Erasing Hell: What God Said about Eternity, and the Things We've Made Up

Erasing Hell: What God Said about Eternity, and the Things We've Made Up

3.9 81
by Francis Chan, Preston Sprinkle

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How could a loving God send people to hell? Will people have a chance after they die to believe in Jesus and go to heaven?

With a humble respect for God's Word, Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle address the deepest questions you have about eternal destiny. They've asked the same questions. Like you, sometimes they just don't want to believe

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How could a loving God send people to hell? Will people have a chance after they die to believe in Jesus and go to heaven?

With a humble respect for God's Word, Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle address the deepest questions you have about eternal destiny. They've asked the same questions. Like you, sometimes they just don't want to believe in hell. But as they write, "We cannot afford to be wrong on this issue."

This is not a book about who is saying what. It's a book about what God says. It's not a book about impersonal theological issues. It's a book about people who God loves. It's not a book about arguments, doctrine, or being right. It's a book about the character of God.

Erasing Hell will immerse you in the truth of Scripture as, together with the authors, you find not only the truth but the courage to live it out.

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Erasing Hell 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 81 reviews.
Jennie Fogle More than 1 year ago
I am not a scholar. I didn't pick the book apart as some reviewers. I dont know how many times Mr. Bell's name was mentioned, nor do I care. Just consider for one minute., even 30 seconds, that all this is true. Its far too important a subject to be focusing on Chan vs. Bell. Its about YOUR eternity! I recommend reading it. Read it, pray about it. It spoke to my heart, let it speak to yours.
jrforasteros More than 1 year ago
THE GOOD First, I have to commend Chan for the tone of his book.* He directly cites Bell (and other authors with whom he takes issue), and even applauds Bell a few times. It seems at the outset that Chan is going to nuance his arguments carefully, and pay great attention to detail. He offers a couple of really good, charitable distinctions to the larger conversation happening right now. Frankly, they're distinctions that no one else who's got a big beef with Love Wins is making. I applaud him for trying to steer the tone of the whole discourse in a healthier direction. Chan calls for humility on the part of everyone involved in the conversation, and he models that attitude the book. Also, Chan's passion came across clearly in the pages. He offers a pretty good chapter about what the doctrine of Hell ought to mean for Christians. Though he notes that most statements about Hell were directed at insiders - Jews or Christians, he doesn't follow this line of thought any further. Even so, he offers some great reminders that Hell is reserved for everything from harsh words to wealth at the expense of others. THE BAD A problem with the book is its focus. Is this a direct response to Bell's Love Wins? It's been marketed that way. But the book begins as a more general exploration of the doctrine of Hell. But then Chan lobs a few shots at Bell, and quotes him directly. So which is it? Ultimately, this lack of focus damages the credibility of Chan's arguments. Another glaring problem with Erasing Hell is Chan's inconsistent handling of Biblical texts. He's often very good (though nowhere near as poetic or artistic as Bell). But often enough, Chan is flat-out awful. His discussions of 1 Corinthians 15:22 and Paul at Mars Hill are particularly bad. My biggest problem with Chan's book is his seeming inability to be self-reflective. Not once does he acknowledge his own influences or biases. Chan assumes an air of final authority because his reading of the Bible is absolute and uncontestable. Chan's reading of the Scriptures (like all of ours) is bound to a particular perspective he doesn't (can't?) see, or at least doesn't acknowledge. Something Bell got right in Love Wins is that this discussion isn't really about Hell. It's about the Character of God. For Chan, the Bible is the final word. God will broker no further discussion or questioning. The problem is that Chan's god - at least in Erasing Hell is a small, tribal god. He loves penal substitutionary atonement and is absolutely sovereign when it fits Chan's arguments (otherwise, we totally have free will). Chan tells us we just have to take the Bible (and by extension, God) at its word. But what he means is that we have to take Chan's reading of the Bible (and by extension, Chan) at its word. And that's the insurmountable problem in Erasing Hell for me. Bottom Line: Chan's book seems rushed to press. He brings virtually nothing new to the table, and doesn't offer much to the conversation you can't get from watching the video. Skip it.
DSaff More than 1 year ago
