Beyond Fire and Brimstone

I’ve long believed that the fires of hell do not torment, but rather consume and destroy (this view is sometimes called annihilationism or conditional immortality). One apt metaphor for this view is that those who choose/are condemned to hell are like a drop of water that falls on a hot pancake griddle, they simply cease to exist. I’m driven to this belief because I think God’s loving nature is incompatible with eternal torment, but, as I told a friend in seminary, Jesus talks about hell way too often for me to refuse to believe in it. It’s plugged into this existing understanding that I found Brian McLaren’s article at Sojourners thought provoking and helpful.