Q. Does Kevin DeYoung believe in a literal hell, and does he believe that belief is necessary for true Christianity?
A1. Yes. Kevin DeYoung says "With sober gravity, we must confess that hell is real and people will go there." Further, he says "God's wrath cannot be wished away from the pages of Scripture" and, in allusion to the doctrine of double predestination, "Sin must be atoned for and sinners must be punished" (The Good News We Almost Forgot, 38).
A2. No. Hell can better be thought of in the spiritual sense, as separation from God. DeYoung writes, "Jesus 'descended' into hell as He suffered the pain and torment of divine wrath. 'Surely no more terrible abyss can be conceived,' writes Calvin, 'than to feel yourself forsaken and estranged from God; and when you call upon him to not be heard.' It should be a comfort to us that there is no hell we can face greater than the one Christ endured" (The Good News We Almost Forgot, 98).
Q. What is the difference between the first answer and the second?
A. 60 pages.