Last year Rethinking Hell published our second book, A Consuming Passion: Essays on Hell and Immortality in Honor of Edward Fudge. For some time it had been a dream of ours to publish a festschrift in honor of Edward, whose work on the nature of final punishment has so influenced us, whose character so inspires us, and whose friendship is so dear to us. A few months ago I had the privilege of presenting A Consuming Passion to Edward with my co-editor Ron Highfield, and interviewing them both.
The following excerpt from the introduction to A Consuming Passion captures some of my feelings for Edward, and helps to explain why it was such a joy to interview him and present him with the book we published in his honor:
As my friend and co-editor Ron Highfield says in the preface to this volume, “God’s unfathomable love and unspeakable grace bestowed on us sinners in Jesus” is what most stokes Edward’s fire. This consuming passion has proven to be both a blessing and a bit of a curse, for it prompts him to treat his brothers and sisters in Christ in a manner commensurate with his Father’s love for them, and simultaneously to go frustratingly against their grain when their traditions distort that love—not altogether unlike Jesus himself. I am inspired more by Edward than by any other pastor, teacher, scholar, or friend, to try and likewise reflect God’s love more fully each day than the last, and I will forever be grateful to him for this impact on me.
In my experience it is rare to find someone quite like Edward. I have read the works of scholars with brilliant minds. I have listened to winsome and charming speakers. I have received sage advice from wise old souls. I have been touched by the love of tenderhearted strangers. I have been moved by those with infectious passion. And I have been left feeling ashamed of my own arrogance by the sincere humility of those with far more reason to boast than I have. Seldom, however, have I known someone in whom all these virtues converge as they do in Edward . . .
And if you’d like to enter your name into a drawing to a win a copy signed by Edward, Ron, and me, just follow these steps:
- On social media (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc.) or in a blog article, post a link to this blog post, or to the book’s page at Rethinking Hell Books (http://rethinkinghellbooks.com/resources/aconsumingpassion)
- In your post, briefly explain what Edward means to you, or how his work has impacted you
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to your post or article for verification
Also, be on the lookout for podcast episodes in coming months containing short interviews with the contributors to A Consuming Passion!