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Evangelical Universalism

Evangelical Universalism asserts that all of mankind will eventually be saved through Jesus Christ whether or not a faith in Christ is ever professed here on earth. In this sense it is a form of Universalism that still claims the exclusivity of Christ as the means of salvation as opposed to other forms of pluralism.  The claim is that God’s love, grace, and sovereignty all require the eventual salvation of everyone.  For if God wishes all to be saved and has unlimited love, grace, and sovereignty nothing can deny this wish.  In this theological framework salvation is from sin, but not from Hell.

Within this broad umbrella there are a couple of views about the existence of Hell

  1. Universalism with Hell – Hell (or someplace similar) is a means of saving those who have not already professed faith.  It is a place sinners are reformed before their ultimate salvation.  Hell is corrective not punitive.
  2. Universalism without Hell – Hell does not exist.

The Big Questions asked by Evangelical Universalists

  1. Can a God who is truly loving really send any of God’s children to Hell?
  2. Isn’t God’s judgment therapeutic/redemptive not punitive?
  3. If it is a sovereign God’s desire for everyone to be saved, then how can anything stop that from happening?
  4. How can there be a final victory for God if some are lost forever? (Doesn’t God then in some senses lose?)
  5. How can heaven be “heavenly’ if loved ones are being tortured elsewhere?
  6. What about those who have never heard?  Is it just for them to be punished eternally?
  7. Aren’t there some scriptures that indicate the everyone will be saved?
  8. Does anyone really believe millions are presently going to hell for eternity to burn forever? (How can you think about, worry about anything else?)

Here are some scriptures that are often pointed to in the argument for Evangelical Universalism

  1. Lamentations 3:31 -33
  2. Romans 11:32
  3. 1 Timothy 2:4-6
  4. II Peter 3:9
  5. II Corinthians 5:14
  6. Titus 2:11
  7. Hebrews 2:9
  8. I John 2:2
  9. I Corinthians 15:22; 23-28
  10. II Corinthians 5:19
  11. Colossians 1:19-20
  12. Romans 8:19-21
  13. Ephesians 1:10, 20-23
  14. Romans 5:18
  15. Phil 2:9-11
  16. John 1:29; 3:17; 12:32, 47

Possible resources for future Study

  1. Edward William Fudge & Robert A. Peterson Two Views On Hell
  2. Crockett, Gundry, Walvoord, Hayes, Pinnock Four Views on Hell
  3. Gregory McDonald  The Evangelical Universalist
  4. Thomas Talbott The Inescapable Love of God
  5. the website evangelicaluniversalist.com
  6. or the site biblicaluniversalism.org
  7. You can also investigate all the link in the category “Pro-Evangelistic Universalism” listed in the column to your right
 

One response to “Evangelical Universalism

  1. Minda Anthony

    March 21, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    I can’t see any comments yet, so if someone else has voiced this sentiment already.. sorry for my repeating the thought:

    I was in a study once with a former pastor, and at the end of his explanation of Evangelical Universalism he posed the questions below. It made me think, and I hope it will do the same for anyone reading here.

    If in the end, God chooses to save all from Hell– if the fires are quenched and eternal life is given to all God’s beloved beings– why would this bother us? Do we have hearts that long for forgiveness, or is it too much for us to think of God loving Hitler? What does this say about our understanding of God?

    I am not certain of where I stand on all this Hell talk. I am certain only of its mystery.

     

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