Trail Blazer Ministries
Base Camp for Life: A Spiritual Journey...

Hell does not exist, according to John Shelby Spong

"Salvation is enhancing your humanity rather than rescuing you from it"


"It has been handed down in mythical form from earliest times to posterity, that there are gods, and that the divine (Deity) compasses all nature. All beside this has been added, after the mythical style, for the purpose of persuading the multitude, and for the interests of the laws, and the advantage of the state."

I certainly do not think hell exists in the manner in which modern evangelicalism describes it. The evangelical concept of hell owes more to Dante's Inferno than to the Bible.

Turning back the clock to a previous century, here is a helpful 1885 excerpt from the writings of Thomas B. Thayer, a 19th century Universalist:

And check out the definition of "hell-rake" from an 1876 textbook:

Finally, here is a fun quiz about hell:

So Bruce, what do you think "hell" really is? What prevents you from being a universalist.

I would say that not believing in the the modern English concept of "hell" ... is not the same as believing that all humans will ultimately be reconciled to God (that is, universalism).

I know, even CS Lewis didn't believe in the traditional concept of hell. What do you think "hell" really is, and what prevents you from being a universalist?

I suspect hell is annihilation (this is consistent with the Hebraic understandings of the grave and punishment), although I don't anyone really knows.

Why do I not believe that all humans will one day be reconciled with God? I'd say because the bulk of New Testament scripture portrays lasting relationship with God as a two-way street between God and human beings.

By the way, here is a collection of articles regarding heaven and hell:

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