Rethinking Hell Conference 2014

The Legacy of Edward Fudge & the Future of Conditionalism

Thank you to all those who made the event such a success. Stay tuned for details about the 2015 Rethinking Hell Conference, to be held in June next year at Fuller Theological Seminary or a larger nearby venue in Pasadena, California.


The inaugural Rethinking Hell conference will be held on July 11th-12th, 2014, at the beautiful Lanier Theological Library in Houston, Texas. This will be an historic occasion for the movement of Evangelical Conditionalism (Annihilationism), representing the first national gathering of its kind in the United States.


This year, the theme of the conference is “The Legacy of Edward Fudge & the Future of Conditionalism.” Beginning with the publication of his landmark 1982 book The Fire that Consumes, Edward Fudge has been at the forefront of promoting thoughtful dialogue on the topic of final judgment among evangelicals. At this conference, which takes place on the weekend of his 70th birthday (July 13), we will honor Edward’s life and work in advocating conditionalism through various talks, an interview with Edward, opportunity to share words of blessing, and a screening of the 2012 film based on his life, Hell & Mr. Fudge.  We will also spend time considering the opportunities and challenges facing a new generation of conditionalists, through papers on various topics, strategy sessions, and building relationships and resources for a  conditionalist network of scholars, teachers and laypeople.


Our plenary speakers will be John Stackhouse, Professor of Theology and Culture at Regent College (Vancouver, Canada) and Glenn Andrew Peoples, a popular speaker, writer, and Rethinking Hell scholar from New Zealand with an MTheol and PhD in philosophy from the University of Otago.

An Evangelical Dialogue

This is a conference for all evangelicals, as we work together to promote dialogue in this important area. Some of the conference's papers will be presented in breakout sessions by non-conditionalists.

In our main event, an evening panel will treat conference attendees to a dialogue between all of the major views on final punishment. Joining conditionalists Edward Fudge and Dr. John Stackhouse will be Dr. Shawn Bawulski (Reconciliationism-Traditionalism), Dr. J. Lanier Burns (Traditionalism), and Dr. Thomas Talbott (Universalism).

Dr. Shawn BawulskiDr. J. Lanier BurnsDr. Thomas Talbott

Main Presenters and Panelists

Dr. J. Lanier Burns  

Edward Fudge (Guest of Honor)

Author, Hell: A Final Word (Leafwood, 2012); The Fire That Consumes: A Biblical and Historical Study of the Doctrine of Final Punishment, Third Edition (Cascade, 2011);Hebrews: Ancient Encouragement for Believers Today (Leafwood, 2009).

Co-author, Two Views of Hell: A Biblical & Theological Dialogue (IVP, 2000)

Dr. Shawn Bawulski  

Dr. Shawn Bawulski

Assistant Professor of Theology

LCC International University

B.A., Moody Bible Institute; M.Div., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Ph.D., University of St. Andrews

Author, “Annihilationism, Traditionalism, and the Problem of Hell” (Philosophia Christi, 12:1, 61-79, 2010); “Reconciliationism, a Better View of Hell: Reconciliationism and Eternal Punishment” (JETS, 56:1, 123-38, 2013)

Dr. J. Lanier Burns  

Dr. J. Lanier Burns

Research Professor of Theological Studies, Senior Professor of Systematic Theology

Dallas Theological Seminary

B.A., Davidson College, 1965; Th.M., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1972; Th.D., 1979; Ph.D., University of Texas at Dallas, 1993; Post-doctoral research, Harvard University, Fall 2001; Oxford University Round Table, 2008-2011

Author, Three Central Issues in Contemporary Dispensationalism: A Comparison of Traditional & Progressive Views (Kregel, 1999); The Nearness of God: His Presence with His People (Explorations in Biblical Theology) (P & R, 2009)

Contributor, Exploring Christian Theology: The Church, Spiritual Growth, and the End Times (Bethany House, 2014); To the Jew First: The Case for Jewish Evangelism in Scripture and History (Kregel, 2008)


Dr. Glenn Andrew Peoples

Glenn Peoples runs the popular New Zealand blog Right Reason and podcast Say Hello to My Little Friend. There and elsewhere he writes and speaks on theology and biblical studies, moral and social philosophy, and philosophy of religion.

