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A Response to Joshua Sharp and the Baptist Standard

Updated: Jan 26, 2021

I don't know Joshua Sharp's background, he has written a gracious article that argues annihilationism is an error but not a heresy. He argues positively in the sense that he sees a scriptural case and recognises that those of us who hold this view do so because of scripture and not emotion. I did a short live stream responding to the article and highlighting the few inaccuracies that Joshua makes, including missing the strongest arguments for annihilationism/conditional Immortality.

His article can be found here:

In Summary:

  • His article is accurate with regards to the initial definiton of annihilation and allows for the scriptural case rather than an emotional one.

  • The first two of three arguments FOR annihilation are accurate but he suggests annihilationists redefine aionios (eternal) for the third. This is innacurate.

  • His arguments FOR annihilation miss out the arguments that we make from new creation and the fact that Christ DIED for us. These are both stronger arguments for annihilation and need to be dealt with by traditionalists.

  • His arguments AGAINST annihilation requires applying 'ruin' to all uses of destruction language so that destruction doesn't mean non-existence. Applying language used for wineskins to language used for humans is a category error and poor exegesis. Despite that, even if we utilise the language of ruin, a ruined human that is non-funcitonal (Joshua's terms) sounds like a corpse (see my article on Gehenna). The person's life will no longer exist but they may remain as ash or a corpse if we take some of the imagery more literally.

  • Joshua summarises that annihilation is an error not a heresy which is fair as I consider the traditional view in the same light.

My response in full :

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