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Two Views of Hell: A Biblical & Theological Dialogue (Spectrum) [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   228
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.25"
Weight:   0.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2000
Publisher   IVP Books
ISBN  0830822550  
EAN  9780830822553  


Availability  0 units.


Item Description...
Overview
"Hell" is a much-debated topic among evangelicals. Will the condemned experience perpetual, conscious torture; or will theirs be a limited suffering followed by an end to their existence? Theologians Peterson and Fudge debate these traditional/conditionalist perspectives, each making a case that his viewpoint is more consistent with Scripture and God's nature. Includes rebuttals.

Publishers Description
Hell is real and terrible. It is the fate of those who reject God. Evangelicals agree about this unhappy truth. Yet on some questions about hell disagreements arise.Some evangelicals believe the wicked will experience perpetual, conscious torment after death. Others argue that the wicked will experience a limited period of conscious punishment and then they will cease to exist.In this book you will find an irenic yet frank debate between two evangelical theologians who present strong scriptural and theological evidence for and against each view. Both make a case that their view is more consistent with Scripture and with the holy and just nature of a loving God.Robert Peterson defends the traditional view that those who do not have faith in Christ will suffer eternally in hell. Edward Fudge advocates the conditionalist perspective that after a period of suffering, the unfaithful will experience a complete extinguishing, or annihilation, of existence. In addition, each author presents a rebuttal to the viewpoint of the other.Here is a dialogue that will inform and challenge those on both sides, while impressing on all the need for faithful proclamation of the gospel of deliverance from sin and death.

Buy Two Views of Hell: A Biblical & Theological Dialogue (Spectrum) by Edward W. Fudge & Robert A. Peterson from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780830822553 & 0830822550

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More About Edward W. Fudge & Robert A. Peterson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Edward Fudge is a theologian and practicing lawyer based in Texas. He is the author of The Fire That Consumes: A Biblical and Historical Study of the Doctrine of Final Punishment (barnesandnoble.com).

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
It won't please everyone, but it's very good  Sep 26, 2006
As one would expect from a debate of this public nature, the two authors are not trying to persuade one another, they are trying to persuade the reader. I am biased, since I was already a conditionalist when I read the book. I will say, however, that I think Fudge's case is considerably better, even if not perfect.

Peterson at times quite outrageously misrepresents the conditionalist view. For example at one point he suggests - without evidence - that a conditionalist will deny an orthodox Christology by teaching that the natures of Christ separated at the cross, when no coniditionalist says any such thing. He entirely misses the point about hermeneutical method when it comes to his crucial text of Revelation 20:10. Peterson also dismisses the vast number of biblical texts that speak of the destruction of the lost by committing the fallacy of the "illegitimate totality transfer," that is, trying to import all the possible meanings of words for destruction in order to avoid the meaning suggested by context on multiple occasions, predominantly in the Gospels. In the case of 2 Thess 1:9 Peterson makes an argument that stands or falls entirely on his use of the NIV, even though Fudge had already pointed out to him that the greek literally said something quite different (I still can't believe that - insisting on an NIV only reading!). Peterson also has the audacity to start out by childishly telling the reader that Fudge's book gave his students toothaches, and when he exposed Fudge's sneaky tactics in class, their toothaches gave way to moral outrage! Examples could be multiplied, but Peterson's case will not wash.

Fudge's biggest weakness, in my view, was that he was too much of a gentleman. He simply did not take Peterson to task for the plethora of fallacies and mistakes found in his arguments. But when it comes to the biblical case presented, one thing stood out immediately and obviously. While Peterson had consumed page after page pointing out that his view was more popular and appealing to this big name and that big name, Fudge's position, from start to finish, was built on the exegesis of Scripture. THAT much, I think any reader must concede, and I found it telling. Truth be told, Peterson would have struggled to find any further biblical material to put in his essay, and his drawn out comments about history seem to be padding his work to obscure this fact. One gets the clear impression that Fudge could have written a much larger volume with the amount of biblical material in his favour. In fact, he has.
 
Why not let "two" become "one"?  Oct 26, 2002
Both present thorough and powerful biblical and non-biblical cases for their positions. This is the best book on Hell I've seen out there, although I find Crockett's view in Zondervan's "Four Views" book to be also quite powerful.

Both sides, I believe, prove their views to be biblically founded. However, I don't understand why the two have to be "contradictory." The Annihilationists cling to their belief that there is obvious destruction of the wicked, and insist to take these passages of destruction literally...but they are forced to blur passages (though they may be few) that obviously refer to the eternality of the punishment. Traditionalists take the eternality of the punishment literally, but choose to skew the most obvious interpretation of destruction metaphor. If you look at the scriptures (as these gentlemen have pointed out) there is convincing evidence for both... so is there not a possibility for a third option, a kind of synthesis of the views? I have found, most definately, YES!

