Brian McLaren and Tony Campolo speak about… HELL

February 12, 2008

Here is a great article which Brian McLaren and Tony Campolo speak on hell.

Some interesting points.

Brian, in your book, The Last Word and the Word After That, you focus heavily on “deconstructing” the evangelical view of hell. Some critics think your deconstruction has moved to the point of your embracing a “universalist” position. Are you a Universalist?

McLaren: No, I am not embracing a traditional universalist position, but I am trying to raise the question, When God created the universe, did he have two purposes in mind—one being to create some people who would forever enjoy blessing and mercy, and another to create a group who would forever suffer torment, torture, and punishment? What is our view of God? A God who plans torture? A God who has an essential, eternal quality of hatred? Is God love, or is God love and hate?

Tony Campolo: ….There’s no sense of justice found in universalism. If everybody ends up in the same place no matter what they choose, there is no justice. On the other hand, grace says we don’t get justice in the end. So we’ve got both of those truths in tension.

be blessed,


  1. Thanks for sharing this.

    I really dislike the position taken by those on both side of this.

    Those coming from the Calvinist side of the coin point to these guys (and you) ranting “universalist” or some other such nonsense.

    At the same time the Arminian side whines about Calvinists believing in a God who “plans torture” or is narcissistic, etc..

    In their defense, McLaren and Campolo are only responding here to the accusation of being Universalists. It sounds like they are not Universalists. It would have been good if they stopped there rather than making further points which only serve to mirror back charges that are as ignorant as accusing them of this in the first place.

    Net – enough has been shared on both sides. I think at least one if not both are wrong. I cannot see how both could be true. I’m fine with folks continuing to “sell” their position. I’m not fine with people declaring nonsense like “Universalist” or “well then your God must plan torture”.

    But that’s just my opinion …

  2. Rick,

    The issue to me is that people either think God is “going to torture” people, which is a great distortion…

    the bible is clear, the wages of sin is DEATH… it is not HELL.

    In the judgment we either receive eternal death or eternal life.

    So I see both sides as off… yet the question of Brian and Tony as very valid as it asks, “Are we representing the teachings of hell biblically.”


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: