Review — Erasing Hell: What God said about eternity, and the things we made up (Francis Chan & Preston Sprinkle: David C Cook 2011).
This book by Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle was released earlier in 2011, and was among several that responded to Rob Bell’s book, Love Wins. As is usual for my particular book-review-niche-market, my reading and review come after the wave of interest and popularity has crested. For the stragglers out there, this is for you.
Chan and Sprinkle present a response of sorts to Bell’s thesis, although it is not completely directed solely at countering his book. They instead use Bell’s arguments by reference to frame their discussion of what Scripture truly says about the subject of hell and eternal punishment.
Erasing Hell is an impassioned plea not to consider the subject of hell purely from a philosophical standpoint, or from the view of detached, scholarly research into what Scripture says about it. Instead, we should recognize the sober reality of hell’s torments and do what we can to ensure that people don’t go there. When we consider the awful destiny that awaits those who reject Christ, Chan and Sprinkle argue, we should find great motivation to proclaim the gospel.
Balanced against this call to sober consideration of hell from the emotional perspective — and giving proper foundation for it — is the responsible and skilled handling of the Scriptural instruction on hell itself. In stark contrast to Bell’s biblical method, Chan and Sprinkle treat the Scriptural material rightly, giving proper deference to languages, context and original understanding to arrive at a conclusion about the Bible on hell: or more accurately, about God on hell.
Erasing Hell is fairly short and is very accessible, despite a thorough treatment of biblical material. It is worth reading.