There are two authors that I know of that come close to my own interpretation of Hell: C.S. Lewis and Greg Boyd. Lewis, in The Problem of Pain, identifies Hell as being described in the bible to be (1) destruction, (2) privation, and (3) eternal in duration. He suggests that what remains in Hell for eternity is not a human, but the remains of a destroyed human ("conscious ashes", if you will). Boyd sticks to these same general ideas of Lewis but goes further to exegetically display why their needs to be a kind of synthesis of Annihilationism and Traditionalism, and then philosophically he proves how a "third way" could be feasible.

I am currently doing some more research on Hell, but have come to agree more with Lewis and Boyd. In fact, there is a whole realm of exegetical and philosophical evidence for the "third way" that neither Boyd nor Lewis touches on. Let me know if you are interested in my research.

 
Unbalanced Presentation  Mar 14, 2002
I have been a Traditionalist for a long time, and never gave much consideration to the Conditionalist view. But Fudge has opened me up to the possibility that he is correct.

In the first part of the book each author is given space to present his view. Fudge does a good job I think, while Peterson uses his space to beat up on Fudge. Peterson uses "classroom" humor to ridicule Fudge and his position. I find that unprofessional. I would of liked to see Peterson stick to a presentation of the Traditional view in his opening statement so I could better judge it on its own merit apart from other views.

I intend to read each author's dedicated volume on this subject: Fudge - "The Fire That Consumes," and Peterson - "Hell on Trial." I would like to see them rewrite the above book and stick strictly to the plan. That would be fairer to Peterson and Fudge both, and would serve to ther reader what he expected and paid for.

 
Unbalanced Presentation  Mar 13, 2002
I have been a Traditionalist for a long time, and never gave much consideration to the Conditionalist view. But Fudge has opened me up to the possibility that he is correct.

In the first part of the book each author is given space to present his view. Fudge does a good job I think, while Peterson uses his space to beat up on Fudge. Peterson uses "classroom" humor to ridicule Fudge and his position. I find that unprofessional. I would of liked to see Peterson stick to a presentation of the Traditional view in his opening statement so I could better judge it on its own merit apart from other views.

I intend to read each author's dedicated volume on this subject: Fudge - "The Fire That Consumes," and Peterson - "Hell on Trial." I would like to see them rewrite the above book and stick strictly to the plan. That would be fairer to Peterson and Fudge both, and would serve to ther reader what he expected and paid for.

 
A seminary student is not convinved  Mar 5, 2002
After reading this book (and some of the reviews found here) I am convinced that conditionalists and traditionalists are not arguing to each other, they are arguing at each other. While admittedly I am pretty solidly on the traditionalist side, I would like to think that I came to this debate with as open a mind as was possible. That said, I have a few pointsthat I would like to make.
First off, Peterson makes a strong case that falls on deaf ears because of certain style differences that many readers (especially from the conditionalist camp) don't seem to understand. Peterson tries to be thorough in his exposition of the passages used, which by necessity limits him in the number of passages he can use. This opens him up to the "attack" that he is picking and choosing the only verses that allow for his view of Hell. This attack is unfair, since he openly admits that in order to be thorough he must limit himself. And to be honest, he is right in saying that he would need a lot more room to be thorough on every passage that applies, so yes, he did choose the best 10 passages, but from hundreds that agree with him.
Fudge does just the opposite. He uses as many passages as he can find, sometimes erroneously, while never delving into any one of them to any degree of depth. He seems to think that lack of substance can be made up for by quantity. And in all fairness, there are several passages he uses that, when taken out of context and with certain pre-suppositions, could leave room to interpret as being conditionalist.
However, when you cut through all the chaff, Fudge's argument boils down to 2 main points:
1. Immortality of the soul is a Greek idea in origin, and since the Bible is better than philosophy, must be rejected
2. Death and destruction language in the OT refers to removal from this earth, and so any time death and destruction is mentioned (in the NT), it must be the same concept.
Everything else is an emotional plea (made often with inflammatory language) to reject God as the "eternal torturer."
With his first point, Fudge seems to confuse agreement with Greek philosophy and dependence on said philosophy. And with the second point, he makes no concession to lexical range for words, and uses totally unrelated passages to "prove" his point.
All in all, I would say (out of my bias) Peterson makes a stronger argument, and does make a good point that it is up to the Conditionalist to assume the burden of proof that he or she has been avoiding throughout this debate.
 

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