Christian Universalism is a school of Christian theology which includes the belief in the doctrine of universal reconciliation, the view that all human beings and fallen angels will ultimately be restored to right relationship with God in Heaven.

The Good News: a Modern Christian Apology

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    The Good News: a Modern Christian Apology

    I published this last year and it's available via Amazon and various other bookstores, such as Waterstones. I'd really appreciate some feedback on the book and perhaps we could then discuss some of the issues it raises. I'd be more than happy to provide a copy free of charge, if at all possible.

    God bless you all


    Robert

    #2
    I can't find this on Amazon when I search by title. Could you provide a link to the book, the ISBN, or the author name?

    I'd be curious to know more about your views and background, and how they influence your approach to Christianity, and the book's content. Since you are non-denominational, could you say what churches are close to your views and what faith did you grow up in? Would you be able to share some background about what brought you to write it?
    Comment>

      #3
      Since you placed this post in the Universalism section, would I be correct in assuming that this modern Christiainity involves the belief that everyone will be saved? I'm satisfied with the Christianity that Jesus Christ established nearly 2,000 years ago and I am not interested in any modern versions.
      Clyde Herrin's Blog
      Comment>

        #4
        I'm not quite sure how it happened, but my post should have been headed, 'The Good News: a Modern Christian Apology'. So apologies...again!. To make amends I've provided some links which should help .

        Amazon.com
        Amazon.co.uk
        Waterstone’s

        I'm a thoroughly Bible believing Christian and the only modern thing about the book is the society at which its challenges are directed. I was confirmed as an Anglican when I was 13, but later attended a Pentecostal and then a Reformed Baptist church, when I was at university reading English.

        Yes, I have come to believe in universal salvation, which explains why I don't now attach myself to any denomination. I know that you will have heard arguments on this subject in the past, but there's a lot of new material on this and many other issues, including much on which all evangelical Christians could readily agree. The description in Amazon gives a pretty good starting point, but I'd be happy to provide some further background if that would help.


        Yours in Christ,


        Robert
        Comment>

          #5
          Originally posted by Robertus View Post
          I have come to believe in universal salvation
          Then how do you explain this statement, in the last chapter of the Bible which shows the conditions that will prevail in eternity after the present heaven and earth have passed away?

          Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. (Revelation 22:14,15)

          A blessing is pronounced on he saved, who have the right to enter the New Jerusalem, but the unsaved are not included in this blessing. This doesn't sound like universal salvation to me.
          Clyde Herrin's Blog
          Comment>

            #6
            My book provides a detailed exegesis of all of the key passages, for and against universalism. If you don't wish to buy one, I'll happily send you a copy free of charge, if you provide an address. My E-mail address is: MODERATION EMAIL REMOVED

            The short answer to your question, though, is, yes I believe in hell, but I don't believe it lasts literally or ever.


            Robert
            Comment>

              #7
              I had a look at the book through the Look Inside, but there are a few problems with it. Galileo was not the first time religion and science butted heads, that goes back to antiquity. In the medical field at least there are accounts of it happening in Roman times between Greek and Jewish doctors and Roman priests (Medicine practiced without sacrifices to Jove? Horrors!).

              Did you speak to any scientists or interview them for the 'against religion' side? I would be curious to see what an actual Biblical scholar or scientist would say.

              Originally posted by Robertus View Post
              The short answer to your question, though, is, yes I believe in hell, but I don't believe it lasts literally or ever.
              Is this the Universalist belief in Hell as a purification mechanism to bring sinners to God?





              Comment>

                #8

                Thank you.

                You make a fair point about science and there have no doubt been disagreements between individuals with religious and scientific leanings throughout history. However, I think it's also fair to say that most scientific innovations before the 16th century were achieved by societies who were organised by religious traditions. During the Islamic Golden Age, for example, the foundations of science were laid by Ibn-al-Haytham. And in the West Roger Bacon is often credited with the scientific method, and he was a Franciscan friar. From the 16th century onwards, however, and starting with Galileo in particular, I detect a growing conflict between two opposing world views - religion and science.

                As regards my own book, I sought out writers with opposing points of view with very little exception, as you will see from my bibliography. I did exchange E-mails with several of them, but I didn't try to arrange any interviews. I suspected they wouldn't have agreed to an interview and their arguments are so well documented, it didn't seem necessary. However, if you do know some scientists or biblical scholars who would give me a good opposing point of view, I'd be happy to send them a copy.

                As regards hell, I see it as a punishment, but as God chastises those whom he loves, I believe the ultimate effect of hell is cathartic and redemptive in nature.


