Like many other people, the long tradition about hell has been a source of serious confusion and distress for me. Over the past six years or so I was relieved to discover two other alternatives that are also part of the Christian tradition, though less prominent--universalism and the subject of the present book, conditional immortality. Universalism--that everyone would eventually be saved--did not, in the final analysis, seem to really come to grips with the overwhelming scriptural testimony that some kind of radical fateful decision is possible to people. Conditional immortality--that people who absolutely refuse God's plan for them will be taken out of existence--seems to me the best scriptural understanding of what the Lord meant by “losing one's soul”--not everlasting punishment but the withdrawal of existence. This book is an attempt to explain this theological theory. It is not presented as a definite dogma or teaching of the church, but as one of the possible results of a persistent and irrevocable decision against God.