He completed an undergraduate studies in Theology at the Bible College of New Zealand (now Laidlaw College), followed by an M.Th. and a Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Otago. Dr. Peoples is the author of the article, "Fallacies in the Annihilationism Debate," JETS 50.2 (2007) 349-55.


Dr. John G. Stackhouse, Jr.

Professor of Theology & Culture

Regent College

B.A., Queen's University; M.A., Wheaton College Graduate School; Ph.D., University of Chicago

Author, Making the Best of It: Following Christ in the Real World (Oxford University Press, 2008); Can God Be Trusted? Faith and the Challenge of Evil (IVP, 2008); Humble Apologetics: Defending the Faith Today (Oxford University Press, 2006)

Contributor, Four Views of Hell (Harper/Zondervan, Forthcoming)

Dr. Thomas Talbott  

Dr. Thomas Talbott

Professor Emeritus of Philosophy

Willamette University

B.S., Portland State University; M.Div., Fuller Theological Seminary; M.A. and Ph.D., University of California at Santa Barbara

Author, The Inescapable Love of God (Universal, 1999)

Contributor, All Shall Be Well (Cascade, 2011); The Problem of Hell: A Philosophical Anthology (Ashgate, 2010); Universal Salvation? The Contemporary Debate (Paternoster, 2004)


Papers, Words of Appreciation & Festschrift


PLEASE NOTE: Submissions for papers are closed. However, don't forget that there are other ways to be involved:



1.  Words of Appreciation for Edward Fudge on his 70th Birthday

The weekend of this conference, Edward Fudge will turn 70 years old.  Anyone who has benefited from his work is invited to submit a note of appreciation and congratulation. Whether you can attend the conference or not, this may be an opportunity for you to pay tribute to and thank Edward for his impact on your life. Submissions will be compiled as a collection to be given to Edward at the conference. Selected notes may also periodically appear on-screen at the conference between presentations.  You may email your note for Edward to by June 12, 2014.

2.  Festschrift for Edward Fudge

Select papers delivered at the conference will be collected with their authors’ permission in the form of a festschrift, in honor of the life and work of Edward Fudge, on the occasion of his 70th birthday and the inaugural Rethinking Hell conference. Those authors who would like to contribute to this volume, but who cannot attend and present at the conference, are invited to submit proposals following the instructions above, noting in their submission that the proposal is for the festschrift only.

Deadlines are the same as for conference proposals as explained above.

Proposals will be selected which complement the papers delivered at the conference and which reference or build upon Edward’s work on conditional immortality and the fate of the unsaved.  Note that a publisher has not yet been approached and secured for this volume, therefore a paper’s acceptance for presentation at the conference or inclusion in the festschrift is not a guarantee of publication.

Conference Schedule

Friday, July 11, 2014

6:00 p.m. Registration & Exhibits
7:00 p.m. Welcome & Introduction (Chris Date)
7:15 p.m. Plenary Session #1
“The Legacy of Edward Fudge” (John Stackhouse)
& Audience Questions
8:30 p.m. Personal Remarks to Edward (open mic)
9:00 p.m. Screening of Hell & Mr. Fudge

Saturday, July 12, 2014

9:00 a.m. Rethinking Hell (Peter Grice) & Logos Bible Software presentations
9:30 a.m. Interview with Edward Fudge & Audience Questions
(recorded for Rethinking Hell Podcast)
10:30 a.m. Break / book tables
11:00 a.m. Breakout Session #1
  Roger Harper: “Hades in Revelation”
Douglas Jacoby: “Doctrinal, Biblical, and Psychological Obstacles to Accepting Conditionalism”
Nick Quient: “Paul and the Annihilation of Death”
Rob McRay: “Moses, Jesus, and Fudge: How Edward Fudge (and Biblical Theology) Changed What I Preach about Hell”
12:00 p.m. Lunch (off-site)
1:30 p.m. Breakout Session #2
  Shawn Bawulski: “The Annihilationist's Theological Problem”
Ralph Bowles: “The Offer of Life: Conditionality Immortality in the Practice of Evangelism”
Ronnie Demler: “Persuasive or Evasive? Subtle and Not-So-Subtle Shifts in Traditionalist Dialectics”
Sam Griffith: “Men Have Forgotten God”
2:30 p.m. Breakout Session #3
  David Cramer: “How to Talk about the Afterlife (If You Must): Ten Theses to Guide Debates among Traditionalists, Conditionalists, and Universalists”
Peter Grice: “Tempest Theophany, Cosmic Cataclysm, and the Vanished Vanquished”
Tim Jennings: “The Neuroscience of Belief: How Your View of Hell Impacts Your Brain”
Jim Wood: “Taking Conditionalism to the People: A Documentary from the Producers of Hell & Mr. Fudge
3:30 p.m. Plenary Session #2
“The Future of Conditionalism” (Glenn Peoples)
& Audience Questions
5:00 p.m. Dinner (off-site)
6:30 p.m. Panel Discussion: An Evangelical Dialogue on Hell & Final Punishment
  Shawn Bawulski
J. Lanier Burns
Edward Fudge
John Stackhouse
Thomas Talbott
8:30 p.m. Closing Remarks

