Why is annihilationism philosophically and biblically wrong
By: The John Ankerberg Show
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|If God exists, why is there evil in the world? What is evil? Where did evil come from? Why doesn’t God intervene and stop all evil? How can physical evils such as earthquakes, tornadoes and cancer be explained? Is there a good reason for the existence of hell on which even some atheists would agree? What about those who have never heard the Gospel?
Copyright: 2003, Number of Programs: 8, Cat. No. EVL
Keywords: Evil, Annihilation, Eternal punishment, Image of God
- Ankerberg: I was asked to speak at an Evangelical conference and present a paper on hell. I presented the paper, and there were scholars that were walking out. And I thought, you know, “What’s going on here?” They didn’t believe in everlasting punishing, okay? They believed in annihilation. Philosophically and biblically, that’s wrong. Why is it philosophically wrong for God, at the end of a person’s life, just to say to them, “Listen, you sinned, I’m going to get rid of you! I’m going to annihilate you forever!”
- Geisler: Because God is attacking Himself. We are made in His image and likeness, [Gen. 1:26] and God would be attacking His own image. He would, in essence, be saying, “I don’t like Myself.” If He created us in His image and His likeness and gave us freedom, He’s going to respect the image He gave us; He’s going to respect the freedom He gave us.
- I also wrote a paper for a Christian journal on hell once, and they got all negative articles back. And I said to the editor, “Well, why didn’t you publish some of the good letters?”
- He said, “There weren’t any.”
- And I said, “Well, come to think of it, if I got a chance to vote, I’d vote against hell, too.” But we don’t get a chance to vote. And the reason we don’t get a chance to vote is because we can’t decide what’s right or wrong. There’s got to be an ultimate standard, and if we don’t match it, we’ve got to pay the penalty.
- Ankerberg: Is there anything philosophically or morally wrong with the fact that God would allow such a horrendous, important decision to be left to man, namely, that he would make an eternal decision about where he wants to be?
- Geisler: Well, there’s nothing morally wrong about it. There is something horrendous about it; there is something stupendous about it, and momentous about it, but there is nothing evil about it, of course. Moral creatures have to make moral choices. Creatures who have a lifetime have to make a lifetime choice, and creatures who are suited for eternity, who have an immortal soul, are going to have to make an eternal decision.