by AT News Team
Hell and Mr. Fudge is a feature drama about a young pastor in a small town in Alabama, the son of an Evangelical publisher, who wrote a book advocating the Seventh-day Adventist position on hell. It kicked up a storm among Evangelicals and got the pastor fired.
It is based on a true story. Edward Fudge is today an attorney in Houston and well-known as a speaker on Bible topics. Robert Brinsmead got him started on research to support the traditional Christian view that hell is a place where the lost burn forever, miraculously kept alive by God so He can torture them endlessly, according to Religion New Service (RNS).
In 1982 Fudge published his 500-page volume The Fire that Consumes: A Biblical and Historical Study of the Doctrine of Final Punishment which presents the results of his in-depth study. He told RNS that when he started the study he expected to find strong support in Scripture and historic Christian documents but was convinced otherwise. The book is now in its third edition.
In many ways Fudge’s story is parallel to that of Rob Bell, the pastor of an Evangelical mega church in Michigan who was on the cover of Time magazine last year because of the reaction to his book Love Wins in which he too adopts the Adventist view on hell. Conservative Evangelical leaders spoke out against Bell and his book.
Fudge and Bell point out that the Bible clearly teaches that the “lake of fire” is an act of annihilation, not a place of endless torment. They both make the point that the traditional view misconstrues God’s character and is a stumbling block to nonbelievers. All of these are points that Adventists have advocated and RNS says “is now fairly widely accepted by leading evangelical preachers and Christian scholars.”
The movie won a Platinum Award at the Houston Film Festival and the production company is looking for a distributor. It was created by LLT Productions of Angwin, California, head by Pat Arrabito, a member of the Adventist Church. The company previously produced a documentary series on the history of the Sabbath with Hal Holbrook as the narrator.