Erasing Hell: What
God said about eternity and the things we've made up by Francis
Chan is a gracious and godly man whose love for people is
undeniable. It comes through loud and clear as he shares his
brokenness over the lost. This is evident in all his writings.
But for all the good and sincere that Chan represents, on
the issue of the nature of hell I believe he must be challenged.
Please do not think that Chan has settled the issue. First
of all it probably goes unnoticed but among all the arguments
Chan gives for his viewpoint he admits his bottom line is
that he is not willing to say with certainty that he believes
in the eternal nature of hell:
"The debate about hell's duration is
much more complex than I first assumed. While I lean heavily
on the side that says it is everlasting, I am not ready
to claim that with complete certainty. I encourage you to
continue researching..." (pg 86)
However many who have read the book
do not follow his humility but rather conclude, "Chan
leaves no doubt" and, "Erasing Hell settles the
debate". Please take his advice and continue researching.
To the Christian who has assumed the traditional view, he
frames a very convincing argument for an eternal hell. Without
someone presenting the other view alongside Chan's, one could
easily believe that the case is settled. Proverbs says, "The
first to present his case seems right, till another comes
forward and questions him." (Prov. 18:17)
I appreciate Chan's book in that he sincerely
believes that we must get this right on account of the lives
that could be at stake through presumption. But if you will
allow some very real and valid challenges to Chan's arguments
to enter into the debate I believe you will see that the conversation
is far from over and has just begun. But yes, there are lives
at stake but I don't believe it is in the way Chan is perceiving
Unfortunately "Erasing Hell" may become
the clincher against any hope for what many Christians hold
secretly, that God has loved and redeemed all. Bell
cracked open the door for some hope and Chan and Sprinkle
perhaps shut it tight for many. Again, this is done in good
conscience by Chan, Galli and others, and I get it. An eternal
hell should mean an extremely radical lifestyle to do whatever
it takes to save every person within our power from this fate.
But I believe these books are being rushed to the publisher
and are shutting down the conversation when it is far from
over. I know that sounds unreasonable given that we are told
the Ultimate Restorationist view has long been tried and found
wanting. But first we must realize in God's economy timing
seems to be everything and second, what we are told has been
the "majority view" is suspect since it has been
held to this point out of assumption, fear and very often
secretly wishing it were not true.
Chan's first paragraph demonstrates the very foundational
conundrum this teaching creates:
"Do you understand the weight of what
we are about to consider? We are exploring the possibility
that you and I may end up being tormented in hell [forever]."
One wonders how we can remain sane with the
burden Chan presents here. (And he includes himself
in that possibility? Chan, the 'Crazy in love with God' Christian?)
As long as we have this uncertainty and this possibility of
being damned forever (and those we love) how can we live the
life of peace, joy and freedom that Jesus so assuredly says
should be our experience?
I appreciate Chan's transparency in relaying
how he doesn't want to think about it, how it made him feel
sick, how it brought him so much anguish to think about his
grandmother in hell, and how he would like to "erase
it" from the Bible. But this begs the question as to
why is there something about God's character that we'd rather
not think about and which makes us sick when in fact we are
commanded to love God with all our minds? This should make
Chan states on page 14, "I'm scared to
death...so much is at stake...I may lead people into the very
place I convinced them did not exist...we can't afford to
be wrong...too much is at stake. Too many people
are at stake." Wow, really? The Almighty Sovereign Creator
of the universe has given us that much power? To be the linchpin
for determining the eternal destinies of other human beings?
How could we ever live at peace under such a strain and burden?
A comment about how we may "lead people
to hell" if we do not teach this doctrine. I would say
that the Church has been doing a knock-up job of leading people
down the road to destruction very well indeed with this doctrine
in place. (We would say destruction not an eternal hell of
torment). Since I have become convinced of the restoration
of all I have shared my faith with more people than ever before.
It removes the unnecessary stumbling block of an incoherent
eternal hell and allows the true Stumbling Stone to do His
"Part of me doesn't want to believe in
hell" (pg 15). Chan is a believer who is devoted to the
Lord. The Scriptures say that he has been given a new nature
which we are told means God's laws are written on his heart.
Chan has the "mind of Christ"! (I Cor. 2:16) Therefore
he needs to heed this angst and unrest that keeps cropping
up over this doctrine and listen to his God-given conscience
created by the law of God written on his heart.