Sunday, July 13, 2014

10:15 a.m.

Though not officially part of the Rethinking Hell conference, John Stackhouse will be speaking at Edward Fudge’s church, Bering Drive Church of Christ, at their worship service,
which begins at 10:15am.

 All conference participants are invited to attend.

Pricing Information

Early pre-registration (through February 1, 2014): $50

Regular pre-registration (through July 10, 2014): $60

Registration at the door (July 11-12, 2014): $70

With conference registration, we are also offering a discounted price of $25 for the forthcoming book, Rethinking Hell: Readings in Evangelical Conditionalism, edited by Chris Date, Greg Stump, and Joshua Anderson (for more details about the book, visit this page).

Conference fee includes access to all sessions, exhibits, and designated conference materials. No meals will be provided through the conference, though light refreshments will be available on-site. A map with local restaurants will be provided for all conference participants.

Cancellation policy:

A $20 non-refundable administrative fee will be deducted from any refund due to cancelled registration. Cancellations after June 11, 2014, will only received a 50% refund.


We also invite sponsors to help fund the conference and Rethinking Hell organization, with various perks as a thanks for your donation:

$100 donation = FIRST CIRCLE, with perks that include:

conference registration

various Rethinking Hell swag

reserved seating in chapel for plenary sessions

special thanks in conference program

$200 donation = SECOND CIRCLE, with perks that include:

conference registration

various Rethinking Hell swag

reserved seating in chapel for plenary sessions

special thanks in conference program

a signed copy of Edward Fudge’s The Fire that Consumes —OR— Rethinking Hell: Readings in Evangelical Conditionalism by Chris Date, Greg Stump, and Joshua Anderson

$500 donation = THIRD CIRCLE, with perks that include:

conference registration

various Rethinking Hell swag

reserved seating in the chapel during plenary sessions for you and up to three (3) other guests (individual registration must be purchased for each guest)

special thanks in conference program

signed copies of Edward Fudge's The Fire that Consumes —AND— Rethinking Hell: Readings in Evangelical Conditionalism, edited by Chris Date, Greg Stump, and Joshua Anderson

a special lunch out with Edward & Sara Faye Fudge and Rethinking Hell leadership on Saturday


Practical Information

Email us any time at:

The conference will be held at the Lanier Theological Library in Houston, Texas. When you arrive at the location, you will be directed to the appropriate parking lot.  

Due to summer temperatures, casual dress is recommended for the conference.


The closest airport to the conference venue is George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), which is approximately 30 minutes from the Lanier Theological Library.  

When scheduling return flights, we encourage conference participants to consider staying until Sunday afternoon so that they can attend the morning service at Bering Drive Church of Christ (Edward Fudge’s church), where John Stackhouse will be preaching.


The Library suggests the following hotels for conference participants coming in from out of the area (all rates subject to change and do not include tax):

1. Hilton Garden Inn Houston Northwest

Rates from $99-$189
7979 Willow Chase Blvd
Houston, TX 77070
(832) 912-1000

2. Hampton Inn Houston-Willowbrook Mall

Rates from $94-$149
7645 West FM 1960
Houston, TX 77070
(281) 955-2400

3. Element Houston Vintage Park

Rates from $89-$139 (includes kitchen)
14555 Vintage Preserve Parkway
Houston, TX 77070
(281) 379-7300

Conference Registration

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