Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Love Wins

I've posted before about universalism... and I clearly believe it is the only reasonable option. I've been interested to see the topic being raised in evangelical circles lately. I think they struggle too hard against it, but more and more, especially younger evangelicals, seem to be embracing the idea.

Here's a video promo for a new book by Rob Bell

LOVE WINS. from Rob Bell on Vimeo.

If you want to think a bit more theologcally about the subject, check out this excellent short post from Richard Beck on his blog. In a comment on that post, Tyler Priest remarks that at a conference he had attended, Jurgen Moltmann was asked if he was a universalist, Moltmann replied, "No no, there are some people I've met that I do not wish to meet again. But God, now God might be a universalist."


roy said...

Richard Beck has more recent posts on universalism... do check out his blog as it is a good read.

Chad Zaucha said...

Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV)
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. [14] But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Matthew 25:41 (NIV)
"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

Jesus talked a lot about judgment for there not to be any.

What does the Flood tell us about the judgment of God, as well as salvation?

roy said...

Hey Chad, it's been a long time... I hope you're well.
Did you read Richard Beck's post that I linked in the op? I think it is a very good summary.
OK...MT 25. Isn't that passage a parable? And if so, you can't necessarily carry the details over. And if you do, isn't it problematic? It clearly bases punishment/reward on works and nowhere does it mention one's faith. Indeed, those who are classified as sheep don't see Jesus as present with them any more than the goats.
Likewise, MT 7:13-14 seems to be talking about a works based righteousness - look at vs. 12 and the verses following.
As for the flood, it is also clearly works based.
Are these the passages upon which you base your soteriology? If so, what do they say about grace? About love? About the possibility of salvation if it is based on your or my works?
And if salvation is a gift of God's grace, how is it that you can do anything to either thwart it or enable it?

Chad Zaucha said...

Hey, Roy. It has indeed been a while. But I do lurk here pretty often. We should connect soon.

I too believe that salvation is a gift of God's grace. But I also believe that the Bible teaches this gift to be received by faith. John 316 for example states that it is those who believe who shall not perish but have eternal life. Works are important not as the means of salvation but as the evidence of faith. Universalism provides an incomplete picture of God by emphasizing his love while neglecting his justice and his Holiness.

Michael Mahoney said...

Universalism is a dangerous theology. The post you referred to uses a lot of big words to obfuscate the fact that the doctrine itself is quite unbiblical.

Besides the passage mentioned above (which yes, is a parable, but what does it teach us?) how about Mark 3:28-29? That's not a parable, but an out-and-out statement.

More importantly, Universalism is illogical when held up to Scripture. Why should we "love God above all things..." if He is going to save us anyway? Why "make disciples" if all will be saved? How can Jesus be the "way, the truth and the life" if every other way is also the way?

Universalism is like comfort food... makes you feel good, but has no real nutritional value.

roy said...

Hey Michael,
whether or not universalism is biblical is a longer discussion and through church history there have been many differing understandings of these questions. Indeed, the Orthodox churches come out in a very different place than the western church and always has.
As for your questions in the next to last paragraph, all I can say is that I would love God above all things whether there is a heaven or not. My relationship to Jesus does not require rewards.
Why make disciples? Jesus.
Universalism does not necessarily mean that all religions (or no religion) are equal. It can still be argued, and is by some folk, that salvation comes only through Jesus but that salvation is a free gift to all, regardless of where they live, what they know, and the good or bad decisions they have made.