1. Annihilationism does squarely face the problem of God's loving justice in the traditional doctrine of hell: The monstrous notion that God will inflict extreme conscious pain upon the "lost" for all eternity.
2. However, annihilationism is, at root, an ad hoc doctrinal patch. That is, annihilationism leaves a deeply problematic soteriological system firmly in place.
3. For example, annihilationism fails to positively address the issue of moral luck, that our moral and religious lives at the point of death are a highly contingent and largely out of our control.
4. Annihilationism also fails to address the problem of horrendous evil. Denying life and resurrection to the "lost" annihilationists admit that, for billions of men, women and children across history, the final experience on earth, often while crying out to God, is one of terror, pain and god-forsakenness. For the Jews who stared up at the shower heads in Auschwitz as Zyklon B poured forth, this would be, according to annihilationists, the final moment of their biography with God. Praise be to God?
5. In short, annihilationists replace a God of horror with a God of cold cruel indifference. They trade God's sins of commission for sins of omission.
6. Annihilationists fail to understand God's covenant relationship with his creation. The soteriology of the annihilationist is the thin notion of "going to heaven." Thus, annihilationists fail to understand the cosmic ambitions of God's love. How "all things" were created by the Word (John 1.3) and how the Word will bring "all things" back into into harmony and peace (Col. 1.20).
7. Annihilationists fail to understand Christ's victory over the power of Sin and Death. The annihilationist admits that the vast majority of humankind will die in sin and death, never to live again. Death and sin retain their sting. This is God's Victory? To save a few from the wreckage of death in a tiny lifeboat of grace while His Creation fades away into silence, sadness or horror? No! This is not good news! Nor is this the God of Jesus Christ our Lord! Sin and death were defeated on Easter Sunday. As the Scripture declares (1 Cor. 15.25,28)
For Christ must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death...When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.