                God bless


                Robert
                Comment>

                  #9
                  Originally posted by theophilus View Post
                  Then how do you explain this statement, in the last chapter of the Bible which shows the conditions that will prevail in eternity after the present heaven and earth have passed away?

                  Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. (Revelation 22:14,15)

                  A blessing is pronounced on he saved, who have the right to enter the New Jerusalem, but the unsaved are not included in this blessing. This doesn't sound like universal salvation to me.
                  I currently tend to believe in a form of universal reconciliation that takes the last few chapters of Revelation mostly literally.

                  It is true that only true (faithful) believers will be able to enter the new Jerusalem spoken of in Rev 21. But Rev 21:24ff show that some people may both live outside the new Jerusalem and enter it:

                  24 By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, 25 and its gates will never be shut by day--and there will be no night there. 26 They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.

                  In my estimation, believers who would live outside the (massive) city would be those assigned to govern those who were unbelievers in the first life (and so we would reign with Christ as promised). After chastisement in the lake of fire, previous unbelievers would be discipled outside the gates of the city. Then perhaps, at some point, their names would be written in the book of life and they would be aloud to enter the city. Or, perhaps, a previous unbeliever who resists sanctification would be cast back into the lake of fire for more chastisement. Revelation does not speak to my last two sentences, though.

                  But Paul did say, in 1 Tim 4:10:

                  10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

                  God's judgments are unsearchable and His ways past finding out (Rom 11:33). The Philippians were told to work out their salvation "with fear and trembling" (Phil 2:12). The salvation of unbelievers from this life could be a very complex subject which entails divine judgments, the judgments of the elect regarding unbelievers, potentially multiple chastisements in the lake of fire, and possibly a long road to sanctification. I believe it to be relatively easy for God to sanctify a living person, who has not experienced His wrath, to salvation. For Him to sanctify an unbeliever from this life, who will no doubt have much against Him, to salvation, would be much more difficult and time consuming.




                  Robert, your book looks interesting. I may purchase a copy and reply.
                  Last edited by andrew32; 05-20-2017, 12:34 PM. Reason: update final line
                  Comment>

                    #10
                    Andrew

                    Thank you; appreciated.

                    As you will see, I take the scriptures extremely seriously and cover every key passage from the Old Testament onwards. So there's a fairly lengthy dissection of 1 Timothy 4:10. For me the verses that prove universal salvation most apodictically are Romans 5:18,19. I'd value your views on these and other matters in due course.

                    May God keep you,


                    Robert
                    Comment>

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Robertus View Post
                      As regards hell, I see it as a punishment, but as God chastises those whom he loves, I believe the ultimate effect of hell is cathartic and redemptive in nature.
                      God's love is expressed by his sending Jesus into the earth to atone for our sins. Those who have received him are often chastened but never condemned. Those who reject him reject God's love and so are subject to his wrath. God is eternal so any sin against him deserves eternal punishment.
                      Clyde Herrin's Blog
                      Comment>

                        #12
                        Theophilus

                        I totally agree with the first part of what you say, but the Bible also teaches that God forgives people when they repent. It is my belief that all will repent in the end and be forgiven.

                        I'm not aware of any biblical statement that supports your last sentence. Can you provide one?


                        Robert
                        Comment>

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Robertus View Post
                          It is my belief that all will repent in the end and be forgiven.
                          All are so evil they will not repent unless the Holy Spirit moves them to do so. Jesus himself said, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him." Revelation chapters 8 and 9 describe the judgments God will send when the angels blow their trumpets. Verses 20 and 21 show the response to these judgments. "The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts." God commands all to repent now. There will be no opportunity after we leave this life.
                          Clyde Herrin's Blog
                          Comment>

                            #14
                            Theophilus

                            I agree, but Jesus also said that He would draw all men to Himself (John 12:32). As regards the dead, 1 Peter 3:19 to 4:6 refers to Christ preaching to people in hell.


                            Robert

                            Comment>

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Robertus View Post
                              As regards the dead, 1 Peter 3:19 to 4:6 refers to Christ preaching to people in hell.
                              I have a few questions.

                              In which of those texts is the word "hell" mentioned?

                              What evidence is there that the "people" (which is not in the text) are the spirits of human beings?

                              What is the difference between the verb used in 1 Peter 3:19 and the verb used in 1 Peter 4:6 (i.e. proclaimed/preached)?

                              Why did Jesus only preach to the dead who died during the flood (1 Peter 3:19-21)? Why did he not preached to all the dead who had died up to the time of His own death\resurrection?
                              Comment>
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