Book Review: A Hellacious Doctrine by Evan Minton
Hell, one of the controversial topics in the Bible and a cause of a lot of emotion. I recall when Jonathan Edwards preached Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, his most popular sermon and probably the most popular sermon ever delivered in America. In it was a vivid description of hell that was practically art and like all good art, it was able to immerse the hearer or reader with the reality of hell so much so, that people fainted while he preached.
So I understand the task on writing about Hell is no easy one but Christian apologist Evan Minton has taken this burden.
I will first start with the things I like, as you always should start with the sweet things before you go into any critique, it makes criticism taste better.
Evan has been my friend for years and because of that, I am even more motivated to be brutally honest when I need to be.
First off, I appreciate Evan defending Hell in an area where belief in Hell really seems to be declining among professing Christianity. With the likes of Rob Bell's Universalism and anyone seeking to lessen the reality of Hell, defending it is a bold move nowadays.
In Chapter 1, He goes through many scriptural passages first establishing that if Hell is indeed real, you need to take it seriously. Evan does a good job here.
For the most part, Evan is solid in his reasoning against those who deny Hell exists.
Now, while I categorize this as bad, remember this is just my opinion and the reader or Evan himself may disagree that these are necessarily bad.
I would have liked to see a bigger section on Annihilationism, we need serious work done in that area because that idea is rising and I think the eternal conscious torment side and the Annihilationist side need to dialogue.
I would have liked to see more philosophical objections answered and more philosophical defenses of Hell. Again, Evan did an excellent job when it came to biblical evidence, but adding philosophy would only make his case stronger.
Lastly, though his section of fine-tuning, the kalam cosmological argument etc. was good, I found it odd that I was reading about those arguments in a book about hell, it seemed a little bit off topic, but I understand that you're trying to appeal more to atheists with the book while trying to maintain doubting Christians as well.
A Hellacious Doctrine should be revised and add some more answers to objections and some strong philosophical arguments. Overall there is a lot of truth in the book, even if I disagree with the way he organized it. You can purchase this book here.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.