If you want a book to read that combines an appropriate (not too wordy) theology and exegetical study of hell with the purpose of showing you that such a study should awaken a deep sense of urgency to tell others about Jesus, then this book is for you! If thats not what you are looking for in a book on Hell, then this book is really really really written for you!
Erasing Hell by Francis Chan, is one of those books that challenge the reader to not just think deeper on this subject, but to understand that this is a touche subject and very serious one. Where not just dealing with a doctrine, but with the lives of many who do not know Jesus and so studying hell, should lead us to not just be thinking but feeling what Hell means, which is why Francis and a friend of his launch a theological study on hell, putting to test the most recognised doctrines for hell against what scripture says on it so the reader can be assured of what the implications are for those who do end up there. If you are wondering, this is basically a direct response to Rob Bell’s book ‘Love Wins’. In which Francis does quote from and discuss.
This was definitely an inspiring read for me, a burden at times, as I was faced with having to deal with the reality of God’s ways and how he deals with those who do not repent, but such was a good for me, reigniting a sense of urgency that should be there and changing my own culture on why I read scripture.
A great read! (and not to long, took me 4 days) I recommend it.
I was watching Francis Chan preach about how it is good to ‘think hard’ on scripture but questioned are we staying humble at the same time. Francis encourage’s us that thinking hard on scripture, learning it and understanding it, should only be driven by love and he posed the question “Do you learn, because you love?” It is something I have always struggled with, l ‘love’ reading theology and growing in knowledge of God but it seems I have struggled to connect my love of learning, towards love of people, something that cannot be separated. Understanding theology should not only make us more in love in God, but as Francis quotes Paul, it should make us feel ‘unceasing anguish’ for those who do not know Christ and lead us in love for them. Many christians and I myself see only the goodness of growing as a christian reading theology, putting in lots of time to study scripture, so we can know it and be encourage by it. Not many people see as I believe Francis suggesting, the burden of knowing the gospel, the burden it is to know the truth. How can we read things like Romans 9 and not be filled with sorrow and anguish for those who do not know Christ. We in our knowledge of theology, know That this is true, if people don’t turn to Christ and repent, then they will be eternally punished and suffer. Does that not bother us? Are we not moved to action from hearing such words? Do we not suffer ourselves knowing its too late for some of our loved ones already?! “I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit—I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race” Romans 9:1-3 Paul loves People doesn’t he. We look at Paul as someone who has such an amazing, if not the greatest understanding of theology a man can have and yet that understanding has not lead him to think he is better than others, it has not lead him to being a unloving critic. Instead, a beautiful understanding of the truth has burden him to the point of ‘unceasing anguish’ that would give up his salvation for the sake of another because he loves People. There is great burden waiting for any christian who wishes to explore the theology of God, however that burden should be seen as an awakening of the reality we live in. God is holy and no one will be able to escape that. There are people I know and care about who don’t know Christ, what will I do with the great truth I know, does it puff me up and make me a proud and unloving critic, or am I so burdened with the reality and truth of theology that I will not stop at anything for my friends and loved ones to hear the gospel, because I am driven by love, I see these people and I love them, so much so, that I will risk the anguish and pain of losing them, for they might know Christ..Am I going to be like this? Are you going to be like this?