It is difficult for me to comprehend how humans can think to be more merciful than God with regards to the eternal destiny of each human soul. After all we are made in God’s image to love, and to forgive but it would seem that according to traditional Christian teaching there is a limit to God’s own loving nature and actions.
In 1990 I became a convinced Calvinist assured that God’s glory was somehow tied into the justice of electing some out of all the reprobates on earth. Otherwise, I reasoned, we should all end up in eternal torment if not for the limited atonement of Christ for certain people.
But as I read the entire Bible it appears more and more that God’s plan is to bless the entire world and those in it. It appears that God’s desire is to have mercy on all people, that Christ is the second Adam in whom all are made alive.
Jesus said he would draw all people to himself through his death. And the Bible states that God really desires all people to be ‘saved’.
In my own mind without doubt is the idea that God’s love and grace are universal. But is that grace finally successful? I believe it is. That’s my presupposition if you will, somewhat akin to the presupposition of a loving God as see through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.
I will use a universalistic hermeneutic (way of interpreting the scriptures) as I study God’s word and writings that pertain to this subject. I want to make the case for believing that the new heaven and new earth will resolve all sin, injustice and sorrow to the glory of God.
In my mind the story of the Bible is not about the power of God but the love of God as revealed in Christ and known through the Trinity.
Your reflections and questions will be most appreciated.
3 thoughts on “THE ATTRACTION OF UNIVERSALISM”
I am not sure, from this short summary, where you have settled on the subject of grace and salvation. It sounds as if you no longer perceive the “Predestination of an elect few” (‘few’ as is relevant to God ..) as a limited lot. The way I see it is that is it a moot point anyway. I believe God does, of course, know whom will be saved. Whether or not He decided this before the formation of the world makes no difference to me. The “formula” if you will, remains the same for each one of us walking the planet today. It begins and ends with Jesus.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
Thank you Liza. I am the point in life of believing totally in God’s grace being all inclusive. God opens the cells of all us prisoners, if you will. Some at this point choose to walk into freedom that faith gives but eventually all will come out of their prison cells of self centeredness. Some will come out postmortem and the ‘really bad ones’ (not sure who they are thankfully) will be annihilated so that in the new heaven and earth there will be no hell. Hell and sin, in my view, cannot exist in the good new creation that God is putting together.
And this gives hope to all those who wonder about their loved ones being perhaps eternally tormented. Evangelical type Christians love rules and bar code faith whereby they know who is in and who is out. In Universalism everyone is in, under the umbrella of God’s grace so no one can boast. Jesus has done it all for all creation. See 1John 2:2 where it says that Christ’s atonement is for the whole world. Grace to you my friend.
That’s a long way from Predestination. Now I know why the “band” broke up. Peace to you too.