Eternity is at stake and every person must decide if Heaven and Hell are real. It is easy to believe in Heaven, but not so with the literal Hell. We tend to think that a loving God would allow such a place to exist. Well, in this book, Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle challenge everyone to rethink Hell. Why do you believe what you believe? Through the study of Scripture, the authors look at Hell and make the reader pay attention to the magnitude of his decision. They answer questions like, "Would God allow someone to go to Hell?" and "Is there a second chance after death?" and "What is Hell?" and "Won't I just party with my friends there?" This book will make you wake up to your destiny as well as those around you. What will you do with the knowledge? This book is a well-written, well-researched discussion of Hell. I received an audio copy from Oasis Audio for review and found myself with chills a few times. While I believe in a literal Hell, I once again delved into Scripture with the authors. This book is great for Bible studies and book discussion groups because there is so much to glean, but it will also make a wonderful gift for someone you know who needs to examine the subject.
Glenn82 More than 1 year ago
Chan always has good things to say. This time is no exception. He has great stuff to say, but I'm saddened that the book is more about why Rob Bell is wrong than it is figuring out what the Bible says about hell. In the first 3 chapters he references Bells book over 10 times and footnotes the references. If you look up the references in Bells book you'll quickly find that although he said the things Chan quoted, he didn't say them in the context Chan leads you to believe he did. The back of the book and pre-release video leads you to believe the boom has nothing to do with Bell, 'it's not a book about who's right and who's wrong' but a few chapters into the book seems to prove otherwise. Also, don't download the Nook version. It's missing chapter 4. I called up Barnes and Noble and they downloaded the book onto their Nook and they were also missing chapter 4 so they credited my account.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good. This book really makes you think. Francis Chan writes out of concern and love.
Benj-O More than 1 year ago
Francis Chan talks about Hell in this book. While the book is written from Chan’s point of view, he goes out of his way to give credit to his researcher, Preston Sprinkle. In fact, the Preface (p.9) attributes the bulk of the research and facts to Sprinkle. Regardless, this book is timely. In a day when author after author is giving their take on what the afterlife will bring, Chan and Sprinkle offer not only an orthodox view of what Hell is, but also a level-headed one. The first half of the book focuses strongly on recent writings about Hell, with a pointed apologetic aimed at Rob Bell’s popular Love Wins. (I’ll not comment on Bell’s book specifically because I haven’t read it and don’t know if I’ll get around to that one or not.) In fact, while if what I’ve read in reviews and responses to Bell’s book are true then this is a needed response. However, since it comes across as a reaction to another’s writing weakens the book to some extent. Even so, some of the questions that plague Christians are answered from a Scriptural standpoint: Ø Is there really a Hell? Ø If there is, what is it like? Ø Would a loving God really send somebody to Hell? Chan even tackles the really tough questions that deal with what God is like. I have to ask along with the authors: What if God did do something that I consider unkind, would it make Him less God? (see chapter 6) The point that I cam away with that seems to keep coming back is that I am not God. Since I am not God, is it proper for me to impose my standards on Him? I would suggest that often when we do this we lessen who He is in exchange for exalting our own ethic upon Him. In the end, I will read at least the last half of the book again and again, just for the challenge of remembering why I believe what I believe about God, Love, Justice, Righteousness, and yes, even Hell. (four out of five reading glasses) —Benjamin Potter, May 23, 2012
mojo_turbo More than 1 year ago
Right away, we need to address the fact that this book was written as a response to Rob Bell's book "Love Wins." In fact, without Rob's book, this book does not have much to contribute. Typically an author is inspired to write a book about something that they are passionate about, something that they feel needs to be said. And arguably, Francis Chan is passionate about the scriptures and about orthodoxy, and about doctrine, but because the book was written as a "response" it feels like "the other half of the argument" as you read it. When Love Wins came out, I did read a lot of the criticism that followed, I felt it was wise to see what 'the other side' was saying; and I will say that Chan's book is the most thorough, most considerate of the responses I have read. I do recommend that those who have read Love Wins go back and read this volume. Second, this book is not a typical Francis Chan book. Those of you who loved Chan's earlier works should notice that this book is co-authored by Preston Sprinkle who I am sure did a lot of the leg work and study. When you read the book, it certainly has Chan's "voice" and is peppered with his stories and passion, but this book does not have the same caliber feel as his