• 17
    September 19th, 2012 @ 12:43 pm by Kevin

    Here is the Christianity Today review of Hellbound?

    And here is Frank Schaeffer’s response.

    We’ll have ice buckets and bandages waiting ringside…

    P.S. I was just thinking that Rob Bell wrote “Love Wins” and Mark Galli wrote “God Wins.” Maybe the next book should be called “Frank Wins.” :)

     



leave a comment on this post (17 Comments)

  1. Kevin. Franks article is surely going to tick some people off, but I couldn’t help but chuckle in a couple of places. I’m going to tell everyone I know about this and help expose the shennanigans.

  2. Bravo, Frank. For those of you who are not aware, Frank will be at our Monastery for a series of 3 conferences at 3 different venues, next March.

  3. Pingback: Reviewing Reviews

  4. Not being able to review the movie you would wonder why someone would jump into the fray “half cocked” as the expression goes. It’s because of the review of a review found on the hellbound web site under “blog” by Frank Schaeffer
    “Since when do theologians know more about Hell than anyone else? I mean what’s a PhD in make-believe worth? Anybody’s guess is as good as theirs.”
    Simple statements of ignorance abound in a world where “relativity” runs rampant in a vacuum of stupidity. It is “theology” that explains that “hell” is not the final destination of any sinner. Hell or “Hades” in the Greek New Testament was described as a place of waiting, In Luke 16 “Hades” is described as that place where the dead go, prior to Christ resurrection, and divided into two places as a parable to explain a truth in terms people could understand. The first place is where “the bad people” go to wait out their final sentence. The other side is the good place where those “who are the good people” are comforted.
    In Revelation 20 we see the description of the final place of punishment described as a “lake of fire and sulfur” what some people misappropriate as “hell”.
    The rising interest stems from the “feelings” of some who do not understand justice. The emotional outcry is voiced in a morally simplistic and naïve question. “How could a loving God send any one to a place like that for eternity? Frank sums up the question this way.
    “It’s about a retributive view of God versus a view of redemption and love”.
    It is totally ignorance of “who God is” that leads people to say such ill informed comments. In any society justice demand punishment on any violator of the law, to see justice as “retribution” reduces God to a schoolyard bully”, playing tit for tat. Final judgment is not so much a punishment for sin as it is a place of choice, chosen by those who knowingly rejected a loving redemption offered to them by a God who sacrificed His son as an “offering” for their sin. Why should God force any one to go to heaven who does not want to go?
    He accuses theologians as presenting a gospel as being, “God loves some people and hates others”, which could be no further away from the truth as saying, “Hitler was a nice guy”. John 3:16, “For God so loved…”
    What should absolutely be embarrassing for Mr. Schaefer is revealing of His total ignorance of scripture to the whole world, while professing to correct someone else about there’s. He states further, “Christ didn’t drive people out of the temple, he drove out animals. And this wasn’t an act of anger.”
    The story is found in John 2, “And (Jesus) making a whip of cords, he drove (he found those who were selling, and the money-changers) THEM ALL out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen… he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. … His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me”.
    Completely contradicting scripture.
    What Mr. Schaeffer has unwittingly done is exposed the very problem that is reshaping the masses from ignorance into stupidity.
    “The kind that think for themselves instead of following the dictates of the establishment”. Yet we would go to the PHD for heart surgery, the lawyer with the degree to represent us in a murder trial, and yet we are being told to reject the theologians and follow the dictates of the heart and our own “feelings”.
    “The world of the gatekeepers is crumbling as they are being replaced by “outsiders” who don’t bother to kowtow to big time religious establishment types for permission to speak, and as a subtext they’ll have just one more piece of evidence that the days of standard evangelical approaches to issues of faith just don’t cut it anymore”.
    His own ignorance presents the very case why some people should not speak until they know what they speak about. If all eternity is on the line, the final destination of you immortal soul rests on a whim, feeling, or I think so, instead of “I know” then maybe some people deserve their reserved spot next to Esau, who have so thoughtlessly rejected their birthright for a “few magic beans”.

    • Stephen. You should research into some of the books written about ultimate reconciliation and how the Bible truly teaches this. Some of them can be found in the resources page on this site.

