Moreover, I could argue that the term “traditionalism” refers to a certain stream of traditional doctrine when in fact annihilationism has been traditionally present in every age of Christianity as well as Rabbinic traditions from before the time of Christ. Annihilationists believe that the second death is analogous to the first but more thorough; whereas the first death entails only decay of the body, the second death entails destruction of both body and soul: the wicked are destroyed. Some comments had been approved but also put in spam. 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. We just don’t agree with you about what the words “destroy” and “death” mean when used in the Bible to describe the ultimate fate of the unrepentant.”, Even though, again, I can fill up pages with quotes of traditionalists—going back to the Fathers up to present day—claiming and arguing that the wicked will never die and that the wicked will be made indestructible and that the soul cannot be destroyed, etc. INTRODUCTION. God alone possesses immortality and the Bible only ascribes immortality to the redeemed. Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry. There is no important parallel between that and the traditionalist/conditionalists scheme where humans can life for a very brief period on Earth without putting their faith in Christ. Is there a difference between annihilationism and conditionalism? ... One variation on this theme is what is known as conditionalism. My impression is that, historically, universalists have shared these presuppositions about unconditional and universal immortality with traditionalists (even though I’m much less acquainted with historical universalist literature). From Eternity magazine to Christianity Today, conditionalism has At issue is simply the meaning of the word “immortality” as used by Christian theologians, preachers, and pastors up to the present day. The final authority for all matters of faith and practice is the Bible, and it is in the pages of the Bible that the final annihilation of the wicked is most clearly seen. Afterwards, they would cease to exist in any form. Annihilationism is the condition of nonexistence that awaits the damned. 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. It is only the modern, novel formulations of traditionalism and universalism that claim to hold that immortality is only given at the point of glorification. It is punishment with sanctifying effect in the end. My thought, when I read the citation from Peterson, rather speedily, was that Peterson was unwise to speak as had done. My previous comment did not show up. "Conditionalism" according to readers properly names the view known as "conditional mortality," an idea often associated with annihilationism. It depends on the definitions. Nonetheless, Chris’s point is well taken. The case for conditionalism is exegetically sound. Sorry about that, Chris. One quick thought about the term “annihilationism” in general: If that is to considered an appropriate term for our viewpoint, then “tormentalism” should be just as appropriate for traditionalism since the underlying focus is on the mode of punishment. Lewis' and Bell's view that heaven is available if you open the door.] Of course, we also believe that Christ and the apostles taught it too, but that is always up for debate. But what that means is that a person will keep living even if he doesn’t put his faith in Christ. You can be a universalist and maintain that the lost will be tormented forever, or that they will be annihilated (but that in fact everyone will be saved). Immortality, biblically speaking, means not dying, in the ordinary, physical sense of the word. The final authority for all matters of faith and practice is the Bible, and it is in the pages of the Bible that the final annihilation of the wicked is most clearly seen. It is a message about a God who loves the universe he created too much to allow evil to exist in it forever. But, conditionalists affirm the annihilation of the wicked. Evangelical annihilationists believe that immortality is conditioned on saving faith. The pure that remains is indestructible in their view, thus a part of the soul must be inherently immortal. . Chris, I don’t understand why a condition that is universally met would fail to be a condition. For humans, immortality is God's conditional gift, bestowed at the resurrection but only to the redeemed. . Torment already implies consciousness. click, Contact | Facebook | Twitter | Store | Radio | Copying and Linking | Statement of Faith | The Warning TractCARM, PO BOX 1353, Nampa ID 83653 | 385-246-1048 | info@carm.orgHosting by EverythingsA.com  Powered by the Connectivity.Engineer Network, "The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, 42 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Yet, universalists could hold that God will utterly destroy, in body and soul, those who are not saved, because they believe everyone will be saved! I think, however, that my point still holds, the key difference between traditionalism and universalism, on this point, being the terminal date for acceptable repentance and faith. 