The Evangelical Universalist Forum

A Universalist Theology of Worship

Monday, May 12, 2008

For the universalist our Christian worship in the present age is a prophetic anticipation of the universal worship in the age to come.
One day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:8-9). But not yet. Right now the world is divided between those who worship God through Christ and those who do not. But when we declare the praises of him who called us out of darkness into his glorious light we anticipate that final day.

You might think that your Sunday morning worship is a insignificant, mundane thing. It is not. It is a prophetic act of resistance to the idolatry of the age. It is an act of hope, straining against the night, yearning for the day when all will love him.

Few have expressed this universalist theology of worship better than Matt Redman in his song, “There’s a louder shout to come”
(NOTE: Redman is not a universalist but the theology in this song is both universalist and profound!)

There is a louder shout to come, there is a sweeter song to hear;
All the nations with one voice, all the people with one fear.
Bowing down before Your throne, every tribe and tongue we’ll be;
All the nations with one voice, all the people with one King.
And what a song we’ll sing upon that day.

O what a song we’ll sing and O what a tune we’ll bear;
You deserve an anthem of the highest praise.
O what a joy will rise and O what a sound we’ll make.
You deserve an anthem of the highest praise.

Now we see a part of this, one day we shall see in full
All the nations with one voice, all the people with one love.
No one else will share Your praise, nothing else can take Your place;
All the nations with one voice, all the people with one Lord.
And what a song we’ll sing upon that day.

Even now upon the earth there’s a glimpse of all to come;
Many people with one voice, harmony of many tongues.
We will all confess your name, You will be our only praise;
All the nations with one voice, all the people with one God;
And what a song we’ll sing upon that day.
Posted by Gregory MacDonald at 10:54 AM
caty said…
Are you familiar with Bp. Timothy Rees’ hymn, ‘God is Love, Let Heaven Adore Him’? 3rd stanza:

“God is Love: and though with blindness
Sin afflicts and clouds the will,
God’s eternal loving-kindness
Holds us fast and guides us still.
Sin and death and hell shall never
O’er us final triumph gain;
God is Love, so Love for ever
O’er the universe must reign.”

May 15, 2008 11:31 AM

Gregory MacDonald said…
I am aware of it but I had never noticed that it could be appropriated by a universalist. Nice one.

May 15, 2008 12:34 PM

I’m new and still catching up with old posts. Thanks for a reminder of this great worship song and its biblical universalism. Another song which I can sing with more gusto as an EU is Brian Doerksen’s ‘Come, now is the time to worship’.

Come, now is the time to worship
Come, now is the time to give your heart
Come, just as you are to worship
Come, just as you are before your God

One day every tongue will confess You are God
One day every knee will bow
Still, the greates treasure remains for those
Who glady choose You now

© 1998 Vineyard Songs

Hi Rev Drew – and welcome to the site.

Yes, my son really likes that song as well – and sings with extra gusto when it’s done in church.

But our current favorite UR hymn is

When We All Get To Heaven:

Sing the wondrous love of Jesus,
Sing His mercy and His grace.
In the mansions bright and blessèd
He’ll prepare for us a place.

When we all get to Heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We’ll sing and shout the victory!

While we walk the pilgrim pathway,
Clouds will overspread the sky;
But when traveling days are over,
Not a shadow, not a sigh.


Let us then be true and faithful,
Trusting, serving every day;
Just one glimpse of Him in glory
Will the toils of life repay.


Onward to the prize before us!
Soon His beauty we’ll behold;
Soon the pearly gates will open;
We shall tread the streets of gold.

Church with my son is really fun: lots of winks and nods and smiles when we catch words and phrases with clear UR meaning.


Oooooh!! I was hoping that someone would set up a thread on universalistic taste (or outright doctrine) found in hymns! (Someone asked me to do this many months ago, but I just haven’t had the time…)

Will very much appreciate seeing further contributions. :smiley: :smiley:

Maybe under the “Church” section???
I wrote an essay on Atonement imagery as seen in hymns for one of our church publications… Got way too long and never saw the light of day! But I’m very much with you on this Jason. :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:


Thanks Bob, I’ll look that one up. Sometimes we sing theology we don’t really agree with, just because it has a cool tune. This will not do and I am learning to choose more carefully and hoping to write some of my own. Nick Page’s book ‘and now let’s move into a time of nonsense’ is both hilarious and helpful.
Cheers, Drew


and Nick Page is himself very sympathetic to universalism (to the point of saying that he thinks that he is a universalist).

Thanks Gregory, that is good to know.

Not forgetting the increasingly popular funeral accompaniment of choice for us secular humanists - ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’
:frowning: :slight_smile: :smiley: :wink:

Jeff, Is that the Monty Python version?

Yes it is :mrgreen: In the UK it’s rapidly becoming one of the most frequently requested songs at funerals.

Check this out:

I’ve just returned from a funeral where we sang “I cannot tell why He whom angels worship …”

It was in Complete Mission Praise # 266.

Check out esp. verse 4 for a very clear universalist understanding.

Thank you for all the other references!


The full lyrics of the song Tam reffed can be found here; complete with electronic rendition of Greensleeves. :mrgreen: (That ancient Irish ballad is the melody to which these lyrics are set. Personally, I would like to hear someone trying to wrap some of those lyrics around some of those stanzas. :laughing: )

Thank you, Jason,

for the link to the hymn I was talking about – I don’t know how to do that yet.

Yes, you are so right, about trying to fit those words smoothly into that tune! My organist said the same thing.

Btw, I really enjoy this forum even though I never make any contribution to the discussions. I must try to join in sometime.


Tam just contribute as the spirit moves you (which in my case is usually a large double something :smiley: )

Thank you Jeff A (Jeffery Archer? or Agnostic?) for your encouragement.

It’s nice there’s some Brits also on this site.
I really will (must) get round to interacting on this wonderful forum some day. :frowning:


That last link worked, thanks! :slight_smile:

Here’s my first attempt at a song expressing EU belief - inspired by Hannah Whitall Smith quote at beginning of GMc’s book - and Is 53.11 of course. All I need now is someone to sing it with me!

“Satisfied” … isfied.mp3

A day is coming soon
when you will see and be satisfied
your Father’s justice and his mercy are one
and you will be satisfied

You came to save us all
allowed yourself to be crucified
your clear intention cannot be denied
and you will be satisfied

A day is coming soon
when all will see and be reconciled
your love is perfect and your justice is sure
and you will be satisfied

Very nice indeed :slight_smile:
Great voice, playing and words.
That was a real tonic!

Wow! Great work! Sorry this is such a late response, but I just came upon your song. Being a songwriter and worship leader myself I really appreciate good guitar work as well as lyrics that aren’t the typical sappy stuff we see in so much worship music. Thanks for sharing!