&AN=ATLA0001009640&site=ehost-live. 14.

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