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He consulted the various indexes, scholarly journals dating back over a period of 100 years to 1889, and he failed to find one single entry on the subject of hell - and his conclusion was this: hell disappeared, and no one noticed.Someone has said that the 19th-century tried to conceal the facts of life, but the 20th century has attempted to conceal the facts of death.Stott wrote these words: 'Well, emotionally, I find the concept intolerable and do not understand how people can live with it', the concept, 'without either cauterising their feelings or cracking under the strain'. Stott, however, supports annihilationism, and yet he cautions - again I quote - 'I do not dogmatise about the position to which I have come. I believe that the ultimate annihilation of the wicked should at least be accepted as a legitimate, biblically founded alternative to their eternal conscious torment'. For myself, I remain agnostic', that means he doesn't know, 'eternal conscious torment is incompatible with the revealed character of God'.
I think, today, being Evangelical is not the same as being evangelistic.
I don't know whether you've considered that or not, but there is a difference between being Evangelical in doctrine - that is, you espouse the fundamentals of the faith, and you can tick the boxes over what you believe - and actually, in a practical sense, being evangelistic.
Now I know that seems ridiculous, but that's what they claimed - and it does seem to be today that you can be Evangelical, in broad terms, but almost believe anything.
Steve Chalke is a gentleman many of you may not know, but he came to fame for being a sort of celebrity Christian who appeared on breakfast television, sometimes daytime television I think - but he's also a Christian writer in magazines.
A variant of that belief of annihilationism is called 'conditional immortality', it's a little bit different: it just believes that when you are born as a soul, you're not immortal but you have to get immortality through belief in the gospel - and the gift of God is eternal life, and so you live forever.