Archive for the ‘Universalism’ Category

No Limit

Friday, February 9th, 2018

I find it quite interesting that many of those who are most vocal about endless punishment have no difficulty believing that God can forgive the worst sins right up to the point of someone’s physical death. They simply don’t believe that God’s love and forgiveness continue into the ages to come. Instead, they believe God places a limit on His grace. But God’s grace is far greater than mankind’s sin. In fact, the Apostle Paul tells us, ” . . . where sin increased, grace increased all the more.”

— George W. Sarris, Heaven’s Doors, p. 152-153

A Historical Belief

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

It is a historical fact that there have been orthodox Christian leaders and thinkers from the beginning of the church who have embraced, if not an outright belief in universal salvation through Christ, at least a strong hope in this grand and beautiful story that God is writing.

— Heath Bradley, Flames of Love, p. 12

It’s Not There

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

The religious conservatives in Jesus’ day clearly believed in endless punishment. However, the words and phrases that both Josephus and Philo used to describe what the Pharisees and other groups at the time believed with regard to the fate of the wicked, are never found in the New Testament in connection with punishment.

Neither Jesus nor any of the other New Testament writers used the Greek terms translated as everlasting prison, eternal punishment, never-ceasing punishments, immortal punishment after death, and undying and never ending death.

Later, we’ll look specifically at what Jesus actually said about after-death punishment to show that the adjective He used really meant limited duration. And the noun denoted suffering resulting in correction.

— George W. Sarris, Heaven’s Doors: Wider Than You Ever Believed!, p. 33-34

Universal

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

While sin is universal, and sorrow and pain universal, shall not our hope be universal too? Shall not life be as universal as death, and salvation as universal as sin? Can we even think of a divine life and a divine love as other than in their very essence universal?

— Thomas Allin, Christ Triumphant, p. 14

The Eternally Consenting Bridegroom

Saturday, January 13th, 2018

Because God, by nature, is the eternally consenting Bridegroom, there are two things he cannot and will not do:

He will not ever make you marry his Son, because an irresistible grace would violate your consent. Your part will always and forever be by consent.

His consent will never end, because a violent ultimatum would violate your consent. Divine love will always and forever be by consent. Emphasis on forever. “His mercy endures forever” (Psalm 136). “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness” (Jer. 31:3).

I don’t believe the divine courtship involves wearing you down with his love until you give up. It’s simply that he’ll always love you, with a love that even outlasts and overcomes death (Song of Solomon 8). The Bible at least hints (Rev. 21-22) that the prodigal Father will wait for you, invite you and keep the doors open for you until you’re ready to come home. He’ll wait for you forever.”

— Bradley Jersak, A More Christlike God, p. 126-127.

Every Child of Adam’s Race

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

We have ample warrant — alike from reason, from the observed facts and analogies of human life, from our best and truest moral instincts, from a great body of primitive teaching, and from Holy Scripture itself — to entertain a firm hope that God our Father’s design and purpose is, and has ever been, to save every child of Adam’s race.

— Thomas Allin, Christ Triumphant: Universalism Asserted as the Hope of the Gospel on the Authority of Reason, the Fathers, and Holy Scripture, p. 13

Plain Statements of Scripture

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

The following pages are written under the pressure of a deep conviction that the views generally held as to the future punishment of the ungodly wholly fail to satisfy the plain statements of Holy Scripture. All forms of partial salvation are but so many different ways of saying that evil is in the long run too strong for God. The popular creed has maintained itself on a scriptural basis solely, I believe, by hardening into dogma mere figures of oriental imagery; by mistranslations and misconceptions of the sense of the original (to which our Authorized Version largely contributes); and finally, by completely ignoring a vast body of evidence in favour of the salvation of all men, furnished, as will be shown, by very numerous passages of the New Testament, no less than by the great principles that pervade the teaching of all revelation.

— Thomas Allin, Christ Triumphant: Universalism Asserted as the Hope of the Gospel on the Authority of Reason, the Fathers, and Holy Scripture, p. 3

Biblical Interpretation

Monday, September 18th, 2017

All this is to say that if you find yourself agreeing with my interpretations, don’t assume traditionalists are thick-headed or hard-hearted for not seeing what we see. On the other hand, if you find yourself disagreeing with my interpretations, don’t assume that your viewpoint is unquestionably the “real biblical position.” Christians have been reading the same Bible and holding greatly different beliefs for over two thousand years now. Awareness of this historical fact alone should make us quick to listen to others, and slow to assume our position is the obviously right one. It should also give us pause before accusing someone of denying biblical authority just because they question the legitimacy of our interpretations. In other words, in questioning hell we are not throwing away the biblical puzzle pieces we do not like, we are simply questioning if the picture on the lid that we have received from the dominant tradition actually gives us the best way to put all the pieces together. Perhaps there is a better picture that can make room for more of the pieces to fit together better. At this point we need to acknowledge that people who disagree with our own biblical interpretations are not necessarily denying the Bible, but simply questioning the lenses through which we currently see the Bible.

— Heath Bradley, Flames of Love, p. 5

Good News!

Monday, August 7th, 2017

If the message that Jesus came to bring is that most people will actually spend an eternity experiencing the most horrible torment conceivable, well, to be honest, I can think of much better news than that! That theological vision does not strike me as good news at all. It certainly does not set my heart on fire with a joyous desire to share this news with as many people as I can. In fact, when I thought that this view of things was indispensable for Christianity, it made me feel anxious to think about and embarrassed to talk about. God, it seemed to me, had a dark side underneath the veneer of grace and goodness, contrary to how John summed up the meaning of Jesus’s message that “God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).

There is, however, a theological vision that does strike me as good news, indeed as the best news possible for the world. It is a vision that fills my heart and soul with grateful awe and joyful excitement. It is a vision that I believe is Christ-centered, biblically-grounded, spiritually-compelling, and life-inspiring. In this book, we are concerned with understanding and evaluating a specific Christian vision of God and God’s relationship to humanity known as Christian universalism. Although this view will be fleshed out throughout the book, we can define it initially and simply as the belief that ultimately every person will be saved through Christ.

— Heath Bradley, Flames of Love, p. 2

God Gets the Last Word.

Sunday, July 2nd, 2017

I believe hell is very real, yet I also believe that a God who is love is also real, and that this God gets the last word.

— Heath Bradley, Flames of Love, p. 1