"...Don't embrace an idea just because you have always
believed it. Believe what is Biblical." (pg 15) I appreciate
Chan's summary statement of the book: "[This
is a] book about embracing a God who isn't always easy to
understand, and whose ways are far beyond us: a God whose
thoughts are much higher than our thoughts". This is
Chan's first of many references to this primary verse cited
to defend an eternal hell. But Chan has walked right into
a major defense of the view he is opposing. THIS PASSAGE IS
ENTIRELY ABOUT THE MERCY AND GRACE OF GOD--NOT JUDGMENT OF
AN ETERNAL HELL! In fact it is how GOD'S MERCY defies our
reason and our thoughts!!! This passage is about how God's
free pardon of the wicked is off our human charts of reason.
The point of the verse is the very opposite of how
Chan uses it!
"Let the wicked forsake his way
and the evil man his thoughts.
Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
8“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
9“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts." (from Isaiah 55)
Chan states that we need to pray about this
issue and shares how he has spent lengthy times in prayer
and fasting over it. So have we. I believe one of the results
of Chan's sincere and humble heart before the Lord is the
way in which he has been kept from saying an absolute affirmative
to the eternal view of hell. God wants us to continue to work
this out together. We must not cease praying and searching
the Scriptures together.
"Does Everyone Go to Heaven?" First of all this
isn't even the question Jesus asked, answered or addressed.
His message was about a living breathing Kingdom inaugurated
by Christ Himself which is "at hand" and "among
you". He said you could have eternal life NOW by knowing
Him. Jesus equated knowing Him with eternal life (John 17:3).
Knowing Him was being in the Kingdom. But knowing
Him was evidenced by how much you were aligned with His heart
for the "least of these". (Matt 25) In fact He said
if you never connected to these brothers of His you never
knew Him. There's a Kingdom Jesus is building and bringing
and the time is within this age to participate.
There are no second chances at this. Paul says
those who squander away this life will be saved but only as
though by fire. "For it is appointed unto man once to
die and after that the judgment." (Heb 9:27)
Chan asks: "Do I want to believe in a God
who shows His power by punishing non-Christians and who magnifies
His mercy by blessing Christians forever?...Here's my gut-level
honest answer: No. No way." Ok, Chan first muddies the
waters by not stating that he means eternal punishment
of non-Christians. This omission tends to tweak the mind to
think, "Well, yes of course I want God to punish sin".
But the Evangelical Universalist would wholeheartedly say
that unrepentant sin will be punished, just not eternally
without a purpose. (Chan here in the first of many omissions
does not distinguish between punishment for sin and eternal
punishment for sin. This is confusing).
Regarding eternal torment: "That seems
a bit harsh according to my sense of justice". Again,
Chan is a believer with a new heart, the mind of Christ and
therefore a redeemed sense of justice and morality. God has
invited him to use it: "Judge for yourselves what is
right...Come let us reason together...(Luke 12:57, Isa 1:18)
Regarding "A Brief Survey of Universalism":
"Origen's beliefs were later deemed heretical."
Indeed this is a brief survey. Chan
relegated to the footnotes that,
"Origen's views were deemed heretical
at the fifth ecumenical church council held at Constantinople
in AD 553. However, a great deal of politics drove this
council, as well as other early church councils, so we shouldn't
consider Origens views heretical based solely on the decisions
made at Constantinople."
Also what you are not told here is that Origen's
universalism was not deemed heretical until nearly 200
years after he died! Also it was omitted that
it was the evil pagan despot Justinian who anathematized the
doctrine of the restoration of all. See document on Justinian
HERE. It would also be a
good exercise to study the life of Origen. He was a highly
respected and faithful follower of Christ who exuded love
and holiness. (Was he a Christian? Or is he in hell? Can someone
believe what Origen believed and still be a Christian?)
We thank Chan for defining what the differences
are among universalists. We among "God's Love Wins"
would be as he defined, those who find the view of ultimate
reconciliation "not just possible but probable".
Also we appreciate him for saying that we believe, "that
salvation is by grace through faith in Christ and Christ alone".
On page 25 Chan states: "The difference
is they believe they will have another chance...to be saved".
