America, Capitalism, and the Difference Between Intentions and Results

Intentions Vs. Results

In most things, results matter far more than intentions. I tutor kids, and if I can’t help them understand the material and get better grades, I won’t be kept as their tutor for very long. Even if it’s not my fault and the kid is just unreachable and I won’t be replaced by anyone, there is still no use in keeping me on if nothing results from it. That is true for most any job. The one exception to this rule, of course, is also the most important judgment we have: It is judgment before God. But this isn’t that. Continue reading

Shift in Focus

Hello all of my readers,

Recently, I have become a contributor at the website Rethinking Hell (www.rethinkinghell.com), a website devoted to expressing and defending the evangelical conditionalist view of final punishment, namely, that the Bible teaches that the lost, after the resurrection, will be permanently killed, destroyed, or otherwise stripped of conscious existence, as opposed to the traditional view that Hell is a place of eternal torment. It is a view I have openly expressed and defended here at 3-Ring Binder, as well as in my free online book The Bible Teaches Annihilationism.

Anyway, since I will be regularly contributing  to that website (along with Chris Date of the Theopologetics podcast, Dr. Glenn Peoples of the Beretta blog and podcast, and others), I will be posting less about Hell on 3-Ring Binder because, well, for anything about it from me you might want to read you can just go there and read as freely and easily as you could here (actually, it’s easier, because Rethinking Hell is pretty easy to find on Google). So, if you love my insights on the topic, do no be sad or dissappointed, because you can still get plenty of it. And if it was something you kind of were turned off by, or something you didn’t find ll that relevant (since if you follow Jesus you won’t be going there), then here you’ll be able to get more of the stuff you’re looking for.

So then, I recommend you all check out www.rethinkinghell.com. You might love it, you might hate it, but at the very least if you go there and read some of the material (most of which is by Chris who is by far the most active contributor), you can at least say you’ve read it 😉

Once again, that’s www.rethinkinghell.com. Joey out.

(Originally published 08/23/2012: http://3-ringbinder.blogspot.com/2012/08/shift-in-focus.html. Immaterial changes have been made).

The Depths of True Christian Forgiveness in Light of Matthew 18

As Christians, we know we are supposed to forgive, and that forgiveness is supposed to go deeper than some may suspect.

Now, if you’ve been going to church for any extended period of time, I have no doubt that you’re aware of the parable of the unmerciful servant in Matthew 18. I realized a good summary was almost as long as the passage itself, so I have posted the text below: Continue reading

10 Things That Aren’t Taught in the Bible (But That Are So Common You’d Think They Were)

I’m feeling kind of snarky (and as observant as always), so here you go:

1. If you are a woman, and a man says anything that you don’t like, anything at all, no matter what it is and whether or not he is right or wrong, saying he’s being “inappropriate” will put an end to any unpleasant conversation.

2. Similar to #1, as a female you can always get out of ever having to deal with anything unpleasant by rebuking the man for addressing you directly, and insist that he has someone of your same gender talk to you. It is especially effective because you don’t have to be at all consistent about it – it’s a sin for that particular male to address you directly about whatever it is, even if it’s okay for others to do the same thing. Continue reading

Book Review – Hell: A Final Word by Edward Fudge

For what it sets out to do, Edward Fudge’s Hell: A Final Word, is very successful. It gives a good overview of the arguments for conditional immortality and against the traditional view of Hell as a place of eternal conscious punishment. It gets just in-depth enough to where you can understand what he means and to where you can follow his reasoning, without getting specific enough to demand a much more lengthy book. This book is relatively short, and it actually reads much more like a first-person novel than a doctrinal theology book, drawing the reader in.

Now, this book is good for the interested reader to get his feet wet, but it is not a substitute for more thorough works like Fudge’s earlier book The Fire that Consumes (and Fudge definitely doesn’t let you forget it! One of the few things I didn’t like about the book was how it kind of seemed like an advertisement for The Fire that Consumes at times). If you’re looking to dive right in, I’d recommend biting the bullet and purchasing The Fire that Consumes. However, I would imagine for most lay Christians, the idea of a 500 page tome that thoroughly analyzes dozens of relevant passages and rebuts numerous opposing arguments may seem a little daunting (although for what it is worth, I found the Fire that Consumes to be surprisingly reader-friendly). Because it is short and so darn interesting, this is a good book for somebody who has first started to think about alternative views of Hell, or for that friend of yours who you keep trying to get to look into conditionalism but who hasn’t been all that interested. I could see either one coming away thinking that Fudge has given them something to consider. Now of course, more in-depth study and defense of conditionalism would be necessary to thoroughly defeat the traditional doctrine; you simply cannot address even a fraction of the possible arguments against Fudge’s view in a book this size. That is okay; this book can be used to get a lot of people to not only wonder if eternal torment is just or consistent with the God we know (which I imagine many evangelical Christians are wondering in the back of their minds), but for the first time, to consider that maybe, the Bible doesn’t teach what they have always been told it did. I can see many coming away thinking that maybe, the hard-truth they have been swallowing out of their devotion to Jesus was in fact not a truth at all. Continue reading