I just returned from Houston where I attended Edward Fudge’s lecture on “The Fire That Consumes: A Biblical and Historical Study of the Doctrine of Final Punishment.” His lecture was based on the topic which is the basis for his book which carries the same title. The book, now in its third edition, has been revised and enlarged to include Fudge’s dialogue with several authors who disagree with his views.
I had never met Edward Fudge. However, after spending a few days with him, it seems that I have known him for many years. Edward is a committed Christian, a humble man who loves the Lord, and a man who is on a crusade to present the real teachings of the Bible concerning hell.
Since most people have never met Edward Fudge, let me quote a short biographical sketch about him that appeared in the program announcing his lecture:
Edward William Fudge is an evangelical Christian theologian, who enjoys talking about Jesus and explaining the Bible in churches, schools and other venues, across Christendom and around the world. The author of more than twenty books, with articles published in leading Christian journals, Edward also writes gracEmail, an internet column now in its fifteenth year. After earning undergraduate and graduate degrees in Biblical languages, and a doctorate in jurisprudence, Edward also practiced law fulltime for more than two decades, primarily with the Lanier Law firm. He and his wife Sara Fay have been married 44 years, have two children and five grandchildren and live in Katy, Texas.
The lecture was presented in a beautiful Byzantine chapel in Houston. I will have more to say about this chapel in an upcoming post. The chapel seats 275 people, but the organizers prepared room for 800 people in adjacent buildings with video feed. When the registration opened for the lecture, 800 people registered in the first three weeks. The organizers had to close registration after three weeks because they could not hold more than 800 people.
I have read Fudge’s book and I will review it next week. Before I review the book, I can say that Fudge’s conclusion is based on extensive research and solid scholarship. Any serious student of the Bible will be challenged by his solid exegesis of the text. It is this exegesis that provides the biblical support for his conclusion.
The life of Edward Fudge has been an inspiration to many people, so much so that a movie is in production about Edward’s life detailing the struggles he has faced in presenting a view of Hell that has encountered much opposition by some Christians.
The movie is titled “Hell and Mr. Fudge.” You can view a preview of the movie by clicking on the link below.
Link for the movie: Hell and Mr. Fudge.
I was fortunate to have been invited to participate in the lecture. I can honestly say that I was deeply impressed by Edward Fudge. I wish I had an opportunity to have spent more time with him to learn more about his life as a pastor, a teacher, a lawyer, and as a writer.
Read my previous post on Fudge’s book: The Biblical Doctrine of Hell: Another View