Aug

20

2012

Justin Taylor|9:49 am CT

Is the God of Calvinism a Moral Monster?

The documentary Hellbound? premieres September 2012.

Mark Driscoll, Kevin DeYoung, and I were among those interviewed for the film, though I suspect only Driscoll made the final cut. On the other side of the theological spectrum are folks like Edward Fudge, Greg Boyd, and Frank Schaeffer. Based on the early positive reviews by Boyd and Schaeffer, along with people like Phyllis Tickle and Brian McLaren, I don’t think it’s a mystery the direction the film is intended to lead viewers.

I would rather interview than be interviewed, but I like Kevin Miller and welcomed the opportunity for civil discourse with someone who didn’t share my beliefs.

In the clip below from our conversation (which is not in the film), you can see my on-the-fly attempt to respond to the charge that eternal punishment entails that God is a moral monster. If I had a “do over” I might have challenged the premise of the analogy: if a father can rescue his children from destruction but only saves some we consider him morally culpable, but in the Christian worldview we are rebelling against the Judge and receive a free offer of mercy which we reject. Instead, I focused on the underlying issue I see at play not only in this debate but in so many aspects of progressive revisionism: namely the desire to create God in our own image, to create a functional canon within a canon, to reason from the ground-up rather than the top-down, and to require that God’s authoritative revelation first meet with our approval.

Here is the trailer for the film:

For those wanting to read more on the biblical understanding of hell, here are a couple of books you should consider

Is Hell for Real or Does Everyone Go To Heaven? ed. Christopher Morgan and Robert Peterson (with contributions from Keller, Packer, Mohler, and others)

Hell on Trial: The Case for Eternal Punishment, by Robert Peterson.

Erasing Hell: What God Said about Eternity, and the Things We Made Up, by Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle.

Christ Alone: An Evangelical Response to Rob Bell’s “Love Wins,” by Michael Wittmer.

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