This is where we would object. Another chance at what? A ticket
to heaven? We believe, "In Adam all died and in Christ
all will be made alive." Therefore God took care of the
death penalty of sin and the condition of the sinful nature
by His grace alone. But until we are made aware of our redemption
and if we rebel against the Lord of the universe there are
consequences to our "ways of death". Hebrews again
says that after death there is judgment. We have only one
life to live and its fruits will be realized in the next age
of the Kingdom. We will reap what we sow, God will not be
mocked. How many Christians plead grace to defend their sinful
lifestyles? We would assert that the inescapable love and
grace of God covers the entire human race. But to run from
it, deny it, live outside its reality will bring about a reaping
of regrets and pain and loss. ( "...he will suffer loss
as though one escaping through the fire" I Cor 3:15)
The Evangelical Universalist is not presenting
a paradigm where banking on a second chance would be favorable.
Let's make one thing clear, there will be no second chances
beyond death to change what you've done in the body on this
earth for anyone. The only chance an unrepentant rebel will
get after death is a fearful expectation of judgment that
will burn away the dross of the sin nature, the false self.
The goal is restoration but the journey will be regrettable
for the unrepentant and proud. When David was restored to
God after repenting of his sin and going through the fire
of discipline he did not consider the sin to be worth it.
He was restored but at what cost? He was saved by grace from
ultimate death but he reaped what he sowed in this life. There
are no second chances for David to undo what he did in the
body on this earth. He lost something that could have been
his had he obeyed. Did he lose God or His love? No never.
But was there pain and loss, and were some of his works "burned
up"? (I Cor 3:15) yes.
Chan states, "I want everyone to be saved.
I do. I don't want anyone to go to hell ...I want to believe
in a God who will save everyone in the end." (pgs 22-23)
So is God's goal to change Chan, and you and I, into people
who are ok with God sending the
majority of all humankind to irreversible torment in hell?
Is this His way to make us into His disciples who "do
justly and love mercy"? Is this how He is preparing us
for the new heavens and the new earth and for "judging
nations"? Is this not inconsistent with the legion of
passages that command us to love, forgive, and have mercy
and compassion on others? It seems that Chan is stuck in the
tangled web of how to love and forgive others better while
trying to be more ok with God not loving and forgiving others
in the new Kingdom. Talbott says,
“If I approve of a God who fails to
love [most] of my neighbors and I am grateful for this fact,
then I do not truly love or will the good for all my neighbors:
and if I DO love them, then in the very act of willing the
good for them I demonstrate my disapproval of any God who
does not likewise will the good for them.”
Regarding "every knee will bow..."
Chan weighs it with the other verses of Paul where he talks
about destruction of the wicked etc., But this fails to consider
two things. First, Paul says here that this worship of every
knee and tongue is to the glory of God the FATHER, not Judge.
What would bring you glory as a father? A child who grudgingly
and rebelliously confessed you were the boss or a child who
had come to their senses and proclaimed the truth about your
love with sincerity?
Second, destruction hasn't seemed to be a deterrent,
a problem, a hitch, an obstacle or a vexation for God in the
"See now that I myself am He! There
is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life,
I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out
of my hand." (Deut 32:39) "I am the resurrection
and the life". (John 11:25)
Chan on I Corinthians15 (pg 29) leaves out the
last verse where Paul says, "the last enemy to be destroyed
is death" and that God "will be all in all".
How can death be destroyed if God is employing it in hell
for most of His creatures forever? How can God become all
in all if most of the "all" is in hell rebelling
against Him? Is a holy God going to keep death, sin and rebellion
alive forever in a compartment of His universe never to be
healed? This is incoherent to us.
Chan punches it at the end by saying that Paul
ends his book with "everyone who does not love Jesus
will be damned". (I Cor 16:22). The word is cursed. Not
damned. A curse is not good but it's not eternal torture in
On page 31 he states, "It's probably the
case that Paul wants Timothy to pray for all types of people
because God is on a mission to save all types of people."
Now does that really excite you...does it go above all you
can ask or imagine? Does it take your breath away? Does it
sound like "Good News"? Does it sound like the plan
and mission of the almighty Creator and God of the Universe?
If it doesn't then maybe it isn't.
The above statement is the position of a Calvinist,
or the Reformed view. Most Christians would have major problems
with this teaching that Jesus was only on a mission to save
a few elect. According to Calvinists Jesus did not die for,
nor actually love, the world, only His elect.
Francis then goes on to try and explain how
God wills all to be saved morally but in His decreed
will it cannot be so. Again he is a Calvinist who is
trying to make the doctrine of predestination palatable. He
states, "The point of 1 Tim 2 is that God is not a bigot;
He's not a racist; He loves to reverse social-class distinctions
because His love knows no boundaries." Really. That's
an example of a love with no boundaries? What about the fact
that this sovereign God has decreed that many ethnic groups
have little or no exposure to the gospel, resulting in their
damnation? Why are some ethnic groups more blessed with opportunities
to hear the gospel while most are not? That doesn't sound
like boundless love and equality.
