Do we do what he does?


So quiet - waiting for the other shoe to drop. Let’s assume he meant what we said - he’s gone.

My questions come from the experience.

Does one have to ignore clear scripture to view universalism as a truth?

Does one have to ignore clear scripture to view universalism as a heresy?

I don’t think I ignore clear scripture - nor do I think scripture contradicts itself. I tend/try to interpret (or at least understand) the unclear by the clear. The unclear is defined by the clear. For example, the idea of a limited atonement seems unsupportable to me - so the definition of clarity is also improved by arguments built on selected verses and how well those arguments can stand up under the bigger picture. If it’s still unclear, then pray for understanding - not for some clever sophistry masquerading as understanding. On second thought, don’t pray for special revelation - there’s too much of that going on - start doing the hard, boring stuff - like study. Read what the rest of His church thinks or has thought - not just your church.

Another example: Every knee shall bow and tongue confess. First off, there’s an irrevocable call to do that - so the clarity of it is without question. It could not be any clearer. The quality of that confession is also clear. Things are tied together as Sonia mentioned.

I don’t think I’m deceiving myself or being deceived. Like I said, if I get called on it, I’m blaming it on Paul. But I am confident that I will be corrected.

What’s your take?


I don’t think it’s as simple as that anyway. There are a lot of different things being said in the scriptures; and we routinely take scriptures which say one thing and interpret their meaning in light of something else. Sometimes the ‘something else’ is another set of scriptures. But always, in my experience, the interpretation is in light of principles which are not themselves ‘scriptural testimony’ per se. The scriptures don’t instruct us anywhere that if we read that Saul was breathing threats and murder against the church, or that Simon Peter cursed himself denying Christ in order to save his own life, that must be what Peter’s and Paul’s final and total characters must have been. Yes, it says so right there in scripture they did those things; but the scriptures go on to say some other things, too, about those people.

BA wasn’t (and isn’t) any different from us in that; and we aren’t any different from him in that. He obviously (though maybe not obviously to him) interprets scriptures one way instead of another based on principles not necessarily found in scripture. There isn’t anything necessarily wrong with that: neither he nor we would be able to read the scriptures at all if there was always something necessarily wrong with that! (I don’t recall the scriptures ever giving lessons in Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic grammar; though every once in a while they give sparse lessons on what various terms mean. :wink: )

The relevant question for any of us (myself included), is: by what standard (or, more realistically, by what standards) am I (or that other person, too) interpreting what the scriptures mean?

That’s rarely, if ever, an easy question to answer.


I like, really like, your introspection Ran…
I sensed little to no introspection in our friend – and we should be able to think of him as such – BA aka Aaron37.

Stuff on this site builds and accumulates and in time there is so much overlap in topics and material that some magnificent expressions of truly introspective participants gets lost, forgotten, overrun.

Much to say. Way back when – I was the new boy here – I wrote this post.


So BA comes in our midst and says no, there is NO subjectivity in what I’ve said – it is, simply, the truth. And the record of these past frenetic weeks here demonstrates that we bristled; in our own ways, we bristled.

There is an irony here however: BA has been consistent. His theology excludes us who hold to UR; so that’s how he talks, thinks, reacts. OUR theology however, specifically and explicitly INCLUDES him (because it includes everyone). So we need to ask ourselves: who has better lived his theology here?? (Note I’m not equating inclusion with agreement)

Thus it is OBVIOUS that BA and his interpretations are subjective; less obvious is that our own are as well. Which is the precise reason we grasp for, and cling to, the God of ALL humanity. The God of ALL truth. We can be certain He has something to teach every one of us…

BA has blessed me; in a very negative way. I see evangelism/belief through him as I do NOT want to do it. It’s a blessing nonetheless I think.

So a challenge in my personal life is this: live convinced and convicted and confident and certain — yet all the while craving the indwelling Spirit who enters and dashes ALL our prior notions (Brennan Mannning calls God the great iconoclast) of God. For they are but an idol and must forever be dashed, only to rebuilt into ever better interpretations of the infinite glory of who God really is.

BA is a blip on our screens; we know he will be our neighbor for eternity. He however has no such certainty; thus behaves as he does. He acts as he does because he has no concept of subjective truth; that he himself embodies it.

Do we do any better?

This is a hard truth it seems to me…



I feel like these are the issues I have been hoping to raise awareness of in other topics. While it seems like I’m engaging in attacks against UR, I’m more often attacking the kinds of rigid dogma that all Christians are prone to establish, especially to defend from outside attack. Often times this kind of dogma is absolutely necessary to determine what even is the definition of ‘Christian’. Other times it is less productive. I feel that BA can be a mirror.