Annihilationism: A Near-Definitive Guide

Where I try to gather a lot of resources on why annihilationism is wrong.

Annihilationism is the belief that the final fate of those who are not saved is literal and final destruction…

A belief that runs against the traditional Christian understanding of hell.

So naturally as I worked through the doctrine of hell during my stint on last things, in the back of my mind I considered whether I’d address annihilationism.

It was bound to come up at some point, right?

And indeed, it did.

But when I went to do my homework, I realized quite quickly that I couldn’t possibly do the topic justice…

A handful of people before me have already answered all the arguments for annihilationism so much better than this half-baked intellectual could.

How can I add anything original to the discussion? Fact is, I couldn’t.

So instead I decided to pull together all the resources I could possibly find online–and share them with you.

In case you care, of course. [I know you do.]

Listen: Everything that I list here is going to be critical of annihilationism. But everything I list here is also very conversant with the advocates and arguments for annihilationism.

In other words, you can learn the arguments of annihilation advocates from reading the objections.

Of course nothing beats first-hand interaction–that is if you have the time. Enjoy.

Articles on Annihilationism

Jeff Spencer concludes the the moral, linguistic, and exegetical arguments for the doctrine of annihilation all fall to the ground due to a lack of reason, lack of lexical evidence, and a lack of good, solid exegesis.

Stanley J. Grenz writes a nice, 2-page summary of annihilationism and it’s problems for Christianity Today.

Stephen E. Alexander answers the questions: “Why is this doctrine so flawed, and why should we be concerned about its prevalence?”

l: Part One | 
In a two part series, Alan W. Gomes examined the scriptural teaching on the doctrine of hell, paying particular attention to key passages from the Gospel of Matthew and the Book of Revelation.

Professor of Theology at Southern Baptists Theological Seminary Milliard Erikson takes a swing at annihilationism.

 by J. I Packer

British group acknowledges differences on annihilationism, but says doctrine of hell must be preached again.

The reality of hell, and the teaching that it is “occupied to some degree,” is reaffirmed in a 140-page report published in April by the Evangelical Alliance of the United Kingdom.

What is hell—eternal torment or annihilation? Robert A. Peterson looks at the Evangelical Alliance’s The Nature of Hell.

Robert A. Peterson explores the theological methods of Edward Fudge, defender of annihilationism.

Tony Gray argues that annihilation is at the very least an option which ought to be considered fairly and honestly.

Kenneth MacLeod addresses Stott’s suggestion that the topic requires more humility.

Monergism has got a nice layout of this article by Warfield.

A systematic, detailed, scriptural argument against annihilationism by James Patrick Holding. Probably one of the best I’ve encountered.

Sam Storms works over annihilationism using Revelation 14.

Nothing new to add to the discussion except a table with the scriptural realities of hell–which you might find helpful.

A nice creed-style rejection of annihilationism by J. H. Gosden found in What Gospel Standard Baptists Believe.

Martin Downes shares an excerpt of an interview with Robert A. Peterson [found in his book Risking the Truth].

Then Downes shares even more of that interview.

Historical Mentions of Annihilationism

Embryonic forms of conditional immortality can be found in the writing of Justin Martyr [d. 165].

Ignatius of Antioch [d. 107] is also supposed to be a conditionalist according to some conditionalist writers.

Some suggest it is also found in the writings of Arnobius [d. 330]. See paragraph 61, last sentence.

Books on Annihilationism

 by Harry Buis

 Contributions by Walvoord, Crockett, Hayes and Pinnock

 Contributions by Beale, Block, Ferguson, Mohler, Moo, Packer and Yarbough

 by John Gerstner

 by Robert Morey

 by William Greenough Thayer Shedd

 by Robert A. Peterson

 A theological discussion of annihilationism between Robert A. Peterson [against] and Edward Fudge [for].

 by Martin Downes Contains the interview with Robert A. Peterson.

Your Turn

If you know of a resource not included here [especially mp3s, which I couldn’t find anywhere], please share in the comments. I’ll add to them to this post and give you credit.

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