Based on a true story, “Hell and Mr. Fudge” is the heartwarming story of a young Bible-belt preacher who is hired to research the subject of Hell, and as he immerses himself his life takes a spin. He finds himself on the outs with church and family, and facing opposition from a long-time foe. As his research takes him deeper, he questions whether God would punish a young friend in the fires of hell for “just wanting to see the world.” While some of his core beliefs about God and judgment are shaken, Edward Fudge emerges as a defender of faith and Scripture and a champion for God’s love.
This movie, based on a true story, is about grace but it is not without controversy regarding Hell. Primarily, the question that Edward Fudge intends to answer is: “Is Hell an eternal punishment or do evil doers simply perish?” Many fundamentalist Christians will not agree with Mr. Fudge’s conclusion.
Mackenzie Astin turns in a fine performance as the compassionate preacher who focuses on God’s grace for everyone. Soon he is searching the scriptures to determine whether the soul is immortal or not. He concludes that those who go to hell will finally perish and not exist in conscious eternal suffering. However, this idea of the soul being immortal for believers, but not for the unbeliever is not accepted by most churches past or present.
There are some nice qualities, including the emphasis on grace for “whosoever will”, and the viewer is left with some evidence and the expectation that they will make up their own mind on the topic of eternal suffering for non-believers. We award this interesting yet controversial film our Dove “Faith Friendly” Seal for ages 12 and over.