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The Descent of Christ in Hell – Discussion With Dr. Samuel Renihan [#CoramDeo 254]

We have never recorded an episode in English before, but after reading Dr. Samuel Renihan’s last book on the descent of Christ titled Crux, Mors, Inferi. I wanted to interview him. We thought that even though our podcast is usually in French, we could make an exception for this one.

You will find the article by Jeffery L. Hamm, Descendit: Delete or Declare? A Defense Against The Neo-Deletionists here:

Here are the questions we asked to dr. Renihan:

1. Why have you decided to take the risk of being canceled by the reformed by writing a book defending the descent of Christ in hell? What compelled you to write this book?

2. Before going to the Bible, let’s take a quick look at the Apostles’ Creed , which is the primary source of Christian tradition from where the church has confessed the descent. Can you give us an overview of the historical data regarding the interpretation of that clause and how it bifurcated with John Calvin?

3. What does the Bible teach regarding the different created realms: the heaven, the earth and under the earth?

4. Can you help us see more clearly between Sheol, Hades, Abraham’s bosom, the Abyss, the bottomless pit, Hell and the lake of fire? Secondly, is there any difference regarding those places in relation to redemptive history: before Christ, after his resurrection and ascension and at his second coming?

5. How do you defend the descent based on Scripture?

6. An objection that I had to the descent, before reading your book, was that I thought it prolonged the sufferings of Christ after the cross and compromised the sufficiency and the “it is finishness” of his death. Can you explain what’s wrong with this view and why did Christ descended into hell if it was not to suffer?

7. What are other objections to the descent and how do you respond to them?

8. What does it change at the end to confess or reject the descent? What’s at stake?

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