Does hell exist? For many people of faith, the doctrine of hell raises troubling questions about God's goodness. For others, believing in hell is a requirement for the truly "saved."
Hellbound? is a critically-acclaimed documentary that examines this question from a variety of theological perspectives. Writer/director Kevin Miller includes interviews with members of Westboro Baptist Church; Mars Hill Church pastor Mark Driscoll; atheist Robert McKee; Frank Schaeffer, who has renounced the conservative Christianity of his father Francis Schaeffer; the purveyors of a “hell house” in Dallas, Texas; and many others.
Hellbound? was being filmed just after the release of Rob Bell's book Love Wins. Miller also interviews bloggers Kevin DeYoung and Justin Taylor, who harshly criticized Bell for his denial of the doctrine of hell.
The Gateway Film Center will host screenings of Hellbound? beginning this week: at 3 p.m. on January 18, 10:45 p.m. on January 20, and 5:30 p.m. on January 23.
Universalism has always held that the notion of eternal torment is incompatible with belief in a just and loving God. Universalism is usually seen a minority view within the Christian faith, but blogger John Shore points out in his review of Hellbound? that this hasn't always been the case.
Shore cites Jewish and Christian scriptures that have been used to support eternal torment, annihilation, and universalism as views of the afterlife. "At different times in history each of these theories of hell has enjoyed prominence," he writes. "It's just that the one off which it's possible to make the most money, since it can be used to instill deathly fear, has now become so dominant that the other two are widely considered to be, of all things, less Christian."