Author: Francis Chan
I was excited when I learned that Francis Chan would be writing a book that began as a response to Love Wins by Rob Bell. I was excited because I was expecting it to be Biblically faithful, and earnest and broken in tone. I also thought that if there was one author who could write such a response that would also sell on a level on par with Love Wins it might be Chan. I prayed that it would outsell Love Wins. I praise God that in Erasing Hell our prayers were answered.
Biblical clarity and faithfulness often comes in the wake of threatening heresy (i.e. the early church creeds), such is God’s blessed providence. Oh that this would lead to a generation believing the doctrine of hell as Chan articulates.
Still I must add that my one complaint with Chan is his leaving annihilationism as a possible alternative. While Chan thoroughly sees evidence for eternal conscious torment and leans toward that view himself, he doesn’t think the language is crystal clear. I disagree and recommend you read John Piper’s dismantling of annihilationism in Let The Nations Be Glad.
I was excited that this book was being written. I am not, as Chan cautions, excited to read about hell. This isn’t an exciting book, but a necessary book. Hell does not make me glad, but I am glad this book on hell was written.
I really believe it’s time for us to stop apologizing for God and start apologizing to Him for being embarrassed by the ways He has chosen to reveal Himself.
And sending people to hell isn’t the only thing God does that is impossible to figure out. The Bible is bursting with divine acts that done make a lot of sense to us…
Would you have thought to rescue sinful people from their sins by sending your Son to take on human flesh? Would you have thought to enter creation through the womb of a young Jewish woman and be born in a feeding trough? Would you have thought to allow your created beings to torture your Son, lacerate His flesh with whips, and then drive nails through His hands and feet?
I’m almost sure I would not have done that if I were God.
Aren’t you glad I’m not God?
It’s incredibly arrogant to pick and choose which incomprehensible truths we embrace. No one wants to ditch God’s plan of redemption, even though it doesn’t make sense to us. Neither should we erase God’s revealed plan of punishment because it doesn’t sit well with us. As soon as we do this, we are putting God’s actions in submission to our own reasoning, which is a ridiculous thing for clay to do.
[W]e need to stop explaining away hell and start proclaiming His solution to it.