The new movie about the stir caused by Edward Fudge’s 1982 publication will be shown in theaters for the first time over the next few weeks, according to a news release from the producers. Fudge was a pastor in a Church of Christ when he wrote The Fire That Consumes which advocates a view like that taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Despite the fact that his father was a well-known publisher of Sunday School materials among the Churches of Christ and Christian Churches, Fudge was fired.
LLT Productions has listed 14 cities where the movie will be shown in rented theaters and stated that more are being arranged. The largest cities in the list include Houston, Texas, where Fudge lives, and two cities in Tennessee (Nashville and Chattanooga) near Athens, Alabama, where he was a pastor at the time of the story. Denver and Oklahoma City are also on the list.
After the church fired Fudge because of his views on hell, he moved to Houston and entered law school at the University of Houston. For more than two decades “I have made a living as an attorney,” Fudge says. He is “of counsel” at the Lanier Law Firm in Houston and continues a ministry of Bible study, writing and speaking appointments. He is still an active member of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS).
Mega church pastor Rob Bell revisited the same issues in a book entitled Love Wins published in 2011, drawing a response from another young Evangelical leader, Francis Chan, in Erasing Hell. The traditional Christian concept that God will miraculously keep sinners alive so that they can be tortured in endless fire continues to be championed by many preachers and writers despite the overwhelming Scriptural evidence against it.
Fudge has recently published another book on the topic. Hell: A Final Word has “a hopeful, good-natured and sometimes playful tone,” states the Web announcement of the volume’s release. “Fudge’s love for the Bible and his devotion to God is evident on every page.” Fudge’s resume lists 22 other books that he has authored or edited over the years. He was enrolled in doctoral studies in St. Louis at the time he was fired from pastoral ministry.
Other cities where the movie about Fudge’s confrontation with the Alabama congregation will be shown, in rented theaters, include Arroyo Grande, California; Bakersfield, California; Blacksburg, Virginia; Columbia, South Carolina; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Hilton Head, South Carolina; Monterey, California; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Vancouver, Washington. The producers said that in each of these locations they have financial support from local individuals and congregations.
“Some websites have listed,” earlier dates, the news release stated. “This spurious information was not authorized” by the producers and the movie “has not yet been released anywhere either in theaters or on DVD” other than “a handful of private screenings.” LLT Productions has asked for help correcting the false information.
The producer has also asked for contacts from individuals and groups that may want to help arrange for a local showing in their community. Interested people should contact Jim Wood by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss possibilities.
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