Bibliography of views about hell

Bibliography on Hell  by John Sanders.

For general overviews of the debates in evangelicalism see

  1. Sanders’ “Hell Yes, Hell No: Evangelical Debates on Eternal Punishment”  in Margaret Toscano and Isabel Moreira eds., Hell and Its Afterlife: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (Ashgate, 2010), 137-152.
  2. Sanders’ “Raising Hell about Razing Hell: Evangelical Debates on Universal Salvation” Perspectives in Religious Studies (40 no. 3, 2013): 267-281.
  3. Evangelical Affirmations (ed K. Kantzer, Zondervan, pp 123-6, 137-148) the conference from which this book came could not decide between eternal conscious punishment or annihilationism. Neither could The Nature of Hell: a report by the evangelical alliance commission of unity and truth among evangelicals (April, 2000) cited by Peterson “Undying Worm” 30 [see discussion in Sanders’ “Raising Hell About Razing Hell”]


Multiple views books:

  1. Four Views on Hell, second edition. Preston Sprinkle ed. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2016). [Eternal conscious punishment, annihilationism, universal salvation, and purgatory for believers.]
  2. Four Views on Hell, first edition, William Crockett ed. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1992). [Eternal conscious punishment (2 views), purgatory, and annihilationism]
  3. Universalism and the doctrine of Hell Nigel Cameron (Baker, 1992) [contains chapters for eternal conscious punishment and conditional immortality/annihilationism (Wenham)]
  4. Two Views of Hell: A Biblical and Theological Dialogue, Edward W. Fudge and Robert A. Peterson (IVP, 2000) [Eternal conscious punishment and annihilationism]

 Historical Surveys:

Universal salvation?:The Current Debate eds. Robin Parry and Chris Partridge (Paternoster, 2003) chapter 11 = survey of evangelical views since Reformation on hell and postmortem.

“All Shall Be Well”: Explorations in Universal Salvation and Christian Theology, from Origen to Moltmann. Gregory MacDonald. Wipf and Stock, 2013

David Powys “The Nineteenth and Twentieth Century debates about Hell and Universalism” 93-138 in Universalism and the doctrine of Hell ed. Nigel Cameron (Baker, 1992) surveys the different anthropologies (are we immortal) and different understandings of divine nature (love/justice) and how this works out into a range of positions.

Historical eras see the chapters by Peter Marshall, Fernando Cervantes, and Henry Kelly (they site many other references) in  Hell and Its Afterlife: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, ed. Isabel Moreira and Margaret Toscano (Ashgate, 2010)

Eastern Orthodox: Christ the Conqueror of Hell: The Descent into Hades from an Orthodox Perspective Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev Paperback: 232 pages Publisher: St Vladimirs Seminary Pr (November 20, 2009)

Jeffrey Trumbower, Rescue for the Dead: The Posthumous Salvation of Non-Christians in Early Christianity (New York: Oxford Univer. Press 2001).

Trumbower, “Early Visions of Hell as a Place of Education and Conversion” in Hell and Its Afterlife, ed. Moreira and Toscano (Ashgate, 2010)

Mormon view: chapter by Brian Birch in Hell and Its Afterlife, ed. Moreira and Toscano (Ashgate, 2010)

For other historical studies see the section below Annihilationism Conditional Immortality, works by Edward Fudge (chapters 17-18), Plumtre, Leckie, Hartounian, Fairhurst, and Froom.

Philosophical works:

  • Jerry Walls, Hell: the Logic of Damnation (Notre Dame, 1992)
  • Jonathan Kvanvig, The Problem Hell (Oxford, 1993)
  • Joel Buenting, ed. The Problem of Hell: A Philosophical Anthology (Ashgate, 2010), Davis on Molinism and Hell,
  • Thomas Talbott philosophical defenses of universalism (see below)
  • VanArraon on whether annihilationism is a dead end.


