Walls, Jerry L. “Purgatory for Everyone,” First Things 122 (April 2002): 25-31.
Walls, a Methodist, argues for purgatory on the grounds that salvation involves transformation, that this transformation to
Barrett, Matthew. “Should Evangelicals Embrace the Doctrine of Purgatory,” Credo 3, no. 1 (Jan 2013): 44-54.
Barrett provides a helpful summary of Walls’s argument (drawing on Walls’ book on purgatory) followed by several compelling reasons why Walls’s argument fails.
Walls tries to open the door for purgatory by claiming Scripture does not directly speak to the issue one way or the other–allegedly allowing for the doctrine to be deduced from other doctrines. Barrett, however, observes that there are numerous Scriptures that promise believers will be with the Lord after death. Most notably, Jesus promised this to the thief on the cross–a candidate for post-mortem purgation and sanctification if there ever was one.
Barrett also notes significant doctrinal problems, such as Walls’s formulation requiring a libertarian view of free will, his advocacy of postmortem opportunities for salvation, and his raising the possibility of apostasy after death.
Finally, Barrett does not think that Walls’s attempt to make purgatory about sanctification rather than justification removes the works salvation problem.