Thursday, December 31, 2009

Evangelical Universalism- some current resources

For anyone interested, the notion that God will ultimately save all humanity from hell has been cropping up in the blogosphere lately.

There is much about this idea which I find makes sense, and yet I am still working out some of the ramifications and trying to form a full opinion of my own. The main questions that I have are how a theory of universalism deals with hell. It is pretty clear that the bible speaks of hell as a reality, and this must be accounted for. It does seem that the major proponents of an evangelical universalism do affirm a belief in the reality of hell, but that they do not consider it to be the final destiny of the ‘unsaved’ since eventually god will save everybody without coercion.

Here are some links to some of the current discussions I have been following, as well as some resources that are a little older.

Most notably, right now Scott McKnight has been blogging through George MacDonald's (AKA Robin Parry) book The Evangelical Universalist over at his blog Jesus Creed. He has merely been explaining Parry's views, without much commentary yet. Here is what he has posted so far on the subject:

Let's Get "Universalism" Straight

Theological Defenses of Hell: Calvinism

Theological Defenses of Hell: Freewill theism

The Bible and Universalism

Universal Redemption and the Cosmos

The Old Testament and Universalism

The New Testament and Universalism

Richard Beck, of Experimental Theology, has been sharing his own thoughts on universalism as well. Two posts in particular have caught my eye:



As for some older resources, I have found the actual site of Robin Parry/George MacDonald to be interesting, especially some of the earliest posts in the archives which deal with evangelical objections to universalism.

Also, at The Fire and the Rose, David Congdon has a very thorough (yet sadly unfinished) series of posts which can all be found here.

There are a few other resources I may add here when I get a chance to find them all again. I do admit here that I lean very favorably on what I have read here and elsewhere advocating for a belief in universalism. Ultimately however I have two points.

1. Whether or not it is the best way of understanding the biblical data, I do believe that we must at the very least hope in the idea that God wants to and will eventually save all of humanity.

2. There is no issue that I feel is so concrete in my thinking that I am not willing to be proven wrong when the truth if fully revealed to us in Christ. When talking about what happens after we die, this is even more true because we just don’t know until it happens. We can make educated guesses, and have some faith that they are pointing in the right direction, but we must accept that we don't have the full picture yet.


Keith DeRose said...

For some slightly less current resources... Congdon listed many sites here:

rheimbro said...

Oh great, thanks!