A 19th-Century Response to Rob Bell and Love WinsWednesday, May 25, 2011
There is nothing new under the sun.
So said the writer of Ecclesiastes 3000 years ago. That fact is demonstrated by the recent release of the ebook version of The Doctrine of Endless Punishment, written by noted theologian W. G. T. Shedd in 1885.
In what sense is this 126-year-old book an answer to Rob Bell and his bestselling “Love Wins"? Put simply, Shedd deals with virtually every objection Rob Bell makes to the traditional understanding of eternal punishment in hell. Shedd demolishes the arguments Bell makes in “Love Wins” by showing both historically and biblically why Christians have always believed in eternal punishment.
The book itself is short, only 98 pages plus footnotes. You can finish it in just a couple of hours, but the truth will remain with you for a long time. Shedd covers every relevant text and discusses the key Hebrew and Greek terms for hell. He answers the questions Rob Bell raises and shows the impossibility of any form of “evangelical universalism.” This one quote will give you a flavor of his writing:
The rejection of the doctrine of Endless Punishment cuts the ground from under the gospel. Salvation supposes a prior damnation. He who denies that he deserves eternal death cannot be saved from it so long as he persists in his denial. If his denial is the truth, he needs no salvation (p. 5).
The book is also available in Nook format.
Primedia eLaunch is to be commended for producing the first ebook version of this important book from an earlier generation that speaks so clearly to the issues of our day.