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Raising Hell: Christianity's Most Controversial Doctrine Put Under Fire by [Ferwerda, Julie]
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Raising Hell: Christianity's Most Controversial Doctrine Put Under Fire Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

I realize that the premise of this book for some is radical, unsettling, and may initially ignite suspicion or even feelings of antagonism towards me, but please give me a fair chance to build my case. I'm not asking you to go to South America to drink Kool-Aid, or to wear a toga and sell flowers at the airport, or even to send money. Lay your natural defenses down long enough to read one little book from a perspective that's likely much different than what you've always been taught or believed. You have nothing to lose by being open-minded and, in my opinion, a staggering, life-transforming amount to gain.

You may ask, is it safe to challenge over 1,500 years of traditional theology-in-the-making on matters such as whether or not there's validity to the doctrine of hell? You may also be wondering what difference does it make whether or not we believe in hell if we all agree that salvation only comes through Jesus. I'll tell you why we must question the teaching of hell. The very name, character, and purposes of God are at stake! In my opinion, it's not safe to NOT question. Living at the forefront of the information age, I believe we have both the crucial responsibility and the unique opportunity, unlike at any other time in Church history, to make an informed determination of what we believe and why we believe it. We have been offered a prime peek into the looking glass of history.

You might also be asking, who am I to question or doubt the majority of today's mainstream Bible translators, theologians, MDivs, and pastors? I've certainly thought about that, but then I've also thought about what kind of people Jesus gave insight and understanding to. Was it the educated, religious hierarchy in the form of theologians, scribes, and leaders of His day? Or was it the simple, uneducated, illiterate fishermen, tax collectors, and prostitutes, all of whom could easily offer a spiritual parallel to today's folks who haven't been to seminary and who are overlooked, disregarded, or despised by those more knowledgeable?

I know it's easy to want to rely on the strength of numbers for our beliefs, but of all the multitudes of people He encountered, including well-trained, religious leaders and teachers of His day, Jesus had only a handful of simple, unscholarly followers who were willing to hear, follow, and even die for a different message than the orthodox teachings of His day. I believe Jesus' true message, as we'll fully explore, was that He came to save all people with the assistance of a chosen people, in a purposeful plan that extends long past this mortal lifetime. Jesus died for ALL (1 Peter 3:18), and His Father's unrelenting will that "none should perish" prevails in the end (2 Peter 3:9).

Throughout the last 2,000 years, this belief, embraced by a significant segment of Christianity, has been referred to as: Universal Reconciliation or Restoration, Universal Salvation, the Blessed Hope, Christian Universalism, Irresistible Grace, and a host of other names. What is described here is not the same as the New Age belief that there are "many ways to God," or that living a life of sin is of no consequence. Universal Reconciliation is the belief that all people for all time will eventually be reconciled to God--that this lifetime is not the "only chance" to be saved--but that there is only one way to God, through Jesus Christ.

In the end, every knee will have bowed, and every tongue will have confessed Jesus as Lord, giving praise to God (see Rom 14:11, Philippians 2:10).

To see and believe such a beautiful truth requires nothing more than the simple faith of a child. What child in the world would ever believe (without adult influence) that a loving parent would create a fearful place of torment, and then endlessly abandon most of his or her children there, punishing them for a limited duration of unbelief or rebellion, or for choices made from ignorance, distortions, deceptions, or bad influences?

Raising Hell invites your inner child to take a journey. Drop the fear of being rejected or labeled, unshackle yourself from the desire to conform, and allow yourself to ask (or be presented with) some honest, valid questions in order to follow where the evidence leads you. I'm certainly not suggesting the evidence will necessarily lead you to the same conclusions as it did me, but at least allow yourself to weigh the options and make an informed decision. Dare to question what you've been taught, retesting all against the full counsel of Scripture, according to 1 Thess. 5:21: "But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good."

Without a doubt, this book will likely challenge many core orthodox teachings you've been taught in church, yet my hope is that your Bible will be illuminated like never before, offering a much more sensical and cohesive story about God's amazing and largely forgotten plan for humankind. No longer will you have to ignore seemingly contradictory passages or do painful contortions to make the pieces fit. My desire is that, through the pages of this book, your God will become more unlimited, more powerful, and more loving than you ever dreamed possible. Of course, He is the same today as He was yesterday; what will change, with perspective, is you.

I wrote this book to share my journey of learning and discovery. My journey didn't just leave me cautiously hopeful, but proved to me that the doctrine of hell is nothing more than a human invention--a "tradition of men." The alternative perspective I'm about to share with you has totally transformed my views of life, God, people, and has given me complete peace about the destination of loved ones who have yet to embrace Christ as their Savior. No longer do I worry about evil gaining the upper hand, no longer do I wonder just how much control God has over His creation, or question His limits on mercy and love. Since this transformation, my life has blossomed with joy, hope, purpose, and excitement like never before. How I long to share it with you.

Again, I don't expect that everyone who follows my journey will embrace it or come to the same conclusions. These are my beliefs, based on the evidences that I have uncovered. But you should also know that, despite mainstream Christianity's attempts to marginalize these beliefs, there has always been a significant number of Christians throughout history who have embraced the same beliefs (news to me!), and there are a rapidly growing number of studious, thoughtful Christ-followers worldwide today who also believe the same.