  • Bradley, Heath. Flames of Love: Hell and Universal Salvation (Cascade Books, 2012).
  • Bradley Jersak, Her Gates Will Never Be Shut: Hope, Hell, and the New Jerusalem (Wipfnstock, 2010).
  • MacDonald, The Evangelical Universalist (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2006)
  • Thomas Talbott, The Inescapable Love of God (Wipfnstock, 1999); “Towards a Better Understanding of Universalism,” “Christ Victorious,” “A Pauline Interpretation of Divine Judgment, and “Reply to my Critics” in Universal salvation? The Current Debate Robin Parry and Chris Partridge (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2003); and “The Doctrine of Everlasting Punishment,” Faith and Philosophy 7 (1990): 19-42. For the rest of his publications on this topic see the bibliography in Universal Savlation?
  • John Kroner and Eric Reitan, God’s Final Victory, philosophers who argue for universal salvation.
  • Baker, Sharon. Razing Hell: Rethinking Everything You’ve Been Taught about God’s Wrath and Judgment (Louisville, KY.: Westminster John Knox, 2010
  • DeRose, Keith (Philosophy professor at Yale) posted “Universalism and the Bible: the Really Good News” in 1998 and has updated it periodically: He also has several blogs on his website in which he defends universalism (
  • Bonda published The One Purpose of God: an Answer to the Doctrine of Eternal Punishment (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1993
  • Johnson, “A Wideness in God’s Mercy: Universalism in the Bible” in Universal salvation? The Current Debate eds. Robin Parry and Chris Partridge (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2003
  • Rob Bell, Love Wins (Hopeful universalist)
  • “Universalism for Open Theists,” Knight, Gordon. Religious Studies: An International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion, 42(2), 213-223. 11 p. June 2006

Eternal Conscious Punishment: (ECP)  [Marilyn Adams distinguishes between  “grim” and “mild” hell in Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God. Most of the following are “grim” models.]

Responses to Rob Bell’s book:

In 2011 six books by evangelicals on hell.  These are quickly written responses to Bell’s Love Wins by Calvinist evangelicals who defend ECP.

  1. Francis Chan & Sprinkle Erasing Hell: What God said about eternity, and the things we made up in July  2011
  2. Mark Galli, Senior Managing Editor of Christianity TodayGod Wins: Heaven, Hell, and Why the Good News Is Better than Love Wins   (Tyndale  2011) He also wrote an article responding to Bell’s book for CT magazine.
  3. Is Hell for Real or Does Everyone Go To Heaven?  Eds.  Christopher W. Morgan & Robert A. Peterson  ( Zondervan July 2011) Includes Albert Mohler Jr.,
  4. Brian Jones Hell Is Real: But I Hate to Admit It.  David C Cook  2011
  5.  Christ Alone: An Evangelical Response to Rob Bell’s Love Wins, Michal Wittmer (Horton wrote the preface),   Edenridge Press April 2011)
  6. “Farewell, Rob Bell”: A Biblical Response to Love Wins, Larry Dixon. (CreateSpace, June 2011)  Cover shows a ship named “orthodoxy” with rob bell in a rowboat rowing away from the ship.

Older books defending ECP:

