Debate Announcement: Chris Date vs. Joshua Whipps on Annihilationism

What does the Bible teach is the nature of eternal punishment? To answer that question, Chris Date, host of the Theopologetics podcast, goes toe to toe with Joshua Whipps, creator of the Razor’s Kiss blog and author at Choosing Hats. Dee Dee Warren, friend to Chris and host of The Preterist Podcast, moderates. Tentatively scheduled for the June, 2012 timeframe, finalized details are below.

Be sure to email Dee Dee at preteristpodcast@gmail.com if you want to pose a question to either participant. The debate will be pre-recorded, so Dee Dee will be asking questions on behalf of those who send them to her in advance. Make sure to specify which participant you would like asked your question; he will have 2.5 minutes to answer, and his opponent will have 60 seconds to follow up.

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Propitiation and Final Punishment

Having had every desire not to accept annihilationism/conditionalism, I believe that over the course of the past year or so during which I “converted,” I’ve honestly sought out the best arguments I could find in support of the traditional view of hell (and found them lacking). At this point, I don’t often encounter a challenge I haven’t heard in some form before. Occasionally I’ve heard it claimed that annihilation means there’s another sacrifice for sins besides Christ’s, which hasn’t particularly surprised me.

Recently, however, I encountered an argument I hadn’t seen before, but which is somewhat related to the idea of Christ’s sacrifice. I wrote about it here, clearly refuting the argument that the Levitical animal sacrifices, repeated ad infinitum until Christ’s sacrifice ended them, means the death of an annihilated sinner can’t satisfy the punitive demands of the Law. The author of that argument and I discussed it in the comments thread of that post, and while at one point it seemed to me that he believes annihilation would, in fact, mean there’s another sacrifice for sin, having gone over that conversation multiple times I’m no longer certain.

Just in case, and because I’m not sure I’ve clearly addressed the occasional traditionalist claim that annihilation is another sacrifice for sins besides that of Christ, I think it’s worth my time to explain why it most definitely is not. Following that, I’ll again explain why the repeated Levitical sacrifices do not prove that a sinner’s annihilation cannot satisfy the punitive demands of the Law. And it all begins with understanding the concept of propitiation.

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No End to the Bloodshed: Annihilationism Refuted?

Hiram Diaz, with whom I debated the nature of eternal punishment back in December, recently posted a question on his Facebook page. He later indicated in the comments thread that his question leads to a refutation of annihilationism, based on the insufficiency of repeated Levitical sacrifices to satisfy the punitive demands of the Law, as described in Hebrews 7. Once it is formulated clearly in the form of a syllogism, however, the insufficiency of his argument to challenge annihilationism becomes clear.

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Clutching at Straws, Indeed!

After my recent appearance on the Unbelievable? radio program with Justin Brierley, a listener of Justin’s, named Paul, wrote a blog post entitled “Clutching at Straws,” arguing against the case I made. I responded to his blog post in one of my recent episodes, as well as via email. He wrote me back, to which I am presently working on a response. But in a more recent post, I think this blogger demonstrates that it is he (and fellow traditionalists) who are the ones clutching at straws.

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According to Jesus: No Rest for the Wicked

I was recently contacted by a Dr. Ean Theron who, having somewhere learned of my newfound belief in annihilationism, asked if I had read Dr. Robert Morey’s Death and the Afterlife. This began a still ongoing email exchange, the direction of which is not yet clear. But I did a search for his name online and came across his recently-published book, According to Jesus: The Theology of Christ, which is claimed to refute annihilationism. Sincerely hoping (but not expecting) to find something new, I purchased the Kindle version for $3 with some of my very first ministry donation (Thanks! You know who you are!), and took note of those passages which allege to challenge my view. What follows is my response to Dr. Theron’s arguments.

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Episode 80: The Unbelievable Truth

Commentary on my recent appearance on Unbelievable? with Justin Brierley, in which I debated the nature of eternal punishment with traditionalist Steve Jeffery. Also, my responses to feedback Justin received in the wake of our discussion.

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Episode 74: House of Cards

Fellow annihilationists/conditionalists Ronnie and Joey Dear join me for more than 3 hours to discuss Ronnie’s debate with TurretinFan, my debate with Hiram Diaz, and arguments made against our view following the debate. This episode contains part three of three; listen to episodes 72 and 73 for parts one and two, respectively.

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Episode 73: Exterminate Annihilate Destroy

Fellow annihilationists/conditionalists Ronnie and Joey Dear join me for more than 3 hours to discuss Ronnie’s debate with TurretinFan, my debate with Hiram Diaz, and arguments made against our view following the debate. This episode contains part two of three; listen to episodes 72 and 74 for parts one and three, respectively.

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Episode 72: Drag Me to Hell

Fellow annihilationists/conditionalists Ronnie and Joey Dear join me for more than 3 hours to discuss Ronnie’s debate with TurretinFan, my debate with Hiram Diaz, and arguments made against our view following the debate. This episode contains part one of three; listen to episodes 73 and 74 for parts two and three, respectively.

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Episode 71: Forever the Pain

Debate topic: “The punishment of the damned will actually be torment forever and ever.” Hiram Diaz, creator of the Involuted Speculations blog and contributor at Grassroots Apologetics, affirms. Chris Date, host of the Theopologetics Podcast, denies. Moderated by Mike Felker of The Apologetic Front. This episode contains part 2 of the debate, including the second round of cross-examination, listener Q&A and closing statements. Listen to episode 70, “Perish in Fire,” for part 1′s opening statements, rebuttals and first round of cross-examination.

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