Author of "The Fire That Consumes"

Edward William Fudge wrote 'the book' on conditional immortality. He is well-known and respected for his extensive study on final punishment in the Bible. The full title of his book is : "The Fire That Consumes: A Biblical and Historical Study of the Doctrine of Final Punishment". This is not some fad Christian book that is quick and amusing to read - it is 378 pages of fairly small print with tons of footnotes (all of which I have read with great interest).
Richard Bauckham writes, "Since the publication of its first edition in 1982, Edward Fudge's book...has been the fullest and most thorough exposition and defense of the view that the fate of the unsaved will be final destruction, not (as in the traditional doctrine of hell) eternal torment...the view that Fudge advocates is undoubtedly now favored by more Evangelical Christians than ever before. Some prominent Evangelical leaders have endorsed it and there is a widespread sense that this is an issue on which discussion and disagreement among Evangelical Christians is entirely legitimate."  2011
F.F. Bruce states, "...What is called for... is the fellowship of patient Bible study. It is the fruit of such study that Mr. Fudge presents here... It gives me pleasure to commend Mr. Fudge's exposition of this subject. All that he has to say is worthy of careful consideration, but there is special value in those chapters where he examines the testimony of successive sections of the Holy Scriptures."  (underline mine)  1982 
John Wenham concludes, "Fudge believes in the inspiration of the canonical scriptures of the Old and New Testaments without reserve and has researched the whole subject with painstaking care, trying to extricate the pure doctrine of the Bible from the accretions of later centuries. Fudge's clear-headedness and fair-mindedness are apparent throughout. He rejects the notion that humans have immortality without new birth, they gain immortality by becoming partakers of the nature of the God 'who alone has immortality.'" (underline mine)  1994
I just have to say that I love this guy. Can you imagine the relief and joy I felt when I found this author? I had been praying that God would show me if I was the only one with these biblical conclusions. I mean, if I had found these truths in the Bible and error in our tradition, could it be possible for me to be the only one? Was I just crazy - or worse, in line with the cults? I didn't go looking for someone to validate my findings. In a way, Edward Fudge found me - his book did anyway. I give thanks to the Lord for him and others that have studied deeply and have spoken out about their findings.

Edward W. Fudge

Mr. Fudge is humble. That's another thing I love about him. He is wise and gentle when he teaches on final punishment, recognizing the entrenched teachings throughout Christianity. When I really started digging into the subject and realizing what God's word plainly said, I was quite indignant. I would say to myself, "What is wrong with everybody? Don't they read the Bible? How could they believe such horrible teachings about our just and loving Father?" So, I've learned more than just historical facts and Hebrew definitions from Mr. Fudge. Just listen to his dedication in the book:

"This work is humbly and worshipfully dedicated

as the offering of an unworthy servant

to God's Son, my Savior, the LORD JESUS CHRIST,

who alone is able to deliver us from the Wrath to Come."

After all my study and attempts to write it all out, I find Edward Fudge and realize that I have been re-inventing the wheel. However, it was not a waste - far from it! Final punishment is all over the pages of Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, and the study really gives you a deeper understanding of God and the Bible. I recommend it to everyone! However, if time is a factor, I recommend reading Mr. Fudge or listening to his teaching videos. I will post some of his stuff here because it is so good!

There is also a movie about his life and study called "Hell and Mr. Fudge". Loved it. Own it. You can watch the trailer and order the DVD by clicking here.

1 comment:

  1. Edward Fudge writes:

    'Increasingly, believers around the world are finding the traditional doctrine of unending conscious torment to be a slander against the character of God. It has no scriptural basis and should be discarded as a horrible falsehood. In its place we have the Bible's straightforward teaching of two final options--eternal life for the redeemed and the second death or perishing for the unrepentant (Rom. 6:23; John 3:16). We have known those two options all our lives, but we did not know we could take them at face value.

    The following testimony expresses the joy of one man who has come recently to this light, and it is typical of emails that we receive on a regular basis.

    "Dear Edward, I just wanted to let you know that I am thoroughly enjoying your books. I see the truth in your research. Your teachings have brought me a peace that allows me to share Christ's gospel without having to threaten my audience with eternal hell fire to get them to believe. The more I walk with Christ the more my love for everyone, even my enemies, grows. Your knowledge has given me a deeper and more solid foundation of apologetics. You are my friend, my brother in Christ."'


I understand this is a difficult subject and there are different views from folks who all value God's inspired word. I value your feedback, corrections and questions. Please leave a comment!