The Evangelical Universalist Forum

A Repentant Life and UR

#1

Among those who embrace UR, there seems to be two camps; those who believe in afterlife punishment and those who don’t (aka, "ultra-universalists). I find myself more believing in the latter, but the experience of individuals may be different from one another. I think all are brought into the presence of God after death, but their experience of being in the presence of God may be a kind of torment, if they are in rebellion against Him. It’s not God punishing though, but their own alienation in opposition to God’s love that is tormenting. I say “may” though because I have doubts about even that. What about a person who is truly alienated from God but only because of horrendous teaching about Him he/she may have imbibed in their lives? Are they really rebelling against the true God, or a terrible caricature? I think a lot of people are of that group, including me. And it’s hard to get past that. I’m fifty now and still deal with it. Maybe the torment (if any) comes from those who desperately cling to their “sin” thinking that’s all they have. And whose to say how long this torment would last? Why must it be “ages?” Could healing and total reconciliation not come in a microsecond?

So I am thinking that ultra-universalism is mostly correct. There could be torment, but it’s entirely subjective. There is not even a modicum of punishment from God, just maybe “bitter regret,” as St. Isaac put it. I just can’t see punishing people for unbelief when they want to believe, but can’t.

2 Likes

#2

Here is the vision of heaven and hell…of how the Eastern Orthodox, Eastern Catholics and I - see heaven and hell.

And I see hell also, as NT scholar and Anglican bishop - NT Wright - sees it.

But I also hold to a definitive Inclusivism (1,2,3,4) and a Hope( 1, 2)ful universalism.

0 Likes

#3

If it were up to me, truly “evil” people (murderers, rapists) would experience some punishment postmortem. The average sinner, who only commits “small” sins though? IMO they shouldn’t face any punishment. Unfortunately, Paul and Revelation enumerate people excluded from the kingdom and in the LOF, respectively, who have done things most of us would consider minor sins (lying, fornication, envy).

0 Likes

#4

Andre, Like Parry and Talbott, I see correction assumed to be painful as the apostolic expectation, more than I see the ultra universalist paradigm. But I would describe how this may be fulfilled just like you have. Which suggests sometimes differences are partly semantic.

0 Likes