Purgatory, by Jerry L. Walls

Can Protestants believe in purgatory? Should they? Might agreement on purgatory enhance ecumenical relations between Catholics and Protestants? These are some of the questions Christian philosopher Jerry L. Walls addresses, and his answer to all of them is yes—much to the chagrin, no doubt, of many conservative Protestants and to the delight of many progressive Catholics, Walls argues that purgatory is biblically permitted, if not explicitly biblically taught, and that it is reasonable to deduce its existence on the basis of universal Christian convictions about the nature of persons and of heaven.

Walls is a Wesleyan philosopher who has written extensively on eschatology. His books Hell: The Logic of Damnation and Heaven: The Logic of Eternal Joy are widely discussed philosophical treatments of these subjects from an evangelical perspective.

Walls’s main conclusion is summed up thus: