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The Fire That Consumes: A Biblical and Historical Study of the Doctrine of Final Punishment [Paperback]

By Edward W. Fudge (Author)
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Item description for The Fire That Consumes: A Biblical and Historical Study of the Doctrine of Final Punishment by Edward W. Fudge...

Evangelical Christians agree that a dreadful destiny awaits those who reject God's presence now. According to the traditional majority view, that destiny will involve everlasting conscious torment in hell. However, believers are increasingly questioning the traditional view, finding it unbiblical and inconsistent with God's own character.

This internationally acclaimed book investigates the whole teaching of Scripture on the topic of final punishment, and concludes that hell will involve the irreversible destruction of body and soul, leaving room for whatever degree of conscious torment God justly decrees in any individual case. An Evangelical Book Club Selection.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: IUniverse
Pages   504
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 5.9" Height: 1.2"
Weight:   1.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2000
ISBN  0595143423  
ISBN13  9780595143429  

Availability  0 units.

More About Edward W. Fudge

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! EDWARD FUDGE is a Bible teacher, preacher, and practicing attorney living in Houston, Texas. His internet publication, gracEmail, regularly encourages thousands of believers around the world. He has conducted retreats and special Bible studies for churches of many denominations in the U.S., Canada, and New Zealand. He is the author of "Hebrews: Ancient

Encouragement for Believers Today," "The Fire That Consumes," and other books. Edward and his wife Sara Faye have been married 44 years and have two grown children.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Religious
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Eschatology
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Fire That Consumes: A Biblical and Historical Study of the Doctrine of Final Punishment?

Exceptional  May 12, 2008
Edward Fudge has done a great service for God's people by carefully sifting through the relevant passages in the Bible to discern what is taught (and not taught) in God's Word concerning the end of the unredeemed. The most helpful chapter in the book for me personally was entitled, "Golgatha and Gehenna: Jesus' Death and the Punishment of the Lost." The Scriptures are not flat. There are some matters of more importance and others of less importance. There are some teachings that are central to understanding everything else. Surely there is no dispute that the heart of all Biblical revelation is found in the cross of Christ. Edward Fudge shows how Jesus' suffering and death shows us the end result of sin. Should one refuse to accept Jesus' atoning death they must endure the consequences for themselves. It is in the cross that we learn how horrible sin truly is, and by this understanding we realize how marvelous is the redemption made possible by the cross.
Great book! Scripturally sound. Shows God's justice as fair.  Nov 26, 2007
Mr. Fudge's book is eye opening. I had believed the traditional view of hell for over 20 years. Now I can't believe how unscriptural it is. The conditionalist view fits perfectly. The technical name is called "Conditional Immortality" and Mr. Fudge does an excellent job stating the case. The forward is by the great evangelical scholar F.F. Bruce.

The wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23) (not eternal torment.) The eternal fire was made for the devil (Matt 25:41) so unbelievers die there, not live forever. The fire is eternal, not what is thrown into it. The punishment is death. Capital Punishment. Don't think death is a punishment, try telling that to someone on death row.

Fudge does an excellent job showing how this is the case. Eternal punishment is death forever. The loss of their life. Don't we view the death penalty as the greatest of all societies punishments? Why, because it removes the possibility of life anymore. The same is true of the lost on judgment day. This is when the death will occur, argues Fudge.

You see, only believers live forever (John 6:51, 8:51). Only believers get immortality (Romans 2:7). Immortality is part and parcel with the gospel (2 Tim 1:10). Unbelievers die the second death (Rev. 20:15). Jesus said they are "destroyed" (His words) in hell, not live forever (Matthew 10:28). Even if Matthew 10:28 were the only verse that proves the soul of the unsaved will be destroyed (and there are more), we would have to accept it based upon the authority of the Son of God. Thankfully, Fudge shows many more.

Another excellent point he makes, `Gnashing of teeth' in scripture is always an idiom for anger! (Psalm 37:12, Acts 7:54). The list goes on and on. Fudge does a much better job that I have here. He is also an attorney.

