"Hell" is a much-debated topic among evangelicals. Will the condemned experience perpetual, conscious torture; or will theirs be a limited suffering followed by an end to their existence? Theologians Peterson and Fudge debate these traditional/conditionalist perspectives, each making a case that his viewpoint is more consistent with Scripture and God's nature. Includes rebuttals. 228 pages, softcover from InterVarsity.
Hell is real and terrible. It is the fate of those who reject God. Evangelicals agree about this unhappy truth. Yet on some questions about hell disagreements arise. Some evangelicals believe the wicked will experience perpetual, conscious torment after death. Others argue that the wicked will experience a limited period of conscious punishment and then they will cease to exist. In this book you will find an irenic yet frank debate between two evangelical theologians who present strong scriptural and theological evidence for and against each view. Both make a case that their view is more consistent with Scripture and with the holy and just nature of a loving God. Robert Peterson defends the traditional view that those who do not have faith in Christ will suffer eternally in hell. Edward Fudge advocates the conditionalist perspective that after a period of suffering, the unfaithful will experience a complete extinguishing, or annihilation, of existence. In addition, each author presents a rebuttal to the viewpoint of the other. Here is a dialogue that will inform and challenge those on both sides, while impressing on all the need for faithful proclamation of the gospel of deliverance from sin and death.
Edward Fudge is a theologian and practicing lawyer based in Texas. He is the author of (barnesandnoble.com).
Robert A. Peterson (Ph.D., Drew University) is professor of systematic theology at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He was formerly professor of New Testament and theology at Biblical Theological Seminary in Hatfield, Pennsylvania. His books include (all Presbyterian & Reformed) and (coedited with Chris Morgan, Zondervan). He has written numerous articles, was a contributor to the second edition of the (Baker) and edits Covenant Seminary's journal,
Two distinguished authors convincingly present their opposing views on hell.
Introductory remarks on both traditionalism (the belief that the wicked suffer
in hell for eternity) and conditionalism (the belief that the wicked are
punished by God and then destroyed) set the stage for the authors' in-depth
studies. Edward Fudge, a practicing lawyer and theologian (The Fire That
Consumes: The Biblical Case for Conditional Immortality) argues on behalf of
conditionalism, drawing from a study of Old Testament figures, Jesus' teachings
on hell, the writings of Paul and other New Testament verses and explanations.
Robert Peterson (professor of theology at Covenant Theological Seminary and
editor of the Presbyterian) responds from the traditionalist perspective, as
his previous book's title (Hell on Trial: The Case for Eternal Punishment)
would suggest. Peterson provides readers with the positions of early Church
Fathers and exegeted verses, and offers an overall theological look at why
traditionalism is biblically sound. Each section ends with the other author
debating the preceding arguments, contributing to the "dialogue" of the book.
Throughout the text, both authors do their level best to dismantle the other's
arguments. Professionals, seminary students and well-educated laity will find
much to mull over here, though the average reader may consider the continual
bantering somewhat tedious. (May) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
"The book is much needed. The debate over the nature of hell shows no sign of going away, and this book gives a good and thorough presentation of both sides in just over two hundred pages. I hope it receives a wide and careful reading."
"Fudge and Peterson . . . have produced a clear and readable account of the biblical grounds for their positions. Fudge's interpretations of the scriptural data is plausible as is Peterson's and neither can dismiss the other by claiming that Scripture clearly supports their view. This book serves well the purpose of laying out the exegetical grounds for both sides."
"A very worthwhile book, especially since it gives both sides of the argument. This gives the book a fairness that should be appreciated."