Item description for Hell on Trial: The Case for Eternal Punishment by Robert A. Peterson & P.L. Ed. Peterson...
Overview Is the concept of hell outdated? No, says Peterson, who offers you a penetrating look at both the bad news---and the Good News---in this compelling case for eternal punishment. Examining the competing views such as agnosticism and universalism, he helps you evaluate these current denials and modifications in light of solid biblical evidence.
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Studio: P & R Publishing
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.45" Width: 5.55" Height: 0.73" Weight: 0.8 lbs.
Release Date Jul 1, 1995
Publisher P & R Press
ISBN 0875523722 ISBN13 9780875523729
Reviews - What do customers think about Hell on Trial: The Case for Eternal Punishment?
Trial Verdict: It's a hung jury Dec 18, 2007
My purpose for reading this book was to get a firm explaination from a believer in eternal torment not only what is the biblical proof for the nature of Hell being eternal torment, but also to explain the many verses in the bible which also describe the nature of Hell being final ("destruction", "perish", etc). This book did not satisfy either objective.
It is so easy to proof-text this topic--to presuppose so many things about what Hell is and then read those things into the scriptures. Case and point from the author (p 178): "...I do not believe the traditional view of hell because I accept the immortality of human beings. I believe in the immortality of human beings because the Bible clearly teaches everlasting damnation for the wicked and everlasting life for the righteous." This view, I believe, is the crux of the problem for "proving" eternal torment. Shouldn't a conclusion like the one this author makes drive us to ask additional questions such as, "does the Bible discuss whether human beings have immortality"? To accept that by way of a mention of eternal torment this means humans have immortality is a leap of logic and is not exegesis of the scripture.
I believe the lie Satan told Eve, "You shall not surely die" is one which is still alive and well to this day. Even the author's discussion on SHEOL has no conclusion on the subject--he says it may mean the grave, or it may mean a holding place of departed human spirits. Understanding SHEOL is a key component to this discussion, and I wish he had been more thorough in his discussion. His conclusion was not based on any biblical exegesis.
On the book itself, the author has some very good bible-based sections on Judgement in the Old Testament, and this is true--There is Judgement by a Holy God--but the author then makes a leap to the conclusion of eternal torment. He relies extensively on quoting other people as proof for his position. While this may be acceptable in scholarly work, the Bible needs to interpret the Bible, and we shouldn't draw conclusions on what others have concluded. Regarding his comments against Annihilationism, he again does not use the Bible to disprove those arguments but rather uses his own conclusions (which he came to in previous chapters) to disprove them.
I will continue to look for resources which use Biblical exegesis to answer my questions, however, praise God that Salvation is not dependant on a complete understanding of the nature of Hell. Our Salvation comes from believing in Jesus Christ!
Hell is real, universalism is not Aug 8, 2006
This book is really a wonderful book; I realize how oxymoronic this sounds given that the subject in discussion is hell. Hell is never a fun topic to approach and it never should be- to think of people suffering should bring a heavy burden on any person and especially any self-professed Christian. Why not do away with the doctrine, as seems to be the current trend in "evangelicalism" to weed out any doctrines that impose ideas that seem stark contrast to the seeker-friendly approach (sin, et al). I believe this book is very necessary not to "scare people into following Christ" but as my pastor said one Sunday that "only with the depth of depravity can the fullness and freeness of grace be understood". So only with the gravity of hell can the goodness of Heaven be measured in its fullness.
As this book states in numerous times that it would be cruel god who would create a hell and offer either no remedy or way out, or if he created it in such a way as to not make the offer of heaven absolutely free. I believe the train of thought prior to this book would be something in the sense that Jesus is the way, truth and life and only through him can you come to a working (salvivic) knowledge of God. In other words the necessity of Christianity EXCLUDED Universalism (the believe that all will ultimately be saved), so Universalism and Christianity cannot be reconciled except in the sense that under Universalism everyone will be saved (even Christians who do not believe in it) so Christian and Universalist cannot be applied consistently to the same person either a person is one or the other. If there is no hell, then there is no need of a sacrifice- what is Christ saving us from? Ergo again Christianity and universalism are mutual exclusive. In that sense then, Christianity states that those who are NOT Christians will not attain salvation we must ask what happens next, which I believe is the purpose of this book to consistently state what Orthodoxy is. I realize the humor in the word orthodoxy which is very similar to the term fundamentalist (or orthodoxist) - both negative connotations for those who refuse to accept the current trend in political correctness, in other words ways in which those who disagree create more hate in attempt to dismantle the so called hate that hell seems to spurn (or the God is only love type of mentality- as if one attribute of God can remove his justice and wrath?).
This book tackles some of the heresy of universalism, annihilationist (which while heresy can still be believed by Christians), and finally eternal punishment (this is in essence a primer on the subject but nonetheless well done). It should be no shock that the authors interpretation is that their is an eternal punishment. He shows both consistently and exegetical while this view only out of the three is one that can hold water. Annihilationist run the risk of an inability to interrupt certain verses (c.f: Rev 14:11, 2 Thess 1:9, Matt 18:8, Dan 12:2, Jude 1:7 which all attest to either the eternality of hell or hell-fire) while universalism is contra-Christianity. Peterson also shows that consistent (historic, orthodox) Christianity has also held this view, which is no surprise since they intern follow the Bible.