2020 Thoughts Theological, on Another reason why “annihilationism” is a better name than “conditionalism:” evangelical universalism is a form of conditionalism, The gospel for people who identify themselves by their sexuality. Your email address will not be published. If not, then it would appear that the term is helpful after all. I prefer conditionalism over annihilationism, if you couldn’t tell … Continue reading → Fascinatingly, the evangelical universalist understanding of that immortality which is conditioned on faith is the same as the traditionalist understanding of immortality: for both, immortality is eternal life, the gift that God only gives to those in Christ. Now if you can come up with some re-tooled sense of the term conditionalism so that it includes universalists, great, but it’s hardly legitimate to ask that everyone else take part in that ahistorical convention. 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. Many Stripes. Hell may well be unique amongst Christian doctrines, if not for thelack of attention that it has received in the past decades, then for theunwillingness with which many orthodox Christians believe in it.Fundamentalists may preach vividly about the fires of hell, and liberals havelong heralded the downfall of eternal damnation, but what can we say about adoctrine which leaves many people highly embarrassed? Conditionalism is the state that awaits the redeemed; they are to receive immortality on the condition of their faith in Christ. Your email address will not be published. Annihilation vs. Eternal conscious torment Is the fire literal or figurative? A good descriptive name for the affirmation of endless conscious punishment would be very welcome. that God gives “life” only to those in Christ. God“has made everything beautiful in its time. Conditionalism Vs Eternal Torment Vs Universal Reconciliation Gary. Few vs. In what has become somewhat of a slogan for defenders of traditionalism, he writes, “I believe in the immortality of human beings because the Bible clearly teaches everlasting damnation for the wicked and everlasting life for the righteous.”. That is a relief. Its proponents offer six main arguments. Eternal conscious torment is not proportional to the finite sins committed by people. Even Robert Peterson, for instance, still affirms universal and unconditional immortality. In other words, there seems to be no meaningful relationship between ongoing life and faith in Christ on the universalist scheme. We totally respect you and your openness and willingness to research and dialogue. Required fields are marked *, 141,963 Spambots Blocked by Simple Comments, © It’s only in recent history as they’ve been confronted by conditionalists that they’ve shifted in their use of the word. 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? But this is precisely what evangelical universalists assert. Traditionalism is the belief that the lost will be tortured in Hell -- not just for a year, or century, or millennium, but for all eternity. It states that after the final judgment, all unsaved human beings, all fallen angels and Satan himself will be totally destroyed so as to not exist, or that their consciousness will be extinguished rather than suffer everlasting torment in hell. For you and for universalists, though, neither name is descriptive. As far as I know – correct me if you know otherwise – conditional immortality has been used to refer to a view distinct from traditionalism and universalism, maintaining that immortality will come to some and not all – not in the sense in which conditionalists use that term. Now of course I don’t think that it would really be appropriate to call traditionalists universalists in spite of their belif in universal immortality – universal “not-dying.” That would be misleading. As for the second point; if people can live for millions of years without putting their faith in Christ, then ongoing life doesn’t seem to be predicated on faith in Christ. Locating N. T. Wright’s eschatology on the spectrum of views concerning hell. Er go, there won’t be an indefinite amount of time to repent. Conditionalism and Universalism agree that all evil will one day be gone. More recently, thedoctrine … Conditionalists begin with the premise that only God is inherently immortal. Many of us appear to disagree with you concerning terminology, but that doesn’t change how we think of you. Gotta love technology! This is one reason why “annihilationism” is the best name for the belief that the wicked are ultimately punished by God with destruction, the death of body and soul. ↑ Regarding the matter of reading scripture at face value, see “Traditionalism and Annihilationism … Pages upon pages of quotes can be produced—going back to the Fathers up to present day—of Christians affirming and arguing for the natural/unconditional/universal immortality of all men. Well yes, if annihilationism is true. In essence, the nomenclature has become what it has despite its imperfect, and arguable nuances. Conditionalism and Universalism agree that all evil will one day be gone. In this video we will explore two alternative views of Hell. That was my earlier reason for rejecting “conditional immortality” in favour of “annihilationism” as the name for the belief that God finally destroys the wicked. Thanks for the response Dr. Tiessen. Not all traditionalists have been as careful as I have tried to be, in distinguishing between uses of the term “immortality,” and in identifying the ways in which Scripture uses the term, as distinct from a traditionally philosophical use. Immortalist? Traditionalists and universalists can agree on this clear New Testament teaching, but they disagree at the critical point of whether or not that condition is met universally. Historically, traditionalists and universalists have affirmed that human beings are immortal even before they are saved. When the penalty is carried out, they will be permanently excluded from eternal life by means of a final death (loss of being; destruction of the whole person; Matthew 10:28)."1. Annihilationism is the condition of nonexistence that awaits the damned. . The other main way of attacking the biblical position is to push annihilationism. . We’d like to think that we know the ending, but it’s not humanly possible to know the end of … There could be a period of time of suffering in hell before complete destruction. The wicked will experience eternal, conscious torment due to their sin against God and their rejection of Jesus. “ when what I really mean, I guess, is that “traditionalists should affirm . No emotionality was intended or felt. I agree with Ronnie and would add that blurring the lines between the three is quite a stretch. Terminology is a real problem, isn’t it? As I jogged today, I was listening to a fine interview by Chris Date with Robin Parry, the author of Evangelical Universalist (under the pen name of Gregory MacDonald). ... Conditionalism, on the other hand, looks at the whole of God’s revelation in scripture and sees a constant and consistent message. Well, not in my case, anyway. The trick is getting it to imply perpetuity. , David, if only English were more agglutinative! I realise that “or we could be honest” comes over as harsh. MATT SLICK LIVE RADIOCall in with your questions at 877-207-22763-4pm PST; 4-5pm MST; 6-7pm ESTWatch on FacebookPast Shows Radio PodcastRadio Show SurveySubscribe to CARM Radio, CARM wishlistWant to help CARM in a different way? This is not simply the assurance that God will keep them forever alive, it is that they will inherit the kingdom of God (15:50) and will therefore have bodies appropriate to their participation in Christ’s victory (15:57). “Annihilationism” would, technically speaking, be that doctrine which holds that God will utterly destroy, in body and soul, those who are not saved. God has put eternity in our hearts or given us thoughts of immortality. I’m not sure this parsing is useful, anyhow. This too is endless punishment, but it is not endless life. Yes, it doesn’t describe bare, ongoing existence, but it does (IMO) describe ongoing physical life and insusceptibility to physical death. God is too good and loving to punish someone forever in eternal conscious torment. , PS, I usually describe my view as annihiationism, because that is what specifies my view on “hell.”. The case for conditionalism is exegetically sound. The 1980’s saw a remarkable rise in profile for the doctrine that immortality is bestowed. There is no compelling challenge to evangelical conditionalism here. At most this is true only if the synergist is also an open theist. Additionally, before I am called a “heretic” by those who hold to Traditionalism, Conditionalism is not a heretical position. “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.”, For one, we don’t all agree. [p.14] C.S. "...conditionalism emphasizes what awaits the redeemed, namely, eternal life and immortality...annihilationism is about what awaits the damned, namely, the eternal punishment of destruction in hell. Excellent analysis! 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. First is an argument based on the Bible’s use of fire imagery to describe hell. Conditionalists begin with the premise that only God is inherently immortal, despite what Socrates and Plato might have said about immortal souls. Where conditionalism defines human immortality as conditional upon a right relationship with God, annihilationism is defined as a direct punishment of death from God. I just don’t think conditionalism is as unhelpful as you do, and with the utmost respect for you, I think the “immortality means more than ongoing life and insusceptibility to death” explanation to be illegitimate. Similarly, conditional immortality has always maintained that not everyone *will* receive immortality. Eternal conscious torment benefits neither God nor the one being punished. Qualitatively, there is no distinction between 'death' and 'annihilation'; the latter word is used solely to clarify just what it is that 'death' consists of. Traditionalism and conditionalism / annihilationism hold in common that some are punished forever (whether that punishment is torment or death). reasons why “ultimate annihilationism” is a better name, Hypothetical Universalism in Paul’s Epistles, Incoherence in the Belgic Confession (1561), between its Christology and its Eschatology, Nicholas Ridley, the Oxford martyr, is part of my family story, In memory of J. I. Packer: A personal tribute, Relating to people who identify as LGBT+, with grace and truth, First and second death: similarities and differences, Melchizedek, Abraham, Muslims and worship of the One True God. ", Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry, CARM, PO BOX 1353, Nampa ID 83653 | 385-246-1048. Of course, church tradition must bear appropriate weight in any theological discussion. While there are various versions of this idea, they all state that when unregenerate sinners die (or more accurately, after the final judgment), they are simply annihilated. Simply put, Universalism asserts that the wicked will remain immortal in the purifying fires, but once they are purified they transition into immortal life in heaven. And it was, for the latter, a major reason for the eventual salvation of the lost: if they live forever, eventually they will be saved. It’s *additionally* that immortality will only be given to those who express faith in Christ, and that only some will do so. The traditional view and universalism, by definition, are excluded by that meaning of “Conditional