School of Divinity


Master of Theology (ThM)



Catholicism, Heaven, Intermediate State, Postmortem, Purgatory


Catholic Studies | Christian Denominations and Sects | Christianity | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


Traditional Roman Catholic theology and certain non-traditional expressions of evangelical theology teach that Christians who die without realizing perfect holiness will enter into a postmortem state called purgatory for the purpose of preparing them to behold the beatific vision of God in heaven. The purpose of this work is to refute these teachings by proving that they are unbiblical. The procedure for doing is to first summarize the traditional Roman Catholic teaching of purgatory; second, present interpretations of select biblical and apocryphal texts related to purgatory from the pro-purgatory perspective, followed by a traditional evangelical response; third, present a four-fold traditional evangelical critique of the traditional Roman Catholic teaching; fourth, present a summary of the non-traditional evangelical argument for purgatory as found in the work of Jerry Walls, followed by a two-fold traditional evangelical critique.