When I began my scholarly research project on the topic of final punishment in the late 1970’s, I assumed that the traditional view of unending conscious torment rested on biblical revelation. As I delved deeply into the actual texts of Scripture, the literature between the Testaments, and the writings of the church fathers and Reformers, I was flabbergasted to discover that my assumption was completely false — and to uncover the historical origins of unending torment in ancient pagan philosophy.
I was so shocked initially at the fruit of this research that I briefly considered boxing up all my data, shipping it off to the research sponsor, and never mentioning it again. Yet I knew that I must offer this to Christian brothers and sisters for critical review. So instead of hiding the material, I wrote THE FIRE THAT CONSUMES, setting out this exhaustive compilation of biblical and historical fact. That book was published in 1982.
A quarter-century has now passed, and THE FIRE THAT CONSUMES has gone through multiple printings on two continents. Although there have been numerous responses in America, England and Australia, including a doctoral dissertation at Oxford University, to this day no one has stepped forward and refuted the many arguments of this book from the Word of God. Instead, thoughtful evangelicals in increasing numbers have felt compelled to reject the traditional notion of unending torment because of the scriptural and historical evidence this book presents.
The evangelical church today faces a challenge which it can no longer ignore — the challenge to prove its alleged “high view” of Scripture by putting it into practice. Eternal conscious torment is either true or it is not. God’s Word gives the only authoritative answer. The time has come to re-examine our traditional view in the bright light of Holy Scripture.
Will You Accept My Loving Challenge?
Will you take up this loving challenge with an open Bible and an open mind? If so, I invite you to order THE FIRE THAT CONSUMES — then sit down with your Bible and search the Scriptures as you read, testing everything by the Word of God. For more details about this book, including ordering information, click here.
What Reviewers Say About
THE FIRE THAT CONSUMES
COLIN BROWN, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, Calif.: “A very strong case for rethinking the notion of the eternal torment of all the lost.”
F. F. BRUCE (Deceased), University of Manchester, England: “While this subject is one on which there is no unanimity among evangelical Christians, it is at the same time one on which they have often engaged in fierce polemic. What is called for, rather, is the fellowship of patient Bible study, the fruit of which Mr. Fudge presents here.”
LYNN MITCHELL, University of Houston, Texas: “One of the most important books produced by conservative evangelicals in the 20th century.”
JOHN W. WENHAM (Deceased), Oxford, England: “The author is biblical, reverent and fair, showing soundness and independence of judgment. He makes his main points with force and persuasiveness.”
CLARK H. PINNOCK (Retired), McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario: “I know of no book which answers this powerful case.”
W. WARD GASQUE, Eastern College, Philadelphia: “An important and thought-provoking book that gives careful attention to the actual words of Scripture.”
DALE MOODY (Deceased), The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky: “I know of no biblical passage which, interpreted rightly and in context, conflicts with the conclusions of this book.”
THOMAS H. OLBRICHT (Retired), Pepperdine University, Malibu, Calif: “Evidence for the common assumption that the wicked will suffer eternal conscious torment may not be as conclusive as assumed.”
JOHN F. WALVOORD (Deceased), Dallas Theological Seminary: “The most extensive study [of the subject] in recent years . . . commendably brings into the discussion many items that are often overlooked.” (Dr. Walvoord expressly disagreed with the conclusions of this book.)
LEONARD G. GOSS, former editor, Evangelical Book Club: “A thorough and convincing exposition.”
NEW OXFORD REVIEW: “Exceptionally even-handed, forceful and to the point.”
MISSION JOURNAL: “A formidable scriptural argument which defenders of the popular view will be hard pressed to meet.”
EVANGELICAL BOOK CLUB: “A thoughtful case for an opinion that deserves a hearing.”
RESURRECTION MAGAZINE: “The definitive work on conditional immortality.”
ADVENT CHRISTIAN WITNESS: “A work of impeccable scholarship and pleasing readability.”
CHURCH OF ENGLAND NEWSPAPER: “Essential reading for anyone interested in the subject.”