      The Bible says that God commissioned Christ to be the saviour of the world. Your theology portrays Jesus as a failure.

      • Jesus never forced someone to believe in Him, no more than will he force someone to go to heaven who chooses not to go..your theology misses this point ..In your theology “Hitler” will be forced to be refined in “Hell” and then redeemed… Hebrews 9 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him…. Judgement is final…. there is no “do over” or get out of Jail free card… God never forces any one to believe in Him..

        • Stephen Whitshell said:

          :Hebrews 9 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,

          -
          Yes. But Stephen. People who believe in the truth of Ultimate Reconciliation don’t say that there will not be a judgment. That text doesn’t speak of eternal conscience torment. But while we’re talking about Hebrews grab a good translation and have a look at Hebrews 2: 7 – 12…. where it talks of all mankind being subjected to God in the same subjection that Christians are… meaning a loving subjection.
          -
          Stephen Whitshell said:

          28so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him
          -
          Again. Where does this text say any judgment is eternal conscious torments.

          -
          Stephen Whitshell said:

          …. Judgement is final….

          -
          Yes but Stephen …. what about the many texts in the Bible that teach the salvation of all. What about the many texts (including the Gehenna texts from which we get the world “hell” through bad translations) that say the people will be judged UNTIL they pay the price in full. That shows and end to the judgment.
          What about the fact that the “unquenchable fire” is mentioned at various times throughout the Old Testament as judgment…… and it is always shown as being a JUDGMENT THAT ENDS.
          What about the fact that Revelation places the “goats” in the Lake of Fire and then the “Sheep” in the City of God, and then right after this there is a text talking about the bad guys walking into the City of God “throught the gates that are always open”. Where are these people coming from. Remember at this time there are only those in the Lake of FIre and those who are ALREADY in the City of God.
          Also this text is directly quoting from a text in Isaiah where it talks about the bad guys walking into the City of God (Jerusalem) through the gates that are always open…. AFTER REPENTANCE.

          -
          God never forces any one to believe in Him.. or to repent…

          -
          Well at least you not a Calvinist. :-). But really even if God doesn’t force people to repent …… this doesn’t mean that God hasn’t FOREKNOWN that everybody will eventually accept his loving grace and come to repentance. They might be forced to repent. But once they are corrected enough in the presence of a loving God do you really think that a human being who is made in the image of God, has the light of Christ inside them (that will never be snuffed out), and has a conscience that is attuned into God’s law….. will reject God’s love forever.
          -
          Tell me…. How is that even possible.

          • Rom 1:18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. … So they are without excuse…… 32Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
            Because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.
            Rom 2:6 He will render to each one according to his works: …..for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.9There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil……..For God shows no partiality.
            There is no text that’s say’s “salivation of all people)..it says salvation is AVAILABLE to all (John 3:16)
            There is no text that says “Until” they pay the price in full. Mark into the fire that never shall be quenched: 4 x times in this passage he says the fire will not stop..
            Rev 20-21 . 27But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life…. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
            14 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever…. the lake of fire. 15And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
            OT never shows the FINAL judgment as ending..
            The chance for repentance is always here on earth..not after you leave it..after you leave you face the judgment for what you have done wrong.

            Also this text is directly quoting from a text in Isaiah where it talks about the bad guys walking into the City of God (Jerusalem) through the gates that are always open…. AFTER REPENTANCE. Isaiah 60:2 Your gates shall be open continually; day and night they shall not be shut…. 12 For the nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall perish; those nations shall be utterly laid waste.

          • But really even if God doesn’t force people to repent …… this doesn’t mean that God hasn’t FOREKNOWN that everybody will eventually accept his loving grace and come to repentance.
            It is God’s kindness that’s leads us repentance…Rom 2:4-5 In the “lake of fire” God is not there trying to lead people to repentance..it is too late for repentance, . That’s like saying now that Ted Bundy said he was sorry while sitting in the electric chair dead, and somehow he apologizes and says I’m sorry, how can we go back and undo the sentence of death? Once you’re dead you cannot repent..

