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Two Views of Hell: A Biblical & Theological Dialogue (Spectrum) Paperback – May 10, 2000
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Fudge and Peterson . . . have produced a clear and readable account of the biblical grounds for their positions. Fudge's interpretations of the scriptural data is plausible as is Peterson's and neither can dismiss the other by claiming that Scripture clearly supports their view. This book serves well the purpose of laying out the exegetical grounds for both sides." (Philosophia Christi)
"A very worthwhile book, especially since it gives both sides of the argument. This gives the book a fairness that should be appreciated." (Reformed Review)
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Top Customer Reviews
I have noticed strengths and weaknesses in both men's arguments. For anyone interested, here is what I thought:
Let's start with a look at Fudge.
Fudge's Conditionalist sections are very typical to others of his view. He gives a sort of a chronological walk through what seems to be a million scripture references, including developments that occurred between testaments, and post-apostolic developments. I'm not sure if the conditionalist/annihilationist positions have a flawless or logically consistent case to be made from the Bible, but their stance is far from anti-intellectual (as claimed by another reviewer).
Fudge's strategy seems to be to overwhelm the reader with a ton of scripture. Although he does thoughtfully arrive at many salient points, he is less effective at expressing the overall the big picture of his argument with consistent clarity. Fudge, as far as I remember, never quotes Peterson's published works on Hell in his arguments but usually just gives arguments against common traditionalist beliefs in general, which sort of feels like a straw man tactic.
A more significant error is his use of scriptures that speak of destruction of sinners but not necessarily in the context of "Final Judgment." These references are important for understanding the portrayal of Final Judgment in the text, but Fudge makes little effort to point out the difference or explain them in their proper context. He simply throws them in the same pile as the more relevant scripture.Read more ›
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.
Overall, neither one gives a great in-depth argument. Now, when you only have less than 100 pages each, you can only write so much. Just don't think that you can read this book and be ready to make up your mind.
I think overall, Fudge makes a better argument, though I will admit, it is not so strong that if I were still a traditionalist when I read it, it would change my mind. Basically, to get a full picture of Fudge's argument, you need to bite the bullet and read The Fire That Consumes. Most of the arguments in The Fire That Consumes (TFTC) are in this book, which I think was actually a mistake. As many have pointed out, you feel bombarded when reading this book. More importantly, a lot of Fudge's arguments in TFTC are qualified. He never argues that the OT explicitly teaches eternal annihilation, only that the picture of punishment is always death, destruction, etc, so when seeing the same figures and images in the NT, we shouldn't assume eternal torment is what is being talked about. That isn't so clear here, which gives opponents an opportunity (one that Peterson uses) to say that Fudge misapplies scripture from the OT that don't directly speak of eternity. Fudge isn't able to go as in-depth as in TFTC, which leaves the reader with the idea that Fudge's arguments are at times superficial, but they really aren't.
Lastly, each author has a chance to respond to the other, and Fudge could have done a much better job of explaining how Peterson at times simply missed the point of what Fudge was saying.Read more ›
However, up next is Robert Peterson writing for the traditional view. Peterson first critiques Fudge's viewpoint (and Fudge does so after Peterson's position is stated) and Proverbs 18:17 comes alive before your very eyes. Peterson shoots down Fudge's arguments for the conditional view one by one and he does so with grace.
Peterson then builds his case for the traditional view. He builds his case from many of the very same passages that Fudge argued from yet he shows the strength of the word "eternal punishment" and what that entails. He also does a good job of building a case against "soul sleep" and that humans are immortal in spirit. Fudge then critiques Peterson.
Overall this is a good read. It allows both sides to fairly state their cases and gives them ample amount of time to build, defend, and then critique the other position. Both Fudge and Peterson are good writes and know their stuff. I will allow the reader to decide who wins the debate. But I do want to make one point, both writers reject universalism so be mindful of this.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My wife got me this book as a Christmas gift just going through my Amazon wish list I suppose. (And God have mercy on her since I have two just for books and one of them is... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Nick Peters
This book gives a clear understanding of the debate between conditionalism (annihilationism) and traditionalism (eternal damnation). Read morePublished 14 months ago by James M
I am so very impressed with the extensive work of Edward Fudge. His willingness to invest as much of his life to find out what the Bible teaches on the subject of hell and to... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Morris Little
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints (1Cor 14:33). Read morePublished on January 25, 2014 by Bob
"Two Views of Hell" is a fascinating dialog of two theologians arguing from two different perspectives of the nature and duration of hell punishment. Read morePublished on August 8, 2013 by Amazon Customer
I just finished reading "Two Views of Hell: A Biblical & Theological Dialogue" after I had read "The Fire That Consumes" by Edward Fudge, and listened to Mr. Read morePublished on November 9, 2011 by Rod Keen
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... Read morePublished on October 25, 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. Read morePublished on March 13, 2002