Peterson vs Peoples

In June of this year, my article, “Has Robert Peterson Defeated Annihilationism?” appeared in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. They gave it the title “Fallacies in the Annihilationism Debate.” In that same issue, Dr Peterson was given the opportunity to reply to my article. However, I have only just obtained a copy of that reply, so I had not gotten around to commenting on it until today.

You can see Dr Peterson’s reply and my thoughts on it here. Basically, I don’t think his reply really fends off the criticisms I made. I’m biased, of course.

I will say two things, however. The first minor point is that at one point I said that Edward Fudge did not cite Edward White when discussing the death of Christ. As Peterson pointed out, and I concede, in an earlier edition of the book in question (The Fire that Consumes), Fudge had cited Edward White, although this citation was removed in the later edition. It made no difference to my overall complaint (since my claim was that Fudge’s theology, along with White’s, was being misrepresented, a claim I still make), but errors should be admitted, and this was an error on my part.

The second thing to say is that at one point I called Dr Peterson’s claim “disingenuous” because he (wrongly) accuses Edward Fudge of using an argument from silence, while in the same work he uses exactly the kind of argument that Fudge was using. I have to apologise for that. Dr Peterson has explained that he was simply mistaken about what an argument from silence was. Fair enough, my apologies.

As for whether or not Dr Peterson successfully refutes my criticisms of his case, I don’t think so, but the readers will have to decide for themselves.

Glenn Peoples

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