Immortality,” and as such no alternative label is required. Traditionalists believe that the wicked, who experience the “second death,” are forever conscious of God’s punishment, which never comes to an end. This is a claim rejected by traditionalism and universalism. For humans, immortality is God's conditional gift, bestowed at the resurrection but only to the redeemed. “Conditionalism” and “Conditional Immortality” have historically described the view; you can go back to at least the 19th century to see that this is the case. July 3, 2018 by Shawn Lazar in Blog - annihilationism, conditionalism, ECT, eternal conscious torment, Hell, immortality of the soul In my discussions with annihilationists, one of the conceptual roadblocks I’ve encountered is an inability to distinguish between eternal existence and having eternal life. Conditionalists have various arguments they employ to support their position. Having figured out that this was happening, I just dealt with a few items that were in the “spam” folder, approving some but deleting others which I took to be duplicates. Annihilationism is directly related to the doctrine of conditional immortality, … When I wrote it, I was thinking of somebody saying that traditionalism was a form of Universalism on the grounds that immortality is universal in both views. Evangelical conditionalists believe that the saved in Christ will receive glory, honor and immortality, being raised with an incorruptible body to inherit eternal life (Romans 2:7). Those … For instance Chris had quoted Robert Peterson but I can’t find that comment now, so it was obviously not the same as one for which I took it to be a duplicate. Ronnie, however, is correct. If, over a given time period, the chances of a soul repenting are greater than 0% then, given infinite time, the chance rises to 100%. Eternal Torment proponents have to reconcile these seemingly irreconcilable verses in strange ways, but Conditionalism offers the most straightforward answer: the wicked are utterly destroyed in eternal fire in the presence of God (thus satisfying all scriptures that refer to fire and also the annihilation of the wicked), which results in complete darkness for them and non-existence - like a … Of course, traditionalists have always affirmed (quite frankly and explicitly) that all human beings are immortal in the *normal* sense of the word. Many thanks to Jerry Shepherd for his previous essay, which defended Eternal Conscious Torment.We continue on with our dialogue on the duration of hell with this initial essay by Chris Date, who defends "Conditionalism," otherwise known as "Annihilationism.". Craig versus Annihilationism. What separates this view from the one that sees physical death as the point of annihilation is this: Conditionalists see a judgment of sinners, an assignment to hell, and then annihilation. Preservationist? For the ancients it wasn’t even true. ↑ For more on the broader debate about the language of life and death as applied to final judgment, see “Introduction to Evangelical Conditionalism: Life and Death in the Bible” Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. No worries, stuff happens. You wrote: “This is one reason why ‘annihilationism’ is the best name for the belief that the wicked are ultimately punished by God with destruction, the death of body and soul.”, “That was my earlier reason for rejecting ‘conditional immortality’ in favour of ‘annihilationism’ as the name for the belief that God finally destroys the wicked.”, “Annihilationists believe that the second death is analogous to the first but more thorough; whereas the first death entails only decay of the body, the second death entails destruction of both body and soul: the wicked are destroyed.”, Notice, the same traditionalists who now say “we agree that immortality is conditional!” Will also say, “We agree that the wicked are ultimately punished by God with destruction, the death of body and soul!” and “We agree that God finally destroys the wicked!” and “We agree that the second death entails destruction of both body and soul! 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. Animals have the same desire to survive. Except the risen lost won’t be made immortal. Their new claim that the wicked live forever but aren’t immortal is contrary to its simple semantics. 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. Yes, Paul says other things are included in the package that is salvation and glorification, but it’s a leap to say that immortality consists in that entire package. The effort, to urge adoption of the more novel label “annihilationism,” seems to me to be somewhat pedantic. 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. I would like to have a better technical term for you than “traditionalist”, though. Here are a … Annihilationism is the view that lost people in hell will be exterminated after they have paid the penalty for their sins. Conditional Immortality (which is also sometimes called annihilationism and conditionalism) is the position that only those who have trusted in Christ will be granted continued, eternal existence in the afterlife. What is commonly called “traditionalism” does not fare so well for a name. My statement had in mind the contemporary scene. By my lights, this is a de facto form of unconditional and universal immortality. I prefer conditionalism over annihilationism, if you couldn’t tell already from the domain name. This is a difficult issue, and we’ve also been thinking about it. It’s simple and biblical. 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