            But do you really think that a human being who is made in the image of God, has the light of Christ inside them (that will never be snuffed out), and has a conscience that is attuned into God’s law….. will reject God’s love forever.
            -
            Tell me…. How is that even possible?
            _once they are corrected enough in the presence of a loving God?_
            “In “hell” they are no longer in the “presence of God” God does not live in a “lake of fire”
            Human beings are made in the Image of God, but Christ does not live in the heart of any unrepentant sinner (Rom 1) and a sinner is never attuned to God’s law..
            What you’re describing is a Christian not a sinner, Unrepentant people, people who are not sorry for what they have done wrong, are called sinners… are you trying to tell me Hitler had the light of Christ in him and he was attuned to God law when he slaughtered 6 million Jews?

            Every one who is in the electric chair is sorry, either for what they did or for being caught, but it does not mean the button will not be pushed. They refused the one person who offered to die in their place, they ignored the pardon that was given to them, and sat in the electric chair willingly. They will receive the punishment they chose, eternal death, separation from God.

          • Oh. Stephen. You are just wrong in so many ways.

            -

            Read the rest of Romans 1 were Paul explains what this wrath is that he is talking about. It is God allowing people to go their own ways into their own depravity. He’s not talking about this eternal wrath that you speak of. Read Romans 3: 5-8 where Paul talks about himself (being a Christian) as being under God’s judgment connected with this wrath. If Paul was talking about the eternal wrath that you speak of…. then Christians are going there as well. But he wasn’t, he was talking about God allowing people to go their own ways into suffering the consequences…. which applies to Christians as well as non-Christians.

            Here’s a good essay on God’s wrath.

            -
            http://www.clarion-journal.com/clarion_journal_of_spirit/2012/07/wrath-and-love-as-divine-consent-by-brad-jersak.html

            -

            Stephen said : There is no text that say’s “salvation of all people”.. it says salvation is AVAILABLE to all.

            -
            the new Greek Concordance says this about the word Malista.

            Malista – especially, chiefly, most of all, above all

            Malista is foun in

            1 Timothy 4: 9-12

            Faithful is the saying and worthy of all welcome (for this we are toiling and being reproached), that we rely on the living God, Who is the saviour of ALL mankind, especially/most of all / above all / chiefly (Malista) of believers. These things be charging and teaching.

            -
            The ALL MANKIND mentioned here is separate from believers. Jesus is the saviour of all mankind but most of all believers.

            -
            -
            Stephen said: There is no text that says “Until” they pay the price in full. Mark into the fire that never shall be quenced 4 x times in this passed he says the fire will never stop.

            -

            Jesus mentions that the Gehenna would salt people with fire, and that this would be good. If this was talking about eternal torments, why on Earth would Jesus, who came, out of the fathers love to save mankind, consider it to be good. The simple explanation is that both fire and salt are considered to have purifying qualities.
            -
            Now a look at Gehenna in Mark 9: 43 – 44. Jesus states,

            “… than having your two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched”.

            -
            Returning to the Jeremiah tradition. Here the Bible also uses the term “unquenchable fire”

            -
            Jer. 17: 27

            ……..”But if you will not hearken onto me,…. then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched”
            -

            Here we have the phrase “not be quenched”, but the fire to which it refers ceased to burn when the temple at Jerusalem was consumed. This was accomplished precisely according to 2 Chronicles 36:19 and Jeremiah 52: 13. The fires of judgement burnt down Jerusalem completely. But as soon as the destruction of the city was over the fires went out. They were “unquenchable” for a time as no one was able to put them out until their task was complete.
            -
            Here is a excerpt from a respected Biblical commentary pertaining to Jer. 17: 27

            Gill’s exposition of the entire bible

            …… and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem; the king’s palace, and the palaces of the princes and nobles, as well as the cottages of the poorer sort: and it shall not be quenched; until it has utterly destroyed the city: this was fulfilled by the Chaldeans (Jer. 52: 13.)

            -
            The above should be sufficient to show that the fire that shall not be quenched is not an eternally fire. But in the event that more evidence is need I submit two more examples of “unquenchable” judgement found in the prophetic books.

