In the 20th century, the church in the west had a big swing away from hell, particularly because of the first world war. Having seen so much hell on earth, a lot of people thought, you cant really believe that will go on in the hereafter as well. And also, there are many people who have grown up in fundamentalist circles, either fundamentalist protestant or catholic, for whom hell was the defining thing. You do this. You say your prayers. You ...behave yourself. Or, youll be going to hell. - its rather like parents saying to kids, unless you behave yourself, Father Christmas wont bring you any goodies at Christmas time.
and so then people react against that and say, hell was used as a weapon to scare me into being a good little boy or girl. And really we shouldnt do that. Weve got to do it differently. So they back right off. I understand that reaction. It seems to me that the mature reaction, is ok, thats where weve started culturally and maybe Christianly. Now how do we re-inhabit what the New Testament is actually talking about."