Our critic this week is Larry, who takes issue with my previous article on the reality of hell. Let’s examine Larry’s comments and see if they are defensible. Larry’s comments are in purple text, with my comments in black.
Larry: Jason lisle even though he he [sic] defends what he believes he fails because of his theology to understand the real truth.
Dr. Lisle: Actually, the Bible is the real truth and anyone who disagrees with it is a liar (Romans 3:4). Ironically, it is Larry’s theology that forces him to reject the truth that the Bible teaches on topics such as the eternal punishment of hell, and the Trinity.
Larry: He downplays universalism, or annihilationism.
Dr. Lisle: Incorrect. I refuted universalism and annihilationism by showing passage of Scripture that contradict them, e.g. Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 20:10,14-15. Each of these two positions was allotted a substantial section in the article (universalism is refuted in the section “Are All Saved?” and annihilationism is refuted in the section “Infinite or Finite?”).
Larry: OFFERS NO BIBLICAL SUPPORT
Dr. Lisle: “no biblical support”?!?! Except of course for all that biblical support! Just look at some of the biblical passages cited in the article which demonstrate the reality of hell: Matthew 3:10, 12, 5:22, 29, 30, 7:13, 21, 23, 8:12, 11:23; 13:42, 16:18; 18:9, 22:13, 23:33, 25:30, 33-34, 41, 46; Mark 9:43, 45, 47-48; Luke 10:15, 12:4-5, 16:23-26; John 3:36, 5:28-29; Romans 2:5-6, 9:22; Philippians 3:19; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Hebrews 6:2; Jude 7, 13; Revelation 14:11, 17:8, 11, 20:10, 14-15. According to Larry, apparently forty passages affirming a matter is “no biblical support” which makes me wonder if he even read the article. I wonder why he didn’t cite any biblical passages that would support his position, particularly since he accused me of that?
Larry: Supports the unbiblical trinity doctrine, …
Dr. Lisle: That’s the fallacy of the question-begging epithet – simply asserting without evidence that the Trinity is unbiblical. This error should be particularly embarrassing considering the Trinity is an essential Christian doctrine and the three previous articles demonstrated this!
Larry: …which began with Nimrod.
Dr. Lisle: Now there is an unbiblical assertion if ever there was one. The Trinity is suggested in the first verse of the Bible where the Hebrew language uses the plural word for ‘God’ and the singular word for ‘created.’ And the doctrine is clearly expressed throughout the Bible. Where on earth did Larry get the idea that Nimrod had anything to do with the Trinity? There certainly is no Scriptural support for such a notion.
Larry: He uses verse [sic] in the Bible that were mistranslated. So he does not tell the whole truth.
Dr. Lisle: Which verses does Larry believe to be mistranslated? What support does he give for this assertion? None. In fact, the article is based on the original Hebrew and Greek readings, not any particular translation. An entire section (“The Intermediate State”) provides a substantial discussion on the actual Hebrew word Sheol as well as the Greek words Hades and Gehenna. Again, did Larry actually read the article?
Larry: I know I will not change him or people who believe like him.
Dr. Lisle: Not without making an actual rational argument. And certainly not with assertions like the above that directly contradict the Bible.
Larry: However, they fail to follow the commands of Jesus which are 1. To love God with all your heart. 2. Love your neighbor as yourself.
Dr. Lisle: How can you love God with all your heart but deny what He says about hell and His own triune nature? How can you claim to be loving Jesus while calling Him a liar in what He said about eternal punishment? How can you be loving your neighbor as yourself if you don’t tell them the truth about hell? If you tell people that they will go to heaven without Jesus (universalism) or that they will simply cease to exist at some point (annihilationism) then you are lying to them and thereby showing that you really don’t love them at all because you don’t care enough to warn them about the eternal consequences of sin.
Larry: If they were truly following these commandments. Then they should be 18 hours a day be preaching to save all that they can. Yet it is quite evident they do not.
Dr. Lisle: Only 18? Why not 24 hours a day? Surely if Larry really loved God he would forgo selfish luxuries like sleeping and eating in order to preach the truth to as many people as possible! Sarcasm aside, Jesus of course refuted this sort of absurd thinking in passages like Matthew 15:4-6. Our love for God and others includes those necessities of life like working to provide for family, eating and sleeping to remain healthy, and taking a day to rest and to honor God. Our obligation includes preaching the Gospel, but this is to be done without neglecting the other things that God would have us do. Larry’s extremism is simply unbiblical.