            -

            Jer. 7: 17 – 20

            Does thou not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah, – and i the streets of Jerusalem?….and to pour out drink offerings to other God’s, provoking me to anger. …… Thus says My Lord Yahweh – Lo! Mine anger and mine indignation are about to be poured out upon this place….. And it shall burn and not be quenched.
            -

            We know that this judgement was not of eternal duration.
            -

            Gill’s expostion of the entire Bible has this to say about Jer. 7: 17 – 20

            …… and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched; that is, the wrath of God shall burn like fire, and shall not cease until it has executed the whole will of God in the punishment of his people.

            -
            Ezekiel 20: 47

            ….Thus says the Lord Jehovah: Lo, I am kindling in you a fire, and it has devoured in you every moist tree, and every dry tree. Not quenched is the glowing flames.

            -
            Clarke’s commentary of the bible has this to say about the above scripture.

            The flaming flame shall not be quenched – the fierce ravages of Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldeans shall not be stopped until the whole land is ruined…….. the flaming flame shall not be quenched……. which should not be abated until the ruin of the city was completed
            -

            Both of these judgements clearly had an end. Indeed judgements in the prophetic books ended with repentance and restoration. That is the result of a judgement that cannot be quenched in the Old Testament prophetic books.

            Thus according to these examples the fire that will not be quenched is not an eternal fire; it is a fire which cannot not be put out by human means. It continues to burn until it has accomplished its purpose.

            With this in mind here is an prophet scripture which many argue is a text connotating eternal torments yet according to the evidence shown above is a punishment with an end.
            -

            Isaiah 66:24

            Then shall they go forth and look upon the dead bodies of the men who had been trespassing against me, For their worm shall not die and their fire shall not be quenched; so shall they become an abhorrence to all flesh.

            -

            The following is Jesus’ own words where the Gehenna fire is spoken of in the context of a judgement with an end.

            -
            Matthew 5: 22 – 26

            Yet I am saying to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to the judging. Yet whoever may be saying to his brother “Raka” shall be liable to the Sanhedrin. Yet whoever maybe saying, “stupid” shall be liable to the Gehenna of fire……….You be humouring your plaintiff quickly while you are with him on the way, lest at some time the plaintiff may be giving you up to the judge, and the judge to the deputy and you should be cast into jail. Verily I am saying to you, By no means may you be coming out thence until you should be paying the last quadrans.
            -
            Here Jesus is talking about judgement in which he mentions Gehenna. Yet in this passage he indicates that a person may come out once he has paid the last quadrans. In other words the just judgement will eventually end when the payment for the crime is paid in full.

            I find it interesting to note that the Didache which is one of the earliest existing Christian writings has this to say.
            -
            Give to everyone who asks help from you, and do not seek a return because the Father wants his generosity to be shared with everyone. Blessed is anyone that gives according to this command, for that person goes without discipline. But, watch out for those who received these thing: if they receive things from need then there is no punishment, but if they receive these things without need then they shall have to explain why they acted in that way and they shall be questioned about it when in prison and they will not be released until the last penny is repaid. (Didache 1:6)
            -
            This implies that the primitive Christians understood the above statement as speaking about
            a judgement of a limited duration..

            -
            As well if the real “Gehenna fire” that was constantly burning in the valley of Hinnon in Jesus time was a Biblical analogy for the “eternal fire” then it isn’t a very good one, because the fire of Gehenna has quit burning. The fire that Jesus referred to in the scriptures, which many argue represents an eternal tormenting fire, has gone out.

            -
            -
            -
            Stephen said:

            Rev 20-21 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life….. outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices immortality.

            -

            Stephen. You mustn’t prooftext the scriptures. Look at that text in context. The writer is writing this next to the text where he talks of the King’s of the Earth walking into the City of God through the gates that are always open…. as I’ve mentioned above. The Kings of the Earth were evil men throughout the whole book of Revelation,,,, and here he mentions them walking into the City of God through the gates that are always open. In context of this the Rev. text that you quoted is saying that no unclean thing will enter into the City of God…… It doesn’t say that people can’t enter into the City of God after they have repented and therefore been cleansed and entered into the book of life. Read this in context…. not prooftext.

            -
            -

            Stephen said:

            :and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the Lake of Fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever…. the lake of fire.
            -
            Your reading from a bad translation.

            Strongs online concordance says this about the greek word “basanizo” which has been translated into the English word “tormented”.

