In fact God seems to be inordinately fond of remnants (as well as beetles)
And remnant beetles…
Ahh! Yes - Paul and Ringo!
Yes, the reason why the modern era is weighted is simply that there are more universalists in the modern era. Very few between 5th C and 17th C (for reasons explained in the intro). If there was ever a second volume it would include Clement and a few other old guys but most universalist theologians are post-17th C.
Robin, is there any chance of you posting the intro on the forum for the benefit of those who haven’t got your book yet? Although as it’s about 25 pages, perhaps just a few snippets?
A $40 paperback. Ouch.
The Evangelical Universalist is 214 pages and that costs $19.20
wipfandstock.com/store/The_Evang … iversalist
Whereas “All Shall Be Well” is 454 pages of goodness
Well I emailed GM and he kindly let me post a draft of the ENTIRE chapter on our forum, so if you haven’t read it yet see… “All Shall Be Well”
Robin opens his introduction to All Shall Be Well with:
“At the most simple level Christian universalism is the belief that God will (or, in the case of ‘hopeful universalism’, might) redeem all people through the saving work of Christ.”
I’ve thought of myself as one of those “hopeful” universalists, but I never located the “might” where Robin does. Robin describes hopeful universalism as the belief that “God might save all” as opposed to the belief that “God will save all.” I express my doubts differently. My doubt is not that if universalism is true it might only be true for some but not all (Robin’s “hopeful universalism”). My doubt is with respect to the truth of universalism per se. In other words, I concede that it might be the case that universalism is false. It’s about being academically honest. For me the “might” qualifies the entire proposition positing UR for all and not just some. But I don’t entertain any doubt at all that if universalism is true some persons will succeed in forever rejecting God. Once one assumes the truth of UR, there is no meaningful sense in which I can express doubt regarding the salvation of any. That seems to exclude me from Robin’s “hopeful unversalist” group. But I don’t affirm my belief (in UR per se) dogmatically, which seems to exclude me from Robin’s more certain (the “God will save all”) group.
Later on pp. 13-14 Robin makes it clear that by “hopeful universalism” he means believing in the salvation of all with less than full conviction and by “convinced universalism” he means believing in the same salvation of all with full conviction or certain. So the qualifications “hopeful” and “convinced” describe the epistemic status of one and the same belief, namely, that all without exception will be saved. The hopeful universalist HOPES that it’s true that God shall save all. This must be what he meant in his opening sentence, though his placement of “might” in that opening sentence is confusing.
In the end, by placing UR within the category of theologumena we permit both him who affirms UR and her who denies UR to be fully persuaded or convinced of their beliefs while at the same time requiring each to recognize and extend the possibility of equal conviction to the another, which just means we all concede that on this issue we could be wrong however convinced we might be that we are right.
Alex is correct. Most universalists are post 17th C. There are few people of note between Gregory and the 17th C.
As far as theologians, do you mean? Or do we believe the sources that speak of it as a large group (was that Augustine?)
I’m keen to see these sources.
Well there is the one that Talbott & Robin quote in their books…
The reason that the book is heavily weigted to the modern period is that most explicit universalists are post-sixteenth century. There are some earlier ones and it is possible we will do a sequal book to plug some gaps—I had a list of possible people to do chapters on (inc. Clement of Alexandria)—but I think I may not edit that one. I need to focus on topics other than universalism. (My next topic of interest is biblical cosmology and its contemporary relevance)