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Summer 2018 Class Highlight: Annihilationism (Part 3 of 3)

This is my third and final post in a series presenting a summary of Edward Fudge’s biblical argument for Conditional Immortality, more commonly known as Annihilationism.

In part one I summarized Fudge’s treatment of the Old Testament.

In part two I summarized Fudge’s treatment of the Gospels and Jesus’ Teaching.

Now I move onto Fudge’s analysis of the rest of the New Testament.

The Writings of Paul
God Will Avenge Evil

Fudge walks through Paul’s writings by way of noting theological features, beginning with Paul’s assertion that “God will avenge evil.”[1] This is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:6, “the Lord is the avenger” (NET). Fudge is keen to point out that this verse says there is avengement, but not how it is accomplished. Paul also develops the consequence that Jesus speaks of when he says that the wicked will be excluded from the kingdom (Gal 5:16–21).[2]

God Pours out His Wrath on Sinners

Fudge believes that Romans 2:6–11 and 2 Thessalonians 1:6–10 is “Paul’s most detailed discussion o…

Summer 2018 Class Highlight: Annihilationism - (Part 2 of 3) Jesus' Teaching on Hell

Part 3 - The Rest of the NT on Hell

In my previous post, I defined Conditional Immortality and summarized Edward Fudge’s treatment of what the Old Testament taught on the subject. Now I move on to my summary of Fudge’s analysis of Jesus’ teaching. This is where things really get interesting because some of the main passages for both sides of the debate occur in the Gospels.

Jesus’ Teaching Concerning the Final State of the Lost
Fudge deals first with passages featuring Jesus and fire, and secondly Jesus’ teachings on hell not involving fire.

Jesus and the Imagery of Fire

John the Baptist says of Jesus in Matthew 3:12, “His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clean out his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the storehouse, but the chaff he will burn up with inextinguishable fire” (NET). According to Fudge, the natural result of being burned with unquenchable or “inextinguishable” fire is that the object is burned up (see also Mt 7:19; 13:40; Jn 15:6).[1] Unquenchable fi…