Hell No! Hell Yes!

FEBRUARY 25 - Wading into the lake of fire once again. How have Christians thought about the nature of hell, damnation, and divine punishment?

What do John Stott, C.S. Lewis, and N.T. Wright have in common? None of them thinks of hell as literal eternal conscious torment forever and ever. Neither did many founders of the Western church (e.g., Gregory of Nyssa) nor whole swaths of Eastern Christians. Hell as such is not found in the Old Testament at all. Just what are the alternatives to classical concepts of hell? How would we justify alternative interpretations? What is at stake with altering our views on this? If the classic view is wrong, would we not lose faith in the authority of church and tradition? In the Bible itself? Of course, if we have been wrong all these years we should correct our errors regardless of outcomes, no?