I greatly enjoyed the story about hell which was reported in the media over the weekend. It is all to do with the research of Eric Stoddart whom I knew in Scottish Churches Open College and who is now working in my old college, St Mary’s, St Andrews. He has had a research interest for years in the way in which one’s belief in hell affects the pastoral care that one might offer in a congregation.

This has come to the surface this week with the publishing of results of a survey into hell-belief in Scotland which Eric has done. You are more likely to find that your minister believes in hell in Scotland if you are in the west rather than the east and in the north rather than the south of the country. This makes for a rather interesting take on the idea of a postcode lottery and made for a good story in the Sunday press.

Perhaps Eric is planning on becoming the new theological media darling. He could grow dreadlocks and be the Scottish Robert Beckford

I remember when it was hell (or more particularly salvation from the same) which was the defining doctrine of evangelicals rather than whether or not one persecutes gay people. Ah, happy days!


  1. […] there is a similar spectrum of opinion across the churches. (I commented on Eric’s research here). Moreover, another reason that this should not surprise us is that there is a spectrum of opinion […]

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