A Consuming Passion

Essays on Hell and Immortality in Honor of Edward Fudge

Who will live forever? How will God punish evil and bring justice? What does the future of creation look like? These fundamental questions and more are explored in this new collection of essays on Conditional Immortality.

About the Book

This diverse collection of essays in honor of Edward William Fudge explores the topics of hell and immortality, for which Fudge has been widely known through his magnum opus, The Fire That Consumes. Most Christians believe people will live and suffer in hell forever, but Fudge defends a view known historically as ”conditional immortality.” He and a growing minority of Christians believe God will grant immortality only to those who meet the condition of being united with Christ on the Last Day, while those who do not will perish forever. Although Christians sharing Fudge’s view have defended it both before and after him, conditionalists today still point to The Fire That Consumes as the seminal treatment of the topic.

In July 2014, Christians from around the world gathered at the inaugural Rethinking Hell conference, to celebrate Fudge’s life and work and to discuss the nature of hell in an open and respectful forum. This volume contains most of the essays presented at that conference, and several others volunteered by conditionalists since then, as a gift to Fudge for the tremendous impact he has had on them, and for the continued work he does for God’s kingdom.


Christopher M. Date
Ron Highfield


Stephen Travis


John G. Stackhouse Jr. The Legacy of Edward Fudge
Terrance L. Tiessen My Long Journey to Annihilationism
Jon Zens “Are You Going to Heaven?” A Journey Away from the Wrong Question
Rob McRay Moses, Jesus, and Fudge: How Edward Fudge (and Biblical Theology) Changed What I Preach About Hell
Gregory G. Stump “Dear Edward”: Letters to a Gentleman Scholar
Gordon L. Isaac The Extinction of Evil: The Biblical Prerequisite for New Heavens, New Earth
James S. Spiegel Making the Philosophical Case for Conditionalism
Nicholas Quient Paul and the Annihilation of Death
Peter S. Grice Tempest Theophany, Cosmic Conflagration, and the Vanished Vanquished: Toward a Trinitarian Framework for Immortality and Annihilation
Adam Murrell Divine Sovereignty in the Punishment of the Wicked
Claude Mariottini The Punishment of the Wicked in Isaiah 66:24
Kim Papaioannou Death, Eternal Life, and Judgment in the Gospel and Epistles of John
Roger Harper Hades in Revelation
David Instone-Brewer Eternal Punishment in First Century Jewish Thought
James K. Brandyberry Important Forgotten History: The Roots of Opposition to Conditionalism
Ronnie Demler Sic et Non: Traditionalism’s Scandal
Glenn A. Peoples The Future of Hell
Douglas A. Jacoby Doctrinal, Biblical, and Psychological Obstacles to Accepting Conditionalism: Successfully Rethinking Hell in a Small Christian Movement
Ralph G. Bowles The Offer of Life: Conditional Immortality in the Practice of Evangelism
David C. Cramer How to Talk about the Afterlife (If You Must): Ten Theses to Guide Debates among Traditionalists, Conditionalists, and Universalists
Jim Wood Taking Conditionalism to the People
Christopher M. Date Articulating and Promoting Conditionalism in the Twenty-First Century


“This new set of essays on the topic of hell's duration is a valuable contribution to the ongoing discussion on this important topic . . . What we have here is not a bunch of hobbyhorse theologians sitting around agreeing with each other, but a group of astute pastors and scholars wrestling with what God's inspired word says about hell. I commend this book to anyone who is wrestling with the topic of God's future judgment.”

— Preston Sprinkle, Vice President for Eternity Bible College's Boise extension; Coauthor of Erasing Hell and People to Be Loved: Why Homosexuality Is Not Just an Issue

“This excellent collection of compelling essays is not only a fitting tribute to the lifelong passion and work of a great scholar; it's a superb opportunity for readers to be relieved of the onerous weight of believing our loving Creator vengefully consigns people to an unending nightmare from which they will never awake. If you share this traditional view of hell, please do yourself a favor and devour this work!”

— Gregory A. Boyd, President of Reknew.org; Author of Benefit of the Doubt: Breaking the Idol of Certainty

“This is a dangerous book. These eminently readable essays—by turns personal, exegetical, theological, and historical—have the potential to change the minds and hearts of the contemporary church on the question of final judgment. Read at your own risk!”

— J. Richard Middleton, Professor of Biblical Worldview and Exegesis, Northeastern Seminary; Author of A New Heaven and a New Earth: Reclaiming Biblical Eschatology


A Consuming Passion: Essays on Hell and Immortality in Honor of Edward Fudge



Rethinking Hell: Readings in Evangelical Conditionalism

Do all people have everlasting life? Many evangelical Christian scholars and teachers today answer no—only those rescued from death by Jesus Christ. This important new book assembles the best contemporary writings on the topic of conditional immortality. Discover the reasons why so many are rethinking Hell!