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Title: The Salvation Army and the doctrine of Hell : a theological critique of the endless punishment of the wicked
Author: Garnham, Philip William
ISNI:       0000 0004 6497 8120
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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This Research Based Thesis is a theological critique of The Salvation Army doctrine of Hell. Although it is evident that rescuing sinners from a tortuous Hell was a powerful motivation for the remarkable activism of the first generations of Salvationists, research for this thesis shows that this has been a diminishing motivational force for some decades. This thesis provides evidence of increasing discontinuity between the doctrine of endless punishment and other normative, formal, espoused and operant theological voices within The Salvation Army. There is also clear evidence of significant doctrinal development with regard to Salvationist understanding of the nature of Hell and other related issues such as the immortality of the soul. Church tradition upheld the dogma of Hell as endless punishment for many centuries whilst the streams of Scripture which postulate different futures for unrepentant humankind, such as universal reconciliation, which this thesis has found to be particularly convincing, have largely been marginalised. It now seems appropriate to attempt to find ways to recognize the veracity of the overlooked biblical alternatives, in order to allow Salvationists who are no longer persuaded with regard to the doctrine of the endless punishment of the wicked, the integrity of a faithful continuity between what we say we believe and what we actually believe. The conclusion of this thesis is that Salvationists should be allowed to live and work beyond the dark shadow of the weakly grounded doctrine of the endless punishment of the wicked and find alternative motivations which will help fund our continued mission to speak out and live out the good news of the gospel with neighbour and nation.
Supervisor: Joyce, Paul Michael ; Davies, Oliver Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available