Chan states that the Christian Universalist
view depends upon the belief that there will be second chances
after death. He then goes on to affirm that there is no Scriptural
evidence for this. First, we would say the idea of a second
chance is a moot point. For what Jesus is proposing, no, there
are no second chances because it's not about an eternal hell.
God already conquered the grave and will destroy death. God
was (past tense) in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.
His love and redemption for all mankind is forever in place.
What remains is for each of us, in his own order, within the
plan of the ages to come to grips with this--to awaken to
it, to embrace it, and then to walk in it. This is the new
life of the Kingdom. It will produce a love for God and others
and for "the least of these" that is undeniable
to yourself and to others. So the Kingdom is RIGHT NOW. The
world is waiting to be saved spiritually and physically by
Christ and His Body. If we are not acting like His Body, going
where it would go and doing what it would do, then we are
missing the chance to be just that in the next age. The Bible
says we will rule and reign with Him, judge nations and rule
over cities. There are no second chances to redo this life
that we are to live by faith and Jesus says to miss this part
of the kingdom will be painful. It will bring "weeping
and gnashing of teeth."
Will we lose God and His love forever? Never,
the cross took care of that. But the Bible says there are
consequences for what we do on this earth, even for the
Christian. "The Lord will judge HIS people.
For it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living
God." Heb 10: See also Romans 2 and the book of
James. We compartmentalize these verses because in the traditional
view they threaten eternal hell over us. Therefore they never
have the affect of creating a healthy fear of God our Father
who has said to the Church, "For we must all appear before
the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive
what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good
or evil." (I Cor 5:10)
Can someone damn themselves into a state of
eternal rebellion, sin and death? No, never. Jesus is the
Savior of the World. It is finished. But can someone miss
the one-time opportunities to enter into Christ's plan for
the Kingdom which will continue throughout the ages? Yes.
Can someone die unrepentant of their evil ways and miss some
very important blessings of God while "in a far country...coming
to their senses"? Yes. There are no second chances to
learn what we are to learn only within this lifetime. Think
about it, there has to be a correlation with how aligned you
are with God's heart now and the level of joy and fulfillment
in the next age when all is being restored. If you don't care
about the people God cares about, if you are not a savior
here on this earth in this life, then you don't know His heart
and you can't say that you know Him. And there are no second
chances with this. Whatever has been done in the body on this
earth will be dealt with and then all will be brought into
alignment with God Himself. Call it a refiner's fire or a
consuming fire but God's passion to be all in all will not
Obviously no matter what your interpretation
there will be questions left unanswered. But let us just summarize
what we believe we have been told through the Scriptures:
1. God has a plan of redemption
2. He is working it out through a series of "ages"
(the Bible mentions at least 5)
3. Jesus came to bring the good news of the Kingdom (Isa.
4. Matthew 25 talks about what is important in that Kingdom
5. We are told the elect will rule and reign with Him. (Who
will we be reigning over if everyone else is in hell?)
6. The elect are called the "firstfruits" which
imply more to come
7. We are told we are a "kingdom of priests". Priests
represent man to God and God to man, so who are we priests
As far as a second chance to be ultimately restored
after a life leading to destruction we must not gloss over
the restoration of Sodom in Ezekiel 16 or of the restorative
placement of Egypt and Assyria over Israel in Isaiah 19. Jeremiah
logs chapters of punishment, exile and destruction followed
by "I will restore the fortunes of the land as at first...I
will restore their fortunes and will have mercy on them...Yet
I will restore the fortunes of Moab...But afterward I will
restore the fortunes of the Ammonites...But in the latter
days I will restore the fortunes of Elam etc., (Ez 33:10-13;
33:26; 48:47; 49:6;49:39) The ESV notes say this is a future
prediction of the salvation of the Gentiles. Isaiah 61 notes
the restoration of the ruins and devastations of the generations.
Isaiah 25 says the veil will finally be removed from all the
peoples and that He will "swallow up death forever".
Paul says the last enemy to be destroyed is death till God
is finally "all in all". These are implying not
a second chance but the fact of the ultimate restoration of
all. And this is the foundation and context for the
Church to finally grasp the warning that there indeed will
be no second chances to experience fully the Kingdom that
God is bringing NOW and is among us.
