But what distinguishes two of those positions is annihilation of the wicked and universal salvation, respectively. God bless you. Unlike many non-evangelical universalists, who might even be non-Christian, evangelical universalists are not unitive pluralists, who believe that everyone gets to “heaven” (which has different names in different religions), by different religious paths. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”", Revelation 20:10, "And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. For various reasons we find your conclusion difficult to follow. But, conditionalists affirm the annihilation of the wicked. Excellent analysis! If we all accept the idea that “immortality” is in Scripture a qualitative term, not just a descriptor of unending existence, then “conditional immortality” does not clearly distinguish among the options. I am Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology and Ethics at Providence Theological Seminary, Canada. I would also ask that if, on learning that someone is a conditionalst, you then press further to find out whether or not they are a universalist. The 1980’s saw a remarkable rise in profile for the doctrine that immortality is bestowed. CARM's position is that conditional immortality is not biblical. I recently subscribed to a new spam interceptor and I am still figuring out what it is doing. Your email address will not be published. Traditionalists also believe in “conditional immortality,” that is, in the doctrine that God only gives immortality to believers, through Christ, but they deny that the endless existence which the wicked experience is what the Bible calls “immortality,” which is the life of God and with God, “eternal life” (cf. Thus, both positions are forms of “conditional immortality.”. Terrence, if by immortality we mean living forever, then both traditionalists and universalists both believe in universal immortality. Annihilationism is the condition of nonexistence that awaits the damned. In other words, there seems to be no meaningful relationship between ongoing life and faith in Christ on the universalist scheme. Does it not seem important to you that traditionalists and universalists can only be said to affirm that “immortality is universal” if we give to the term “immortality” two different senses? So long as it is true that one cannot be saved without repentance and faith, these are conditions for immortality/eternal life, regardless of how many or few people meet the conditions. Thanks, Ronnie. I would like to find a one-word equivalent of “everlasting conscious punishment”, but I haven’t found it yet. In essence, the nomenclature has become what it has despite its imperfect, and arguable nuances. Were I to conclude tomorrow that annihilationism is the biblical position, that is the term I would use to describe my position, for the reasons I have enunciated. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end” (Eccl 3:11). The other main way of attacking the biblical position is to push annihilationism. Immortality, biblically speaking, means not dying, in the ordinary, physical sense of the word. It’s only in recent history as they’ve been confronted by conditionalists that they’ve shifted in their use of the word. , PS, I usually describe my view as annihiationism, because that is what specifies my view on “hell.”. . Chris, I don’t understand why a condition that is universally met would fail to be a condition. They constantly refer to human souls as infinitely precious believing that the lake of fire will burn away the dross and leave the pure. From Eternity magazine to Christianity Today, conditionalism has . The case for conditionalism is exegetically sound. Locating N. T. Wright’s eschatology on the spectrum of views concerning hell. The God-given fight-for-survival instinct makes us fight for our lives. First is an argument based on the Bible’s use of fire imagery to describe hell. Perhaps traditionalism is just a form of universalism, since immortality is universal. I prefer conditionalism over annihilationism, if you couldn’t tell already from the domain name. It is a message about a God who loves the universe he created too much to allow evil to exist in it forever. By contrast, “conditional immortality” is unhelpful as a term for any of the three positions, because it could be applied to any one of them, depending on the meaning one assigns to “immortality.”. It depends on the definitions. This too is endless punishment, but it is not endless life. It is pretty difficult to find a professional evangelical theologian these days who holds a Platonic view of souls as indestructible. While annihilationism places emphasis on the active destruction of a person, conditionalism places emphasis on a person's dependence upon God for life; the extinction of the person is thus a passive consequence of separation from God, much like natural death is a consequence of prolonged separation from food, water, and air. I acknowledge that “conditional immortality” has been used for over a century by annihilationists to describe their understanding, but I still think that the choice of term is not a helpful descriptor of the distinctive conviction of that position. Where conditionalism defines human immortality as conditional upon a right relationship with God, annihilationism is defined as a direct punishment of death from God. The two names are simply two sides of the same equation for us; neither one is obviously better or worse to describe us, except situationally. So conditionalism has steadily shifted from the defensive position of an ostracized view to a recognized school of Christian teaching in a vital field.” 1. But the point stands, that if one does affirm indestructible free will and infinite time synergism is compatible with a confident universalism. Without Christ, there is nothing of worth that can withstand His eternal fire. Additionally, before I am called a “heretic” by those who hold to Traditionalism, Conditionalism is not a heretical position. God has put eternity in our hearts or given us thoughts of immortality. From a New Testament perspective, immortality is not itself glory and happiness, else there would be no point in pointing out that the saved would receive immortality and glory in 1 Cor 15. This video I briefly explain why I believe in the future, the word name for the drama ”... Time to repent over the other would be very welcome – in new! ; therefore, they too are conversionists we find your conclusion difficult find... Won ’ t be made immortal its simple semantics torment due to their sin against God their... Evangelical theologian these days who holds a Platonic view of indestructible souls we also that! Who holds a Platonic view of indestructible souls helpful after all its a very persuasive of! 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