Fudge on "The Traditional View"

Date to Fudge: “What is it that the traditional view of hell holds?”

Fudge’s Reply: “At the end of the age, Christ will return in person and power, there will be a general resurrection of the saved and the lost, and there will be a great Judgment Day, as it is pictured and described in Scripture, to use human language, so we can understand it, it is pictured as all people being brought before the bar of justice, and have God’s final verdict pronounced on their lives; those who are saved because of the atonement of Jesus will be ushered into the blessedness of eternal life and immortality – those who are lost will be raised, but not immortal, as far as the Bible is concerned, and they will be sent instead to the Lake of Fire. At that point, the two views diverge, somewhat, my view and the traditional view. According to the traditional view, those who go into the Lake of Fire, or Hell, or Gehenna, will simply be going into a place where they, like the saved, will be alive forever. The traditional view has it that even those who are lost are somehow made to be deathless, and are not allowed to die, even though one of the most common words in the New Testament for the end of the wicked is die or death. They never die, they are never destroyed, they never perish in the traditional view, but are alive forever and ever to suffer eternal conscious torment. My view is really simplistic, in a sense, in that I take the Scripture more at face value, which say things like the wages of sin is death, the gift of life is eternal life, those who believe in Jesus should not perish, but have eternal life. That God is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell, and that those words all mean just what they sound like, and that we don’t need to give them any special meaning, that those who go to Hell do in fact finally die, perish and are destroyed, and are gone forever.” 1

Nothing like a little well-poisoning when asked what the other side holds to, eh?

3 thoughts on “Fudge on "The Traditional View"

  1. In what very little I’ve read from the annihilationists they tend to have a very childish reading of Scripture akin to Open Theists. Does God have wings and feathers (Ps. 91.4)? Fudge wants to take the Bible “at face value” (I wonder, is Fudge also a Dispensationalist?) rather than doing the difficult work of studying what the words in question actually mean. He is begging the question when he claims that others give the words “special meaning.” He has not established that the words mean what he claims that they do, and he does not appear willing to do so either.

  2. The underlying theme of everything they write is that God is somehow unjust, unfair or unloving to cause the wicked to “suffer eternal conscious torment”. There is never a discussion or recognition of the reality of sin, the supreme righteousness of God and the utter depravity of mankind.
    Even my universalist friend often acknowledges that there “must be a special place in hell for people like [enter evil person here]“. I’m quick to remind that there’s a special place in hell for all those of Adam’s seed.

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