Also, while not explaining how, Philippians
2 leaves us with the undeniable fact that every knee will
bow and tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of
God the Father. How does everyone get to this point? Not sure.
But there is plenty of speculation on the traditional side
as well. What happens to babies when they die? To mentally
disabled citizens or to severely abused children of the sex
trade? Are they saved apart from direct faith in Christ? When
are children accountable? Is there a particular day that is
the turning point in their accountability? How do you have
degrees of absolute darkness and absence of God's presence
in order to punish by degrees a Hitler vs. a Hindu teen who
has never heard the gospel? How is injustice put to rights
among two pagan people groups who are in hell? How can there
be "justice for all the oppressed" if most die before
they ever see it? Are they resurrected to the judgment, given
justice and then later thrown into an eternal hell along with
their oppressors? Consignment to an eternal hell devoid of
God's presence, meaning the absolute absence of all that is
good, loving and happy, means there is one level of punishment
and one only. It would be impossible to have degrees of punishment
in such a place. Hitler and a 13 year old Hindu girl would
have the exact same fate.
On page 38 Chan writes, "For those who follow Jesus,
there is everlasting life in the presence of God, but for
those who don't follow Him, there will be punishment."
Well, that sounds reasonable. We totally agree. Again Chan
muddies the waters by saying "punishment" and not
"eternal punishment". He also avoids saying that
while followers of Jesus will be in the presence of God, unbelievers
will be without the presence of God. If he had stated the
obvious here it should elicit a bunch of additional questions
from thinking Christians. One being that if God withdraws
His presence from those damned to hell how are they existing?
Without God's sustaining grace how can a single human being
continue? Does God graciously give them breath and hold their
molecules together so that they can be tortured forever? But
then He would actually be with them for all of eternity.
CHAPTERS 2 and 3
Chan claims that when Jesus spoke of Gehenna
He was most certainly understood as meaning a never-ending
punishment because that was, according to "historical
evidence", the Jewish mindset already in place at that
time. Therefore, he claims, for Jesus to speak of this place/mode
of punishment and never clarify or qualify that He didn't
mean a forever punitive punishment means he intended for them
to take it as exactly that, eternal punishment.
(The following is a comment by Gerry Beauchemin)
"Not so, because Jesus' message was not
geared exclusively to Pharisees even when speaking directly
to them. He ultimately had the whole world on His mind because
He knew His teachings would be transmitted to the world
through His followers. Remember also that the very first
time Jesus discussed Gehenna fire in Matthew (chapter five)
He clearly referred to it as lasting only "until"
(verse 26). That short parable is sandwiched between two
Gehenna fire references ( verses 22 and 29) and could refer
to no other judgment in that context. And note how he preceded
it with "Truly I say onto you..." That is a very
serious introduction that must be taken to heart! The other
thing we must keep at the forefront of our minds is the
priority of the Scriptures (Old Testament) and not how the
Jews may have evolved in their thinking since they were
written. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Scriptures not
the Jews' heretical beliefs inherited through pagan sources."
I refer you to: HISTORY
OF OPINIONS ON THE SCRIPTURAL DOCTRINE OF RETRIBUTION
EDWARD BEECHER, D. D.Chapters 8-12, esp 12
On page 133 Chan AGAIN commits his contextual
and exegetical "faux pas":
"Yet sometimes from our human perspective,
it's tough to see exactly how God is perfect and just and
good. That's why God says in Isaiah 55: 'My thoughts are not
your thoughts...' "
I hope you read the whole chapter and are astounded
by the grace of God (and the absolute misapplication of this
Again he drives his only passage to defend his
incoherent interpretation of God, "As I have said all
along, I don't feel like believing in [an eternal]
hell. And yet I do...God is perfect. And I joyfully submit
to a God whose ways are much, much higher than mine."
If only we all knew just how high.
On page 145: "The thought of [eternal]
hell is paralyzing for most people...how can we carry on with
life if we are constantly mindful of a fiery place of [eternal]
Jesus said, "My yolk is easy and my burden is light".
On Paul's lament over his Jewish brothers and
wishing he could be accursed and cut off from Christ: Paul
must be talking about a temporary state or this is incomprehensible.