  1. Hell Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents Eternal Punishment (eds. Christopher Morgan and Robert A. Peterson (Zondervan, 2004)
  2. The Bible Tells Them So,  Katherine Boone, ch 7 = evangel & ECP
  3. The Battle for Hell: a survey and evaluation of Evangelicals’ growing attraction to the doctrine of annihilationism.  Moore, David George. (Univ. Press of America, 1995)  236.25M [not a helpful book other than the bibliography]
  4. Hell on Trial: The Case for eternal Punishment Robert A. Peterson (P & R Publishing, 1995)
  5. Jerry Walls. Hell: the Logic of Damnation (Notre Dame, 1992). Argues against universalism (chap 3) and for post mortem evangelization (chap 4). Develops the notion of a decisive rejection of God (chap 5). Rejects annihilationism because the wicked want hell and want existence rather than destruction. Argues for ECP and physical pain though he rejects the torture chamber conception (chap 6). He also has a chapter on eternal hell in Through No Fault and defends the view against Talbott in Universal Salvation 119-122. His is a “mild” hell.
  6. Heaven, Hell and Purgatory: Rethinking the Things that Matter Most. Jerry Walls. Baker 2015
  7. Crockett, William V. “Wrath that endures Forever” JETS 34/2 June 1991: 195-202
  8. William Crockett and James Sigountos eds. Through No Fault of Their own, (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker, 1991) chapters 3, 4, 12, 13
  9. Dixon, Larry. The other side of the good new: Confronting the Contemporary Challenges to Jesus’ Teaching on Hell (Wheaton, Il.: Bridgepoint, 1992).
  10. Erickson, Millard.  How shall they be saved: the destiny of those who do not hear of Jesus (Baker, 1996): 217-234. Also, “Principles, Permanence, and Future Divine Judgment” JETS 28.3 (Sept 1985): 317-326.
  11. Donald A. Carson, The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism (Zondervan, 1996) has chapter on hell: “”On Banishing the Lake of Fire” 515-536.
  12. Robert A. Peterson, “Undying Worm, Unquenchable Fire” CT 44. 12 Oct 23, 2000: 30-37
  13. Grounds, Vernon. “The Final State of the Wicked” JETS 24/3 sept 1981: 211-220
  14. Wells, David “Everlasting Punishment CT March 20, 1987: 41-2.
  15. Robert Morey’s Death and Afterlife (Minniapolis: Bethany) is outrageous and always picks on the weakest arguments but his book is commonly cited by evangelicals.
  16. B.B. Warfield Studies in Theol. 447ff.
  17. Harold O. J. Brown Title?? Criswell Theological Journal 4.2 (1990).
  18. Alan Gomes, “Evangelicals and the Annhuilation of Hell” in 2 parts Christian Research Journal (Spring and summer issues of 1991).
  19. Robert Reymond, “Dr. John Stott on Hell,” Presbyterian 16 (spring 1990).
  20. Daniel Fuller, The Unity of the Bible (Zondervan, 1992, pp 241-6).

Conditional Immortality or Annihilationism

The Conditional Immortality Association has a website with lots of information and a magazine.

  1. Rethinking Hell: Readings in Evangelical Conditionalism. Cascade, 2014 editors Christopher M. Date, Gregory G. Stump, Joshua W. Anderson, Peter S. Grice.
  2. Edward Fudge’s Fire that Consumes (Houston, Texas: Providential press, 1982). The most important recent work on the subject. pp 478ff. his bibliography lists the most important works for historical perspectives are the ones by Abbot, Alger (esp. vol 2:926ff for bibliog on duration of punishment), Atkinson, and particularly good are Rowell and Walker.
  3. Clark Pinnock, chapter “The Conditional View” (135-166) in 4 Views on Hell,  “Fire, Then Nothing” CT March 20, 1987: 40-1, “The Destruction of the Finally Impenitent” Criswell Theological Review 4.2 (1990) 243-259
  4. Two Views of Hell: A Biblical and Theological Dialogue, Edward W. Fudge and Robert A. Peterson (IVP, 2000) [Eternal conscious punishment and annihilationism]
  5. John R. W. Stott in Stott and David L. Edwards Evangelical Essentials: A Liberal-Evangelical Dialogue (IVP, 1988) 312-320. Stott, “The Logic of Hell: A Brief Rejoinder,” Evangelical Review of Theology 18 (1994): 33-34.
  6. John Wenham Goodness of God (IVP, 1974): 27-41 and “The Case for Conditional Immortality” 161-191 in Universalism and Doctrine of Hell by Cameron.
  7. Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics  see article “Annihilationism.”
  8. Froom, Leroy. The conditionalist Faith of our Fathers (Washington: Review and Herald, 1965)
  9. M. Eugene Boring “The Language of Universal Salvation in Paul” JBL 105 #2 June 86 p. 282 n36 gives a bibliog of NT scholars on Paul who advocate CI.
  10. D.A. Dean, Resurrection: His and Ours (Charlotte: Advent Christian General Conference of America 1977). He is a graduate of Westminster (cited in V. Grounds “the Final State of the Wicked” JETS Sept 1981 p.312.)
  11. Colin Brown New International Dictionary of NT Theology 3:98ff. Brown himself holds out for possibility of CI (Henry cites this in God Rev Auth 6:510)
  12. P. Toon Heaven and Hell (Thomas Nelson, 1986) discusses CI, 176-7 for bibliog.
  13. Phillip E. Hughes (a well respected NT scholar) The True Image: the Origin and Destiny of Man in Christ (Eerdmans, 1989), 398-407
  14. Oscar Cullman CT July 21, 1958 3-6, and Aug 18, 1958 13-17
  15. Fudge claims that Justin Martyr, Theophilus of Antioch, Arnobius affirmed it.
  16. Peter Geach Providence and Evil p. 124  allows for possibility of annihilation.
  17. Richard Creel Divine Impassibility (Cambridge Univ, 1986) 144 advocates CI
  18. Richard Swinburne Responsibility and Atonement 180-4. [I don’t recall his conclusion]

