There Are Never Enough Books About Hell

Some readers may be interested in reading a lengthy interview with author, Edward Fudge, at

With my limited interest in hell, I find it incredible someone like Fudge could have spent his life studying it. Apparently, there are numerous other people who have spent their careers studying it as well.

That someone like Fudge would make to leap to believe (A.) the Bible was written as a result of some kind of devine intervention and (B.) the concepts discussed in it, such as hell, are real places, is not within my ability to comprehend.  A more useful career would have been to study the social and political forces that gave rise to such mythology.

Fudge claims that his first book, published in 1984, has become the definitive work on hell.  He says there are three views of hell: Traditionalist, hell is a fire that torments forever.  Universalist,  hell is a fire that purifies and refines.  Conditionalist,  Hell is a fire that consumes.  He is a conditionalist.

According to Fudge, his book was the focus of 17 other books written by traditionalists.  So, to bring order to the arguments, he has published yet another book which addresses the arguments of the 17 opposing books. In the hell industry, we can add Rob Bell’s best selling book which has much discussion of hell as well.

There seems to be an almost unlimited demand for hell products. Because of this, the hell industry in going through the roof. 

But, that’s just a figure of speech.  Due to hell’s location, it’s actually going through the floor.

12 Responses

  1. Wanna B Sure

    Jon; Re. your “due to hell’s location, it’s actually going through the floor.” Just to throw another log into the “fire”, I didn’t see his article mention the proposal that “Hell is a place, not a location”. I haven’t read his book, but if it is as through as he propounds it to be, one would think it would contain it. If one died on Mars, would hell be in the center of that planet? I would say no. If one died on this Earth, would hell be in the center? I would say no. Although many people believe it is. Much of what people believe hell to be is understood/taken from Dante’s book The Devine Comedy/Inferno, (an allegory of the corruption of power in society, and especially the powers/leadership of the Catholic Church of the time. It was not a study of hell, but that which it contained created almost all the mis/dis information to this very day, thanks to the likes of Cotton Mather, (of Pilgrim fame), and Johnathan Edwards,(a severe Calvanist).

    1. Wanna 2:01 That’s a helpful explanation of the origin of the notion that hell is located below. It really does not make sense. I’ve always wondered, as well, why is it that heaven is located above? I’ve alway thought the American native view that the “spirit” is located in the ground and gives us the food we need made more sense than the “above” idea.

      1. Wanna B Sure

        … as the smoke rises from the peace pipe.
        I suppose that up is positive, and down is negative? Without that charts and graphs would be meaningless.

      2. Wanna B Sure

        Jon; Just reviewed the Native American view. It appears that you had part of it. Mother Earth–Father Sky.

  2. entech

    Of all the ideas about the location of Hell I like the Gnostic thought the best. Hell is here and now, it is not surprising that these thoughts were rejected by the early church, no place for punishment and you could find your relationship with God without the Church.

    1. Wanna B Sure

      Some definitions of “Church”; Macro/micro,–visible/invisible,–spiritual/physical,–building/people,– monarchy (dictatorship)/concord (communal),–“Wherever two or more are gathered in My name”.
      Not an argument; rather, just things to consider when using “church”.

      1. entech

        That is why the uppercase ‘C’, I notice you didn’t pick up on ‘G’ I have often wanted elucidation on that one.
        When speaking of a building it is usually lower case and could be almost meeting place, you left out synagogue, mosque, chapel, temple and so on (actually does coven refer to the place or the people?).
        Upper case C usually refers to the organisation or congregation, such as The Church of England, The Church of Scotland etc.
        It can also be used as a verb, but you know all that and, like me, you like a little diversion.
        What I wanted to say, without being accused of speaking against any particular Church: the Church of Rome in its infancy had a strong vested interest in trying to eliminate any one that would detract from their claim to be the one and only true path. This includes Adoptionists, Docetists and others that questioned the nature of Jesus, but especially Marcionites and Gnostics who questioned the nature of God.

        1. Wanna B Sure

          Oh sure. A lot of people confuse the mesenger from the message. Or is it Message?
          A cowboy in western Wyoming would say “There’s a lion up there on the ridge.” A Bushman in Africa would say “There’s a lion beyond that brush line”. Not the same kind of lion. You and I may (with the exception of typos) may understand, but there are many who care not to discern the difference. Sometimes I think on purpose.

          1. entech

            Forgive me, once more failed to resist temptation and fallen into pun.
            In your 12:49 did your last sentence infer that some people may be deliberately lion.

  3. Dan


    If you don’t like reading about Hell, then don’t. I commend any author that finds a subject to write about that sells. My wife likes to read romance novels. I like reading about politics and the economy. My two young boys like reading Spongebob Square pants books. I sometimes read your blog as well as many other blogs. I choose not to ridicule an author for the subject matter that they write about. I may question their material from time to time but I don’t obsess over it. I just pick up a different book and start reading.

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