Intro to Christian Universalism

Evangelical Views On Hell

You may have assumed that there has been only one view held historically throughout Christendom — believers will go to “heaven” and those who do not put their trust in Christ before they die will go to “hell.”  But there have actually been three primary views held by Christians and many variations within each.

First, there is the traditional view which has dominated the last 1500 years.  It is that of “eternal conscious torment” for all those who do not believe in and confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in this life.  After death there is no longer any hope considered for them.

Second, there is the view of Annihilationism which is sometimes referred to as “Conditional Immortality.”  Proponents of this view believe that all those who do not repent and put their trust in Christ in this life will meet a total destruction resulting in complete extinction of body, soul and spirit.  Some believe this will be after a time of punishment according to their deeds.

There is a third view in which many of the Early Church (even evidence of the majority) as well as a continual thread throughout history have ascribed to….

Read rest of article HERE: Evangelical Views On Hell

What Universalism Is NOT

If someone were to ask me if I were a universalist I would have to first ask what they mean by “universalist.” If by the term they mean that every road leads to God I would say, absolutely not.  If they mean that all evil will be overlooked and unrepentant and unchanged sinners given a hearty welcome into the Kingdom, again, of course not.

But if by the term they mean “Do you believe that through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that God defeated death, sin and hell forever and will ‘make all things new’?” I would say, “Absolutely yes!“.

Unfortunately many evangelicals have painted an inaccurate picture of what a true Christ-follower who believes in the ultimate restoration of all things looks like.  Mark Driscoll in his book Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe caricatured universalism in the following way…Read rest of article HERE:  What Universalism Is NOT

Hell:  Some History 

The following is an informative and clarifying article regarding how the nature of hell has been interpreted throughout history by George W. Sarris, Gordon-Conwell, M.Div.  (See bottom of page for George’s Bio.)

George is a friend who has graciously allowed us to post this article from his blog at The Christian Post…

Hell: It Hasn’t Always Been Forever!  By George W. Sarris

Has a paradigm shift occurred in the evangelical Christian world?

Scot McKnight, the Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies at North Park University, commented recently that Universalism, or at least the prospect of it, is the single most significant issue running through the undercurrent of evangelicalism today.[1]

That observation is certainly being supported by the phenomenal level of interest in Rob Bell’s book Love Wins. It rose to number 3 on the list of bestsellers on Amazon.com. Articles about it have been written not only in religious periodicals like Christianity Today, but even in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USAToday, and many other secular news outlets. It even became the cover story for Time. What had been a marginal issue that most evangelical Christians ignored has suddenly become the central issue under discussion. If nothing else, Bell’s book has revealed a deep level of interest in the possibility that God’s plan may actually be the restoration of His entire creation.  Read rest of article HERE:  Hell:  Some History

 

 

 

 

 

Check back soon for more…!

 

 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dale Goodyear July 20, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Hi,
I continue to appreciate your wonderful website. It’s a goldmine. I recently found another Christian Universalist group I haven’t yet seen mentioned here (in Links, Resources, or elsewhere). They have some wonderful articles and books: http://www.christianuniversalist.org/

also at: http://www.christian-universalism.com/

Here’s one quote from their “Resources/Articles” I very much liked:
By far, the main person responsible for making Hell eternal in the Western Church was St. Augustine (354-430 CE). Augustine’s Christian mother did not kick him out of her house for not marrying the girlfriend he got pregnant, but she did oust him when he became a Manichean Gnostic. Later, he renounced Manichaeism and returned to the Roman Church where he was made Bishop of Hippo in North Africa. He did not know Greek, had tried to study it, but stated that he hated it. Sadly, it is his misunderstanding of Greek that cemented the concept of Eternal Hell in the Western Church. Augustine not only said that Hell was eternal for the wicked but also for anyone who wasn’t a Christian. So complete was his concept of God’s exclusion of non-Christians that he considered un-baptized babies as damned; when these babies died, Augustine softened slightly to declare that they would be sent to the “upper level” of Hell. Augustine is also the inventor the concept of “Hell Lite”, a.k.a. Purgatory, which he developed to accommodate some of the Universalist verses in the Bible. Augustine acknowledged the Universalists whom he called “tender-hearted,” and curiously, included them among the “orthodox.”
[The Salvation Conspiracy: How Hell Became Eternal
Ken R. Vincent]

Love and Grace!
Dale

Admin July 21, 2014 at 9:53 pm

Thanks for the comment and encouragement Dale. That is a great quote. Thanks for sharing!

The reason we have not listed christian-universalism.com is because its author Eric Stetson, is unitarian. Also christianuniversalism.org, while it contains some great resources, also refers to much of Stetson’s material which we do not recommend. If you go to his blog he has actually drifted from much of orthodoxy. I believe this is because universalism per se is not the gospel.

We are strongly trinitarian not just to be “orthodox” but because the only way for God to be love is for Him to be a community of Father, Son and Spirit. You cannot have love without an object.

One of the reasons we took the name “Christian Universalism” was to restore the name Christian as it is reflected in the historical creeds.

The implications of the Incarnation are staggering and ought to be explored. I encourage you to check out the material at Perichoresis.org. Dr. C. Baxter Kruger explains how we developed our legal transactional view of God from Augustine whereas Athanasius carried the more relational trinitarian understanding of God.

Blessings!

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