see also Sanders, No Other Name, chapter 3 for references.

Donald Carson, The Gagging of God, has bib on annihilationism.

J. I. Packer and Ankerberg both criticize annihilationism in their chapters of Evangelical Affirmations (pages 123-6 and Ankerberg 137-148).

Other works:

  1. N. T. Wright has an unusual view. See Sanders’ “Raising Hell About Razing Hell” (forthcoming). His is a “mild” hell.
  2. Boyd, Gregory. Satan and the Problem of Evil: Constructing a Trinitarian Warfare Theodicy (IVP, 2001): 338-357 finesses the doctrine of annihilationism by modifying Barth’s das Nichtige.
  3. Tom Johnson rejects ECP in Univ salv 77-8 (see note 4) and 97.]
  4. Stephen. “Universalism, Hell, and the Fate of the Ignorant,” Modern Theology 6 (1990): 173-186.
  5. Travis, Stephen H. Christ and the Judgment of God: Divine Retribution in the New Testament (London: Marshall, Morgan and Scott, 1986); Christian Hope and the Future (IVP, 1980): 133-6 discusses CI and has some bibliog. Also his “The Problem of Judgment” Themelios 11 #2 Jan 1986, 54-5 (compares ECP & CI but doesn’t commit himself).
  6. Plumtre The Spirits in Prison (London: Isbister, 1898, esp 132-4, 146, 152)
  7. Joseph Leckie The World to come and Final Destiny, 2’nd ed T&T Clark 1922
  8. Haroutunian Piety and Moralism: the Passing of New England Theology (Archon, 1964) ch 6 discusses CI, ECP, & univ. in Puritan thought.
  9. Schleiermacher Christian Faith 2:545 Harper & Row 1963 (likes CI better than ECP but goes for univ. since 1) soul is immortal by nature, 2) all are predestined to be saved.)
  10. John Macquarrie Principles of Christ. Theol. 2’nd ed 361, 365-7. Open to CI but prefers univ.
  11. S. Lewis Problem of Pain 126f. ???
  12. Edward Selwyn The First Epistle of Peter (Macmillan, 1961) 358.
  13. Fairhurst “Death and Destiny” Churchman 95, no. 4 (1981): 313-325 refers to defenders of ECP and annihilationism.
  14. Philo and Wisdom of Solomon see H. Wolfson Philo 2 vols 1.408-410.
  15. For good stuff against ECP see John Baillie And the Life Everlasting (oxford, 1934), 240-5.
  16. Thomas Finger Christian Theology: An Eschatological Approach (Thomas Nelson, 1985) vol 1.
  17. Russell Aldwinckle Jesus: A Savior or The Savior? (Mercer Univ., 1982), p. 183

John Sanders

John E. Sanders is an American theologian who is a professor of religious studies at Hendrix College. He has published on four main topics: (1) open theism, (2) Christian views on the salvation of non-Christians, (3) Christian views on the nature of hell, and (4) applying cognitive linguistics to theology.

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