earlier two works. Third, like most of Bell's critics, Chan fails to understand why Love Wins was written and who Bell's audience is. Chan's book is concerned with letting the reader know that Hell is a real place and that Jesus preached Hell as a real and literal place and that his audience would have first and foremost heard Christ's Hell as a real and literal place - and I don't think Bell would disagree. Chan even admits (unlike most critics) that Bell actually admits to Hell being a real place in Love Wins, but he admits it in the end notes of his book and not within the main text. (oh, that's another thing I didn't like - I hate books with end notes). Fourth, Chan argues against universalism - another "rookie" mistake of Rob's critics. A closer reading of Love Wins reveals that Rob does not argue for a "sweeping arm" that eventually brings everyone into Heaven. Rob makes it perfectly clear in his book that many people will "choose hell" and never enter glory. I did appreciate Erasing Hell and felt it was a great companion volume to Love Wins, but if I were grading this, I would hand it back to Chan and ask for a rewrite. Chan failed to truly address the main thesis of Love Wins and was only concerned with arguing that Hell existed - and that not everyone will go to Heaven. The bottom line is, years from now "Love Wins" will still be in print and be relevant because it has something to offer as a stand alone work - and "Erasing Hell" will be erased....
TTUNicole More than 1 year ago
A well-written, thought provoking look at what the Bible actually says about hell. Chan has a great writing style and speaks the truth, straight from the Word.
BrokenLoaf More than 1 year ago
Francis Chan opens the book with an amazing line to hook you, and it only gets better from there. He takes an honest look at what he wants to believe, what he should believe, and how that changes the way we should live our lives. He does an in depth study to find out how various passages would have been understood in Jesus' day (an important part of figuring out what a particular phrase may mean), which helps us understand what Jesus likely meant by various things He said. Chan and Sprinkle obviously did their homework on this one. It is a tough read (because it challenges our convictions), but a fantastic book that I recommend every Christian take the time to read.
George Horesta More than 1 year ago
Best treatment of the subject since Dante's "Inferno." I hope the authors plan a follow-up book on purgutory.
DrJonnyMac More than 1 year ago
The logic and exegesis in this book are very inconsistent. Two Views of Hell put out by InterVarsity Press is much better (Although it is not on audiobook).
Delight_in_the_Lord More than 1 year ago
Chan does a great job of studying Biblical and non-Biblical evidence for the existence of hell. A difficult topic is broken down into easy language to understand and keeps the focus not on a doctrinal debate but on people's eternity. I have also had difficulties with the Nook version. I was missing chapters 4, 6, and 7. I called support and was told they were going to credit my account and fix the issue and let me know when that was done. I will update more when I hear from them.
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bjdoureaux More than 1 year ago
"Erasing Hell" is a response to Rob Bell's "Love Wins." Chan and Sprinkle delve into the Bible to see what God said about Heaven and Hell. Using Scripture as their main source, they also discuss what ancient Jewish and Christian writers had to say about Hell, as well as more contemporary Christian writers. Their goal is to present the truth, even if it may be hard to take. Scripturally sound, this book presents Hell as the Bible does. While Biblical authors do not give detailed descriptions of Hell, we are given impressions of what Hell will be like and who will go there. The question is: will you accept it? Francis Chan freely admits that he asked Preston Sprinkle to help him write this book because of the seriousness of the topic and because of Sprinkle's theological background (PhD in New Testament) and ability (Sprinkle did most of the research). The effort is evident as sources are cited in abundance. This book is the perfect counter to "Love Wins" and Universalism as a whole. Chan includes a prayer that I think we all should pray as we are likely all guilty of it in some degree: "Please forgive me, Lord, for wanting to erase all the things in Scripture that don't sit well with me. Forgive me for trying to hide some of Your actions to make You more palatable to the world. Forgive me for trying to make You fit my standards of justice and goodness and love. You are God; You are good; I don't always understand You, but I love You. Thank You for who You are." This is by no means an extensive work, but I recommend this book to anyone who has any doubts about the existence of Hell in the afterlife.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book and found it insightful. I wish that the authors had saved all of their background notes for the end of the book instead of at the end of each chapter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Francis Chan is a wondeful author. This book will really make you think.
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