At the root of this all is the churches acceptance of the greek teaching of the immortality of all souls. This is completely unbiblical. If all are born with immortality, then why do people have to seek it (Romans 2:7 says clearly we are to "seek" it.) Only believers put on immortality at the resurrection (1 Cor 15:53-54). Immortality is only gotten through the gospel (2 Tim 1:10 clearly states this.) Jesus offer to live forever (John 6:51) would be meaningless if innate immortality were true. Only God is immortal (1 Tim 6:16) and immortality is his gift to those seek it, who seek His Son. (Rom 2:7)

Mr. Fudge also covers all the "what about these...." Scriptures. Too much for this space. Get this book for your pastor too!

Or for a similar powerful book on this site, purchase The Resurrection and Immortality by William West and look at the later chapters. Also, do a search for Samuele Bacchiocchi, (yes it is spelled correctly here) and get his book on the resurrection.

The traditional doctrine of hell besmirches the character of God. Jesus said the wicked will be destroyed (Matt 10:28) , so did Paul (Philippians 3:19) and James (James 4:12). As an evangelical, I am glad to now know the correct scriptural teaching on this. And while I am not a Seventh Day Adventist, they have this doctrine 100% correct. So do many other evangelicals.
Worth the read...  Nov 19, 2007
Do the wicked suffer in hell for eternity? This is a question that seems to divide the Christian community. Edward Fudge does an adequate job of presenting what is called the `conditionalist' view that the lost do not suffer in hell for eternity. The book is well worth the read regardless of which teaching you have come to accept.

For myself, I came to the understanding that the dead do not suffer for eternity long before I ever read this book. All one has to do is read John 3:16; the most well known verse in all Christianity.

For God so loved the world that whoever shall believe in Him shall not perish but shall have everlasting life.

The question is simple. What part of perish does one not understand? After all Jesus is God. He has been with God from the beginning. He was at creation and an active part in creation. All judgment has been given to Him. If anyone is going to know what happens to the lost, it would be Jesus. Jesus said the lost will perish - which means to die or come to an end. Since Jesus is God, He cannot lie. End of story.

You are certainly free to choose to believe what you want, but for me there is nothing more. Mr. Fudge's book simply expands on what the rest of the Bible says on the subject. The Bible certainly describes the fire that consumes as an `eternal fire'. The two questions one has to answer are: (1) Does the fire being eternal mean that the lost suffer for eternity? (Hint: Burning bush). (2) Do the lost suffer for eternity or is the effects of judgment eternal? This book helps address these questions from a Biblical viewpoint.
Superb Book on Final Punishment!  Jan 13, 2007
This book is a historical and biblical look at hell. Not only does the author exegete scripture impeccably, he explains how traditionalists got their start; namely Plato's heavy influence on early Christianity that states that the soul is innately immortal. Fudge uses the old testament and new testament evenly to demonstrate that the unsaved are eternally destroyed in the fires of hell, not tormented.

One thing the book does not explain is the parable of Luke 16. Also, I think the author is a bit wordy when a concise explanation would do.

Overall I would recommend this book to anyone who's even remotely interested in the subject of hell. Eternal torment is slander against God's character and even more unbiblical. For more reading on the subject, check out the following web site: [...]
A Solid Biblical and Historical Study  Nov 10, 2006
Fudge is not a Bible rejecting liberal who cannot believe that a loving God could send anyone to hell. Rather, he is a solidly conservative Bible believing scholar who is determined to root his faith and doctrine in Scripture. As such, he makes a very compelling argument from Scripture that the soul is not immortal. He deals, exaustively and effectively, with each of the proof texts that traditionalists use to support the idea that hell is a conscious eternal torment, and brings light to passages that most have only assumed they understand. The author is fair enough to point out where his own arguments are weak. But after thoroughly reading this book, and then looking at several systematic theologies and explanations which support the traditional view, I now find that the traditional view is the one that is lacking support.

For those who dare to undertake an honest look at what they thought was an "established" Biblical fact, and be shaken in their long held belief, I highly recommend this book. But for those who are content to simply believe what they have always heard, I recommend that they stay away.

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