Below is a video teaching of Edward Fudge at Lanier Theological Library in which he addresses the doctrine of hell. Fudge is author of the book, The Fire That Consumes, which presents a case around what is known as annihilationism. This particular view states that the ‘fire’ of judgment is not given for eternal torment but to do just what every fire was meant to do, that is consume (or annihilate) the wicked. It is in contradistinction to the more popular view amongst evangelicals known as eternal conscious torment that says all wicked will be tormented forever as part of God’s judgment. The fire-torment will never end.
I’ve not yet read this particular book, though I had to engage with the debate in seminary as my systematics professor, Robert Peterson, is one of the great modern defenders of eternal conscious torment. Fudge and Peterson debated things in the book, Two Views of Hell. And I am becoming more aware of the in’s and out’s of the two views: annihalitionism and eternal conscious torment. Not to mention the third view known as evangelical universalism or ultimate reconciliation, which is not a nothing-matters universalism, but that all will ultimately be reconciled to God because of the work of Jesus Christ. One of the more well-known works describing this third position is Gregory MacDonald’s (or Robin Parry’s), The Evangelical Universalist. The name, Gregory MacDonald, comes from two of the more well-known evangelical universalists in church history, Gregory of Nyssa and George MacDonald. Continue reading