Westminster Seminary California
 
 

Valiant for Truth - Eschatology and Last things

The End of the World According to Harold Camping: Part 2
W. Robert Godfrey

Camping’s reading of the Bible led him to a curiously self-contradictory method which is at some times excessively literal and at other times wildly allegorical. As an engineer he has had a particular interest in the numbers in the Bible. It is this interest that has led him to reach conclusions about the date of the end of the world. His first date was 1994 and he wrote a book showing the method by which he reached this date and to show how certain it was. Since then he has come to certain conclusions about several other dates, some of which he made public and some of which he did not. His repeated failures in calculating the end of the world have not led to repentance on his part or any basic revision of his method of interpreting the Bible.

 
 
 
Bell’s Hell: A Review by Michael Horton, Part 9
Michael S. Horton

The title of this chapter reinforces the impression that Bell has simply collapsed the future into the present.

 
 
 
Bell’s Hell: A Review by Michael Horton, Part 8
Michael S. Horton

According to Bell, heaven and hell are not actual places but subjective states in which people live. To be sure, living “heavenly” or “hellishly” will affect the people around us and the wider society. In the parable of the prodigal son, we are at a party and it’s up to us whether we’ll join in or sit off to the side in protest. “In this story, heaven and hell are within each other, intertwined, interwoven, bumping up against each other” (170).

 
 
 
Bell’s Hell: A Review by Michael Horton, Part 7
Michael S. Horton

Speaking of natural religion, Bell collapses saving grace into common grace and general revelation into special revelation. In 1 Corinthians 10, Paul speaks of the Rock that followed Israel in the wilderness as Christ. “Paul finds Jesus there, in that rock, because Paul finds Jesus everywhere” (144). Literally, everywhere: “There is an energy in the world, a spark, an electricity that everything is plugged into. The Greeks called it zoe, the mystics call it ‘Spirit,’ and Obi-Wan called it ‘the Force’” (144).

 
 
 
Bell’s Hell: A Review by Michael Horton, Part 6
Michael S. Horton

For me, the greatest danger of Bell’s interpretation in this book is his view of Christ’s cross. Obviously, if there is no wrath or judgment, then whatever Christ achieved for us on the cross cannot be understood in terms of a vicarious substitute. There is no objective propitiation and, since everyone is already God’s friend (regardless of whether God is theirs), no objective reconciliation.