Also it makes Paul out to be more merciful and compassionate
than Christ if he is speaking about an eternal hell. I remember
often thinking while reading this passage, " I wish Paul
was my savior because if it were up to him he would ensure
Page 148: "This is the same wrath that
will be ultimately satisfied, either in hell or on the cross."
First, the penal substitutionary theory was not developed
until the Reformation. For the first 1000 years+ the Church
adhered to a combination of Christus Victor and the ransom
theories until Anselm. (See Scot McKnight's, A Community called
Atonement. Also Leon Morris on the Atonement in the Study
section HERE). Second,
on a logical level, how can a sentence be paid for and justice
satisfied by means of a punishment that never ends?
"God IS love". Chan leaves this element
out of the discussion until the end. But not just the end
of the book but relegated to the last question of the appendix!
Here it is, the question we almost forgot to ask after being
barraged by all those images of eternal torment: Question
7: How can God be loving and still send people to [eternal]
He answers, "God is love, but He also defines
what love is. We don't have the license to define love according
to our own standards and sensibilities..." Yes God defines
what love is and no we don't have the freedom to make up our
own rules. Chan did not even cite I Corinthians 13, the love
chapter. Nor did he mention I John. God has indeed defined
love in His word. How else would we have the ability to comprehend
what it is? He states in I John, that "this is how we
know what love is, Jesus laid down His life for us and we
ought to lay our lives down for one another".
How can God have a secret standard and definition
of love for Himself (that defies our logic and sense of God-given
justice) while He reveals a different one to us in His word?
Does I Corinthians not apply to Him? Does "love your
neighbor as yourself" not apply to Him?
"God is love but He is also holy and just".
We propose that God doesn't have any ultimate buts except
when it comes to His love. The "buts" in Scripture
are those of "But God in His mercy..." Also you
can't pit his love against His holiness. His love will always
be just and holy and His justice will always be loving. You
can't divide, pit against or compartmentalize his eternal
attributes. And holiness encompasses love: Leviticus 19 commands
us to "be holy as I am holy" followed by a delineation
of the commandments of God ending with the summary of the
law: "Love your neighbor as yourself". So there
you have it, holiness is loving your neighbor as yourself.
The holy law, which is love, condemns us while at the same
time the holy law of love is what saves us when Jesus laid
down His life for us. Is He not called both the Just and the
Justifier in Romans?
Chan says on page 163, "Most importantly,
we must understand God's love in light of God's freedom. As
we have seen in this book, God, as the Creator, is free to
do whatever He sees best. He is compelled by none other than
Himself...which means, that God can withhold love."
In answer to the above statement: God is first
unchangeable. Chan has painted a God who is arbitrary, who
can lay down truths and change them up again at a whim. This
God is contradictory to His word. I am not talking about the
temporal Job or Joseph kinds of injustices sovereignly orchestrated
by the hand of the Lord but the belief in an irreparable eternal
state of destruction, despair, hopelessness, chaos and death
which goes against all we have been taught of His purpose
Second, since God is unchangeable and while
He may be progressively revealing more and more about Himself
throughout history He is going to remain consistent and true
to His word. God is indeed the freest Being in the universe
but that doesn't mean He must prove it by contradicting His
word. Psalm 145: 9 says, "The LORD is good to all, and
his mercy is over all that he has made."
Third, if God is love then it is impossible
for God to not love just as,"it is impossible for God
to lie" (Heb 6:18). He is not "free" to contradict
His word which reflects His character.
Chan ends with Genesis 18:25, "Shall not the Judge of
all the earth do right?" Given the fact that,
that He is the Resurrection and the Life,
that He is the Savior of the world,
that He will be all in all,
that what Satan means for evil He can turn to good,
that He is good to all He has made
and that He is making all things new...
...we will answer with a resounding, yes! And
there is no need to deny or bury our God-given sense of morality,
conscience or justice.
For any points in Chan's book not covered in
this review please see question topics HERE.
There are 160+ questions under 27 topics.
Note: We must comment on Randy Alcorn's endorsement of Chan's
book. He says,
"...thanks to Francis Chan for calling on us not to apologize
for God, but to apologize to God
for presuming to be wiser and more loving than our Savior."
We are not presuming we are wiser and more loving
than our Savior. We are presuming that He is actually wiser
and more loving than we have been led to believe. We are not
questioning God but the religious leaders who have protected
the doctrine of eternal hell from a thorough examination.
We are not questioning God but the pastors who do not allow
us to ask questions because they feel threatened and who threaten
us with being disfellowshipped if we demand coherent answers.