As most of my friends know, I have been thinking a lot about hell and final judgment over the last year, reading as many books as I can on this controversial subject and having many of my former assumptions challenged by the evidence of Scripture. Of the dozen or so books that I've read over the last year, this comparative study by Steve Gregg, entitled All You Want to Know About Hell: Three Christian Views of God's Final Solution to the Problem of Sin, is hands down my favorite.
Gregg treats the subject with reverence and humility and he doesn't back down from asking the hard questions. At the same time, he takes great care to represent each view in the best possible light, something which many treatments of this subject fail to do. He brings together several decades worth of research and distills it all into an easy-to-understand introduction to the strengths and weaknesses of each of the major views (traditionalism, conditionalism, and restorationism) while at the same time introducing the reader to some of the best scholarship behind each position. The last few chapters dealing with restorationism (or universalism as it is sometimes called) are filled with some of the keenest insights I've seen. Those chapters alone are worth the price of the whole book.
All of that to say, christianbook.com is currently offering this title at 70% off the cover price ($5.99 instead of $19.99), which is lower than the price Gregg himself has to pay the publisher when he buys copies. So if you are interested in familiarizing yourself further on the question of hell and final judgment, you won't find a better opportunity to get this outstanding survey of the debate.
Here are a few quotes to whet your appetite:
“The one fact, above all others, which I have desired to get across is that our view of hell is inseparably joined to our view of God. I believe that many Christians have simply assumed that they already know what the Bible teaches about hell, and have formed their notions of the character of God to accommodate their theory. My suggestion is that this is doing things backwards.”
“If we wish to criticize the reticence of modern preachers to place an emphasis on hell in their evangelism, we must first account for the same reticence found in the preaching of the apostles and evangelists of the early church.”
“All can see that these two sets of texts exist and that some tension exists between them, requiring harmonization. The traditionalist and the conditionalist take the damnation texts to be determinative, and seek to interpret the universalistic texts in harmony with each one’s respective take on that theme. The universalist does just the opposite, arguing that the sovereignty and benevolence of God are the primary themes revealed in Scripture and in Christ, in harmony with which the relatively few texts about damnation ought to be required to conform.”