Ultimately, everyone must decide for themselves what is "truth." If you are comfortable with your current orthodox Christian theology and you don't wrestle with significant theological questions, this book may not speak to you. But if you've ever questioned the doctrines of heaven, hell, election, free will, and evil, or ever wondered why so many scholarly and educated people can't agree on many theological pillars of the faith, then this book will likely speak to you as nothing you have encountered before.

Lastly, perhaps you're relatively happy with your flavor of Christianity, but have never known what questions to ask. I hope this book will challenge and nurture your questions and faith, whether you embrace the message or just listen to the evidence presented.

Dare to ask. Dare to question. Dare to open your mind to the possibilities of a bigger God than you've ever heard about before. It could be the greatest decision of your life! Perhaps you'll find, just as I did, that it's time for all hell to break loose.

Let me take you on my journey...

About the Author

Julie Ferwerda is recognized for teaching Scriptures with compelling simplicity, making them relevant and exciting for all ages. She has authored several inspirational books and hundreds of articles, encouraging people along their faith journey. Learn more at,, or find her on Facebook.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2528 KB
  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0984357815
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Vagabond Group (June 18, 2011)
  • Publication Date: June 18, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0056U9JHE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,835 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Raising Hell shows exactly how 'hell' was raised and became a part of the church and written in the Bible. Julie provides the who, what, where, when and how 'hell' became such an part of the church and of the Bible itself. She proves without a doubt when and by whom the doctrine came into being.

As one who grew up in churches that believed in a literal hell I understand where most people are at if they are still in one of those churches. It is hard for anyone to listen to something that is totally different than what they have grown up with but as a christian, we have a duty search out the truth. We have a love for the Lord inside of us that calls us to follow him wherever he leads. Julie has done this as many others have also done. To speak ill of her is to do exactly opposite of what Jesus said to do. Jesus said we are to "Love our enemies".

This book includes:
1. Scriptures that take us step by step through her process of unveiling the Truth.
2. Historical proof with dates naming individuals responsible for the false doctrines implanted into the early church. She also provides Historical proof of the major schools of theology that came into being after 70 A.D. and which one is closest or the same as the original teachings of the disciples day.
3. Cultural lessons on how God spoke with the Hebrews all through the Old Testament.
4. Cultural lessons during the time of Jesus. Pointing out how Jesus taught to the crowds verses how he taught his disciples.
5. Julie answers her own questions as well as those asked by many, many people.

Everyone should read this book. It doesn't matter if you are a skeptic or a friend. Julie has done her homework and has found the truth. No matter what others say against her, she knows the truth.
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Format: Kindle Edition
It isn't often you run across a book which you believe if "viral-ized" has the capacity to change a fixed prevailing condition and mindset. Julie Ferwerda's book "Raising Hell" is such a book. Being a seasoned author; and having now three books and numerous articles to her credit, one might expect such a feat. I was nonetheless astounded as a result of her achievement. I have read several books on the subject but none quite so complete and user friendly. I have read a few books which lean towards the didactic and go to imposing and dreary lengths in scholarly dissection of the Greek and Hebrew which certainly has its place. Other books on the subject seem to approach the subject more from a Heart and feel perspective which is also needful but often lacking in complete and biblical answers. In my opinion, Julie hits a grand slam on this one, hitting on both the mind, heart, and the intuitive. She answers with integrity and prowess questions that have given Christianity a black eye for centuries. At times it reads as if a highly competent investigative journalist was overturning every rock for a critical answer to life and its purpose. Other times, it were as if she had read my mind and put precise words to my analytical query's regarding the seeming hypocrisy of God and his apparent Hell invention. As I read, every page unearthed and overturned my assumptions, which I had founded on the sinking sand of my years of illogical church indoctrination.

At the very LEAST, you will walk away from this book with the very foundations of your theological suppositions regarding Hell and God's love expanded and challenged. At BEST, this book has the capacity to wholly change and reshape your worldview and preconditioning--answering questions that may have plagued your weary heart for years.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"Raising Hell" is a must read for all those who have serious questions concerning the image of God as presented by the church in its "turn or burn" theology that has all but dominated Christian teaching since the days of St. Augustine. If you are not afraid to think "outside the box" and ask questions that will both challenge your faith and prepare you for the "best news" of your Christian life, then this book is for you.

Julie writes with both grace and conviction as she presents a historical and biblically-sound analysis of the doctrine of "hell" as taught by the church for the last 1500 years. As I read her book, I was impressed by her ability to present a difficult subject in an easily understandable way without compromising the systematic approach necessary to tackle such a topic. This is a rare find in Christian writers. Julie clearly has the gift of teaching but delivers the material in a loving and graceful manner. I think of the apostle Paul when he says to "speak the truth in love" which mandate she has clearly followed in the writing of this book.

"Raising hell" is:

1. a book that has substance. This is a not a book of fluff. It is well referenced from both the perspective of church history and the holy scriptures. In addressing the question on whether the concept of "hell" is taught in the Bible, a basic understanding of both biblical Hebrew and Greek is necessary in order for us to begin to unlock the truth, and Julie does a superb job in giving us the tools necessary to aid our search. She presents her evidence clearly and systematically taking care to answer any objection the skeptic or cynic might have.
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