Erasing Hell by Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle

“While I’ve always believed in hell with my mind, I tried not to let the doctrine penetrate my heart.”

Despite our objects, Hell is real – very real. The doctrine about Hell has recently been thrown to the forefront of Christianity since the publication of Rob Bell’s book Love Wins. Though Bell never states that Hell does not exist, he does heavily suggest that the “good news” of the Lord would not include sending people to a fiery afterlife. Francis Chan and his co-author disagree with Bell’s statements and Erasing Hell is the response (though on the back cover they explicitly say this book is not about “who is saying what. It’s a book about what God says.”)

Francis Chan blatantly admits that the concept of Hell frightens him, it angers him, and most of the time it does not make a whole lot of sense to him. The overarching theme throughout the book is God’s superiority. God is infinitely holier, smarter, and more powerful than us; how can we even pose questions to Him? We love to water-down Jesus’ words on Hell because it is so much easier. We are like little kids embarrassed by our parents and what they say.

“God wants us to do more than intellectually agree with the words of Scripture; He wants us to live in light of them.” The Bible speaks of Hell as a real place, an actual destination for those who do not believe. Yes, it does not make much sense why a God of love would create a place like Hell, but it makes no sense why such a holy and powerful God would come down to earth, be born in a feeding trough, and later allow His creation murder Him on the Cross.

When we try to use our finite logic to understand the infinite wisdom of the Lord, then our God becomes small and puny. Of course, if I were in charge things would be different, but I thank the Lord I’m not in charge.