Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My (Surprising) Review of Erasing Hell By Francis Chan & Preston Sprinkle

DISCLAIMER: If for some reason you don't want to know what conclusion they reach...you shouldn't be reading a review of the book!

Anyway, you can't be a 22 year-old evangelical Christian who has a Facebook without having heard the buzz about Francis Chan's new book, Erasing Hell (written with Preston Sprinkle). How many of my Facebook friends posted this youtube video in May and June? I don't know, but I know the answer is along the lines of several.


Now, I read the book (it ended up getting released last month instead of July 5th). As should surprise absolutely nobody, they conclude that Hell is...a place of eternal torment! Yes. But despite the fact that I disagree with their position, I actually think the book is a worthy read for other reasons.

Literal and Innerrant Are Not the Same Thing

DISCLAIMER: This blog post will refer to passages of the Bible that use ungodly sexual language that is innappropriate to ever talk about.

(I'm being sarcastic of course, making a point of how context matters and speaking of certain subjects, even in mixed company, is not always innappropriate or ungodly, since God Himself uses such language...)

Now, it has been said by some believers (much more so today than throughout time) that the Bible must be completely literal. After all, it is God's infalliable word to mankind, so it must mean exactly what it says. Also, since it is for all people, God mustn't use figurative language or metaphors that would not be readily understood by everyone. If we don't read it literally, how can we ever know what it really means? How can we really know if something is figurative vs. literal? And what would keep someone from just saying anything they don't like is just figurative (like most unbelievers do when they talk about Jesus as a great guy who didn't really die and rise from the grave)?