A Visit with Edward & A Trip to the Library

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“ONWARD & EDWARD.”  These were the words in bold letters on the front of Edward Fudge’s t-shirt as he greeted me with a warm embrace at the door of his lovely home in a suburb of Houston, Texas, during a brief visit I had with him on a chilly day in late January.  He pointed to his shirt and said, “I had this made when I went in for my first surgery, then I took it back out when I went back in for a second and third surgery!”  This man does not take adversity sitting down, whether it be severe spinal issues or theological opposition.

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Episode 46: Immortality in the Early Church, with John Roller (Part 2)

Dr. John Roller joins Rethinking Hell contributor Chris Date to discuss what the early Church Fathers believed about human immortality and the final fate of the lost, as he examines in his book, The Doctrine of Immortality in the Early Church. This episode contains the second half of the discussion; listen to the previous episode of the Rethinking Hell podcast for part one.
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Matthew 25:46 Does Not Prove Eternal Torment – Part 1

is one of the most commonly used texts to prove that hell is a place of eternal torment. The text reads, “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”1 It is this reference to “eternal punishment” that is seen as a slam dunk, proving beyond a reasonable doubt that hell is a place of eternal conscious suffering.
Of course, it proves no such thing, and this passage has come up numerous times in the Rethinking Hell universe. It came up in a response to Tom Ascol’s “4 Truths About Hell.” It is addressed by Chris Date in Episode 7 of the Rethinking Hell podcast. Chris Date also addressed some specific grammatical elements of the passage in response to the blogger Turretinfan and a follow-up response.
However, there has yet to be a single, (relatively) succinct post (or series of posts) specifically about this text that can be referred to when the question comes up about how evangelical conditionalists might address the fact that the unsaved are condemned to “eternal punishment.” My goal here is to give such a response.
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  1. Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations I give are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB). Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. []

46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”