One common argument against the traditional Christian view of hell, understood as an eternal punishment for unrepentant sin (Matt. 25:41-46; Mark 9:48; Rev. 14:9-11; 20:9-10), is that it is intrinsically unjust to inflict infinite punishment for finite sin. This argument has been deployed by both universalists and annihilationists. Defenders of the traditional view have responded to the objection in a variety of ways, but in this post I want to question the underlying assumption that the traditional view entails that hell is an infinite punishment. Not only does this not follow from the traditional view, I suggest, the idea itself should be rejected as incoherent. Objections to the idea of infinite punishment are really a red herring in debates over the doctrine of hell.
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