What other-worldly level of strength, character, and faithfulness would it take for your spouse to write this about you after fifty (50!) years of marriage?
A brilliant thinker who could engage any scholar on that level, a consummate professional writer who could pack more into three paragraphs than anyone I ever knew, a tender-hearted lover of poetry who regaled us all with Thanatopsis and Gray’s Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard (all stanzas!), and a man with a sweet grin and sense of humor which sometimes veered into intricate puns and corny jokes which he delighted in telling and re-telling to any willing listener. He was nonjudgmental, humble in spirit, kind in manner and as Jesus described Nathanael, “a man in whom there is no guile.” He cherished me for over 50 years, since our first Florida College days, delighted in our two wonderful children, and loved his six precious grandchildren who gave him great joy and hope for the future.
— Sara Faye Fudge
This is the fruit of a life well lived—all-in—focused on what is most important in this world. This is what all men should aspire to become. Not necessarily a brilliant scholar, but one whom those closest to him could say “a man in whom there is no guile.” And every husband should live so that his wife could say of him “he cherished me for over 50 years.”
As president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, you have exercised significant influence over the direction of the modern evangelical Christian landscape. Your leadership is also recognized outside the church, as attested in a 2003 Time magazine article which called you the “reigning intellectual of the evangelical movement in the U.S.”
When we consider ultimate questions, everyone has a starting place. Popular options include tradition, experience, preferences, and feelings. Others start with the Bible, but with all of the issues the Bible addresses, what should be considered foundational?
The good editors at the Conditional Immortality Association of New Zealand graciously posted my latest paper as a three-part series on their website. The article is my attempt to show that the Eternal Purpose of God is a valid foundational starting place for interpreting other truths. While the series ends by applying God’s eternal purpose as a lens to interpret last things, I hope you’ll be able to see how the knowledge of God’s eternal purpose provides context through which you can interpret many other ideas, teachings, doctrines, and practices.
Please enjoy, and share them if you find them valuable. I’d love to hear your feedback, whether as comments here or on their website.
Coinciding with the occasion of Edward Fudge’s 70th birthday, a historic theological conference is being inaugurated in Houston, TX on July 11-12, 2014. It’s called the Rethinking Hell Conference, and is organized by the outstanding group of Bible scholars who run the Rethinking Hell website and podcast. If you’re anywhere within driving distance of Houston and have a high regard for the Bible, I wholeheartedly recommend you considering attending this conference.
I wrote the following tribute to Edward for the conference. I’m sharing it here in the hope of exposing you to him and his work, and also to invite you to attend the conference and meet Edward yourself.
A platinum award winner at the 2012 Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival, Hell and Mr. Fudge is the warm, thoughtful, and sometimes humorous story of the trials and tribulations of evangelical scholar Edward Fudge. His groundbreaking work on hell and the hereafter has aroused fierce controversy. He’s either a hero or a heretic, depending on who you ask. Both friend and foe can appreciate the movie’s authentic revelation of his character.
Readers of this site know how important we believe this movie is. If you are interested in Christianity at any level, from skeptic to devoted disciple, this movie is for you. The hell doctrine is almost secondary to the character of Edward and his tenacious spirit. His desire to follow the truth wherever it leads is a value anyone should desire to emulate.
Producers will also attend and will answer questions following the screening.
Edward Fudge shared the following in his latest GracEmail:
MOSES LARD’S FORETELLING — Moses Lard was an influential 19th-century leader within the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement, which is my own faith tradition. In 1879, Lard published a 50-page book titled “Do the Holy Scriptures Teach the Endlessness of Future Punishment?” in which he foretold the future in these words:
“Belief in endless future punishment is destined to wane. With it, moreover, is doomed the present tyrannous orthodox sentiment which denies to dissent freedom of speech. Men dare not now utter aloud their conviction on the subject. But the day is at hand when they will be free. Manly independence will, at last, assert itself; and intolerance will grow gentle. Mark the course of coming events, and remember this foretelling.”
One hundred years later, in 1979, with no knowledge of Lard’s foretelling, I was hired by Australian Robert Brinsmead to thoroughly research the origin and evolution of the doctrine of final punishment through the Bible, intertestamental literature, and through church history. The research project led to my writing The Fire That Consumes, first published in 1982. The year 2011 saw the publication of the revised and enlarged third edition by Cascade Books, a division of Wipf and Stock, with foreword by Richard Bauckham of Cambridge University. The feature film Hell and Mr. Fudge now showing in selected cities across the USA, is based on the “people-story” behind the book The Fire That Consumes.
I know there are many readers of this blog who doubt the validity of the Bible. When we make arguments that are based on the Bible, some readers may find those arguments irrelevant.
In my latest article on the Afterlife site, you’ll see a simple but though-provoking case to challenge you to consider the Bible. If you are skeptical, good! I was with you, and remain a science-minded, logically-thinking student.
Please don’t dismiss the Bible because of hearsay without learning for yourself. If you do, you’re as unscientific as some believe Christians to be!
My latest contribution to Afterlife, the website of the Conditional Immortality Association of New Zealand, has a Christmas flavor to it. It shows that Christmas was only the beginning of the fulfillment of God’s promises. Because of the promises that were realized on the first Advent, we can be confident that God’s future promises are certain to occur! Please read it, share it, and be encouraged!
Afterlife.co.nz is hosting a forum that is open for everyone to discuss the issues related to what happens to people after death. I have recently started three new threads and welcome your participation!
There should be something for everyone, so jump into the conversation and let us know what you think!
If you currently believe the view advocated on this web site, share your story at If You’re A Conditionalist, Why?. The writer of the best story submitted by January 30th, 2013 will receive a free copy of Hell: A Final Word!