I have the pleasure of following up not one, but two reviews of this same book. Both Mark and Ron gave the same, excellent review which conveyed very similar thoughts to mine regarding this book. Though, I cannot claim that I was planning on using the same quote they did. So, I first want to point you to those reviews.
Beyond what they said, I would encourage reading of this book because it serves as a catalyst to deeper thought. By nature, it does not seek to provide exhaustive scholarly analysis of the doctrine of hell. Though it definitely involves scholarly work, it’s most effective in leading us on a journey of how to discover or re-discover Biblical truths. It is always a danger to ascribe to a doctrine based upon our upbringing or our association with a denomination or movement without actually investigating what the whole of scripture says. The approach that this book takes is to systematically examine the teachings of Hell in their context while expressing changes in the authors heart as these truths are studied.
Chan and Sprinkle start with examining the cultural understanding of the terms that are used to describe hell in the Bible. They then look at Jesus’ teachings, his followers teachings, and then end on a specific examination of Paul’s writings on the subject. I really enjoyed this approach as it created more of a macroscopic view of the subject showing the continuity of thought among the different authors. It did this, however, without being merely superficial.
The greatest value of this book is to establish the need for hell to be considered. We must know what the Bible teaches on hell, not merely to frighten us, but to help us better understand the holiness of God and the urgent need for preaching the truth.