What If Universalism Is Wrong?

But what if I am wrong in thinking that God will save everyone?  I said right at the start that I am a hopeful dogmatic universalist.  That is to say that, although, according to my theological system, God will save all people, I am not 100% certain that my system is correct.  So what if I am wrong?  Well, if I am wrong, then I will have inspired some false hope in the hearts of some people; but I do not think that I will have done any serious damage.  I have not produced a theology with a diminished view of God nor one that will lead people not to worship God.  I have not sidestepped the centrality of God’s work in Christ, so the cross and resurrection remain at the heart of the gospel.  I have not reduced the importance of faith in Christ nor the missionary calling of the church.  I have not undermined the authority of the Bible.  I have not “gone soft” on God’s wrath nor got rid of hell.  I have not tinkered with any key doctrines of orthodox Christianity.  If I am wrong, then anyone who mistakenly comes to think that I am right will love and worship the triune God, study and follow the Scriptures, proclaim Christ to the lost, and seek to walk in holiness, just like any non-universalist evangelical.  Hopefully, neither they nor those around them will be adversely harmed by their mistaken universalist beliefs.  I have made a provisional case for accepting universalism, but in the end one must make a wager and take a position.  Here I stand, and I can do no other.  I realize that most of my Christian family do not stand with me in the extent of my hope for the future, and I certainlly do not think that true Christian faith requires agreement with my views!  Belief in universalism is most certainly not a requirement for Christian orthodoxy, but neither does it amount to an exclusion from orthodoxy even if it is wrong.  I hope that this book may persuade some at least to tolerate evangelical universalism as a legitimate Christian position — a view that is true to the message of the gospel — even if they themselves feel unable to accept it.

— Gregory MacDonald, The Evangelical Universalist, p. 176

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