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Hell: Is it real?

ABC will be airing an interesting story called "Hell: The Fear and Fascination" this Friday, July 13 on their 20/20 program. It will include interviews with an assortment of people including an unrepentant murderer who says he is not afraid of hell and a United Church of Christ minister who says that people who believe in hell create it for themselves and others.

The UCC minister is Carlton Pearson, and he once shared pulpits with Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. According to Pearson, his study of the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures led him away from a belief in hell and the substitutionary atonement. "I couldn't reconcile a God whose mercy endures forever and this torture chamber that's customized for unbelievers," he said. "You can't be happy. And how can you really love a god who's torturing your grandmother?" He also believes that the Bible is not "the literal word of God, but a book by men about God, with primitive men prone to mistranslations, political agendas and human emotions." His current efforts include promoting his new book, The Gospel of Inclusion, which is his take on universalism. A quote from his website reads, "The closest to knowing God you will ever get in this life, is knowing the innate divinity of your own Self and Soul."

ABC’s website has a teaser story that ran on Good Morning America Sunday morning. The full 20/20 story will run Friday, July 13 at 10:00 EDT/9:00 CDT. I hope to run a follow-up after the program airs.