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Fear of hell has been instrumental in gaining converts to Christianity, Baker asserts in this critique of traditional assumptions about a punishing torment awaiting sinners and non-believers after death. Assistant professor and coordinator of the peace studies program at Messiah College, Baker argues for a kinder, gentler image of the afterlife that better comports with the supposed nature and intentions of a gracious and loving God. One result is that the book includes refreshing ways of thinking about how justice might be reconciled with forgiveness. It frequently relies, however, on popular Christian assumptions about God and a nutshell "message of the Bible" that not every reader may agree with. This is odd because Baker discusses biblical texts that challenge reductionist assertions. While the book's conclusions are intriguing and sometimes convincing, Baker's vehicle for pursuing and communicating them through annoying anecdotes and exchanges with three individuals cheapens an otherwise sophisticated argument. This should be a useful book for Christians struggling to reconcile Jesus's sacrifice and a loving God with the place of punishment and the necessity for justice.
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"This should be a useful book for Christians struggling to reconcile JesusÂ' sacrifice and a loving God with the place of punishment and the necessity for justice."--Publishers Weekly, Religion Bookline, June 30, 2010
"A lively, thoughtful and accessible rethinking of one of the most disturbing notions in Christian theology, the prospect of eternal damnation. Put this book on your 'must read' list." John D. Caputo, Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion and Humanities and Professor of Philosophy, Syracuse University
"What I tried to do in my book The Last Word and the Word After That, Sharon Baker has done in Razing Hell - with more brevity, more levity, and probably with more clarity and accessibility too. Highly recommended." Brian McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christianity (brianmclaren.net)
Another great book from Sharon Baker I highly recommend this title...StuartPublished 1 month ago by Stuart M. Cathcart
A refreshing look at this topic. I wonder how well her arguments would stand up against peer review, however she makes some good points and arguments.Published 3 months ago by Ken Cooper
I wish I had this book when I first started ministry in 1998... I would have given it it for free! This is an easy read with weight & lasting value. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Lauren B. Miller
If you have been questioning the idea of "eternal conscious torment" in hell expressed in the Statements of Faith adopted by most Evangelical churches, then this book... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jonathan Blocher
Baker takes a careful, thoughtful look at our traditional ideas of hell and what those ideas mean for our images of God. Read morePublished 6 months ago by NanaDew
Concise, clear, informative, reassuring, and to the point. Dr. Baker is a real bad ass theologian-debunking the usual fearful conservative model.Published 8 months ago by Kelly Cummings
Straight forward, logical and thorough exegesis. A compelling, refreshing study of God's love, for all.Published 14 months ago by John L Merritt
I think her ideas are really poorly substantiated. I was interested in hearing her original thinking , but it both took forever to get there and also was less than satisfying upon... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Joshua Timothy McClendon