Edward William Fudge was an American Christian theologian and lawyer, best known for his book The Fire that Consumes, in which he argues against traditionalist Christian interpretations of Hell.
Born: July 13, 1944, Alabama
Died: November 25, 2017
Known for: Annihilationism
Education: University of Houston Law Center, Abilene Christian University
Annihilationism (also known as extinctionism or destructionism) is a belief that after the final judgment some human beings and all fallen angels (all of the damned) will be totally destroyed so as to not exist, or that their consciousness will be extinguished, rather than suffer everlasting torment in hell.
In my opinion (webmaster) Mr. Fudge's well done exegetical analysis is very compelling and addresses an important issue which many non-believers, and some believers, have when they pose the question, "How can a loving God subject unbelievers to an eternity of torment in hell?" A believer should rest assured that if you are a true disciple of Jesus Christ the answer to this question either way does not effect your salvation. But I understand from personal experience with family members that this may be helpful for Christians who struggle with this question. In particular it can remove an obstacle which prevents a child of God from engaging in a more intimate relationship with their Heavenly Father and their Saviour.
Here is how Edward Fudge states this troubling question:
Must we conclude that God, who gave his Son for sinners, will keep billions of them alive — to torment them without end?
Romans 6:23 (ESV)
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
John 3:16 (ESV)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Deuteronomy 4:24 (ESV)
For the Lord your God is a consuming fire
Hebrews 12:29 (ESV)
for our God is a consuming fire
Matthew 10:28 (ESV)
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.