how to tell the biblical story in a way that makes a difference

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I appreciate that Andrew addresses the doctrine of conditional immortality (soul sleep). This is teaching that has been given short shrift too often.

I believe that soul sleep fits better the reality of 1) a loving God 2) the idea that eternal life is a gift from God but the wages of sin is death.

My point being that if a person is relegated to the confines of an “eternally burning” hell, then they will have eternal life…a miserable one, but eternal nonetheless. We are told in Malachi that the wicked wll be ashes under the soles of the righteous’ feet and there will be left neither root nor branch. Sounds an awful lot like annhilation to me.