The argument I would also levy is that we see God eternal (Duet 33:27), Heaven eternal (John 3:16, 36; 6:27; 17:3, Dan 12:2, Heb 9:12) and we have verses directly speaking towards the eternality of hell (see above), what other proof is necessary for a proper hermeneutical interpretation of scripture? This book deals well with other arguments necessary to defend this doctrine which again is at the core of Christianity - again not to scare people into it, but to make them realize that this is what the Bible speaks of, how could we as human beings not seek to warn people of this? Would we be the man in the burning building that quietly walks out leaving the rest to perish or as the Church has been seeking to warn those of life and death without our great God and savior Jesus Christ?
What this book leaves you with is a nice slice of Systematic Theology that is a great helps on a tough topic that should intern spur us as a Church towards missions and evangelism, to realize that Christianity is not politically correct- and it is not universalism and my own person growth has shown me that the "comfortable" doctrines are those most needed to change in my sinful nature. God is sovereign, God is just, and Christ will reign and judge all. But we have hope in Christ who is our perfect sacrifice.
I would heartily recommend this book even if you disagree because it is one in which those who honestly disagree with have to reconcile with the Biblical truth stated, and only through that can we have an honest and open dialog amongst Brothers and Sisters of Christ.
An important book to read concerning the truth of Hell Jul 30, 2006
Hell is a subject that is hard to deal with. This is the kind of subject most people just don't want to read in the Bible. This is the kind of subject most people seem to run screaming from because they think it is "mean" and "hard" to speak about what is true, that Hell is true. Even churches have done their best to white out all messages of the Bible concerning Hell. On the one hand, you want to know that there is some sort of justice in the universe we live in. On the other hand, you fear the idea that there will be a place for those who go into eternity lacking something. Hell is the subject that many ministers, sadly, fear studying and exploring in case of "scaring off" members of the church or "being intolerant" by members of the church. But Hell is a very important subject because it is a very real place. To read the Bible and not realize that there is a place of sentencing and judgment for those who choose to turn their backs on the Truth, you are then failing in your readings. Hell on Trial by Robert A. Peterson is an important book that all church leaders, church members, and even seminary students need to read. The book explores the very real truth that the Bible shows that there are those who will go to Hell when they die...why? Because they fail to go into eternity without trust in Yahweh through Yeshua, I say this as we are living in the Church Age heading toward to the Last Days as found in both Testaments.
The point that so many people who do not believe in hell, much less not believe in the truth of Lucifer and demons and fallen angels, fail to truly comprehend what and who Yahweh is, especially what and who Yahweh is through the Son, Messiah Yeshua. On the one hand yes, GOD is love, on the other hand, GOD is also Holy. That means that GOD loves us so much that He has given us the Free Will to choose Him... remember we are a fallen race, fallen with our first father Adam and first mother Eve. He loves us so much that He makes us choose the choice: Are we going to follow the LORD? Or are we going to turn away from the LORD? If we turn toward the LORD, Yahweh, then we are accepting the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We are accepting life here and life eternal with the LORD. If we turn away from the LORD, Yahweh, then we are not accepting the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We are not accepting life here and life eternal with the LORD. On the one hand, we have Messiah Yeshua as our Savior, on the other hand, we fail what is true.
Remember Messiah Yeshua is the one who taught us most about Hell. Again and again He warns us that if we do not follow Him, if we do not take up our cross, if we do not place our trust in Him, then we face everlasting Hell...remember the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man...remember the story of the faithless servant...remember the story of the wise virgins and the foolish virgins. Again and again Messiah Yeshua, who is the very visible truth of Yahweh, for He is Yahweh, tells us that in our free will we either accept Heaven with the LORD or Hell without the LORD. Furthermore, remember what Messiah Yeshua shows to the Apostle John as we read the truth in the Book of Revelation. We see that there will be a judgment for those who come into eternity without the LORD, those who think they can go into eternity and be blessed based only on their good works and not the blood of Christ. The Great White Throne of Judgment shows that there will certainly be judgment for all those, great and small, rich and poor, "wise" and "foolish" will face the very judgment of Messiah Yeshua. And they will be condemned. Why? Because all religions do not lead to the same GOD. Because all the good works we do cannot save us. Because we are sinners, plain and simple, and GOD must judge those sins of ours (if we go into eternity without the blood of Christ) because if He doesn't, then He is not a GOD of good, then He is not a GOD of holiness.
Give 'Em Hell... Dec 13, 2004
It's bad enough that young children who don't know any better are subjected to teachings of a literal hell in Sunday School. But to continue such a bombastic, silly, holy rant clear into adulthood thanks to ignorant points of view like Petersen's just turns my stomach. The trouble with the Christian Fundamentalists is they truly believe that the entire world is entitled to their opinion. The Fundamentalists operate under the assumption that everyone needs to be scared into following Christ when this is simply not the case. There are a hundred ways to read the Bible and a hundred ways to interpret it. If this were the only book every written about Christianity and the Heaven and Hell issue, I would walk away disappointed, realizing that this is not a God I would care to serve or love. If there is a literal hell, it's flames are reserved for the likes of Petersen and his Flock of Self-Righteous Idiots. Read Randy Klassen's "What Does the Bible Really Say About Hell?" instead. That is, if you want an educated and intelligent treatment of the subject. Read Petersen's Tome of Hogwash if you want something that holds its own against the likes of Grimm's Fairy Tales.
Hell of a book Feb 28, 2002
I found this book to be very useful and informative, well written and insightful. Strongly answers challenges to current debate in Christian circles to traditional view of Hell, showing why both Universalism and Conditionalism are not biblically compatible