            Cognate: 931 básanos – originally, a black, silicon-based stone used as “a touchstone” to test the purity of precious metals (like silver and gold). See 928 (basaníz?).

            [In the papyri, basanos also means, “touchstone,” “test” (so P Oxy I. 58.25, ad 288).

            931 (basanois) was “originally (from oriental origin) a touchstone; a ‘Lydian stone’ used for testing gold because pure gold rubbed on it left a peculiar mark. Then it was used for examination by torture.
            -

            Taken from the Webster dictionary:
            Definition of Touchstone
            1: a black siliceous stone related to flint and formerly used to test the purity of gold and silver by the streak left on the stone when rubbed by the metal.

            2: a test or criterion for determining the quality or genuineness of a thing.
            -
            There is a plethora of evidence that the world aionos means an age not eternity. This is how the early Koine Greek speaking Christians understood this word according to their writings that are still available, which is one of the reasons why these founding fathers believed in ultimate reconciliation.
            Thus from the very well translated Jonathan Mitchell Bible that text really says the following.
            -
            Rev. 20:10
            And so the Devil, the one who continuously deceiving them is cast into the lake of Fire and Deity…… and they will be examined and tested by the touchstone (basanizo) day and night for the ages (aionos) of the ages (aionos).

            -
            -
            -
            Stephen said:
            :OT never shows the Final judment as ending.

            -
            The Lake of fire last for the ages of ages…. which is periods of time with definite ending.

          • Stephen said: In the “Lake of Fire” God is not there trying to lead people to repentance.
            In “hell” they are no longer in the “presence of God” God does not live in a “lake of fire”.
            -
            Read those lake of fire texts carefully. The Bible says that the Lake of fire is burning IN THE PRESENCE OF the angels and the lamb. Jesus is the lamb…. therefore the lake of fire is burning IN THE PRESENCE OF Jesus. Jesus IS RIGHT there. And God the Bible says that God has commissioned Jesus to save mankind. Jesus isn’t a loser or a failure.

            -
            -
            Stephen said:
            :but Christ does not live in the heart of any unrepentant sinner (ROm1) and a sinner is never attuned to God’s law.
            -
            This isn’t Biblical Stephen. John1:9 speaks about the “true light – which is enlightening EVERY man coming into the world”. Jesus tells the Jews (not Christians) that he was speaking to, to take their light and shine it before all men.
            Also read. Romans 2:14 – 15…. where it cleary says that the people of the nations have the Law WRITTEN ON THEIR HEARTS…. their consciences testifying.
            -
            -
            Yes Hitler had the light of Christ in him. The Bible says that it can not be snuffed out. His conscience was scathed over and the light was covered by evil so as not to be seen. BUT THE BIBLE SAYS THAT IT CAN NEVER BE SNUFFED OUT.
            -
            -
            People will receive restorative correction…… but not eternal tortures, because this isn’t Biblical…. it is pagan thought that entered into Christianity. It is the doctrines of demons and the myths of man.

      • Jesus never forced someone to believe in Him, no more than will he force someone to go to heaven who chooses not to go..your theology misses this point ..In your theology “Hitler” will be forced to be refined in “Hell” and then redeemed… Hebrews 9 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him…. Judgement is final…. there is no “do over” or get out of Jail free card… God never forces any one to believe in Him.. or to repent…

        • Dear brother, you are treasured beyond imagining. You are the sheep, the coin, the found son. Right now heaven is having a party over you. You invited to share this radical, wild love with others! Welcome to the team…

  5. We will not trust spiritual power until we experience a God who operates in the same way, a God who is willing to wait, forgive, allow, and trust and love unconditionally. It is largely a waste of time to tell people to love generously when the God they have been presented is a taskmaster, loves quite conditionally,is easily offended, very needy, and threatens people with eternal torture if they do not “believe” in him– Richard Rohr

  6. Pingback: “Hellbound?” opens today in LA, OC, San Diego and Grand Rapids!

You decide where Hellbound? Releases

Want to be among the first people to see Hellbound? Demand the movie in your city and help spread the word. The more requests we get from your city, the sooner we'll release there.

Demand The Movie

Links to external site