The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Eternal Punishment (I finally made my mind up)

I’ve finally made my mind up on eternal punishment. I recently discovered that my view is confirmed in “The Evangelical Universalist” by Robin Parry. He presents it as one view. It’ the view I hold to. The Lake of fire is eternal. It’s the place where the old self is destroyed or tormented forever and ever. In the Bible when one is born again they become a new creation and receive a new name. Saul became Paul etc. When we are born again we receive a new name written in the book of life. The son of perdition becomes the child of God. In the lake of fire they even receive new bodies as they receive their new identities after ego death. It’s the old sinful self that is tormented forever. Satan is tormented forever but Lucifer enters into the gates of the city. Just as the heavens and earth undergo fiery destruction but there’s a new heavens and earth. A new creation. All is reconciled. The lake of fire is ego death.


This sounds very ad hoc to me. I can’t think of anywhere in the Bible that it indicates that our self will split into two selves with each having separate eternal destinies. In fact, it does say that those who are condemned will be cast into the lake of fire (not merely their sinful natures).

I can’t help but think about, something Elmer Fudd once said! :wink:

Parry’s view is not that we are divided into two selves and destinies, nor that only our sinful nature experiences judgment. It is that fire is most fundamentally a symbol of transformative experiences that refine our character. Of course the counter view is that fire represents a purely destructive process of retribution.

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OK, I can see that. This is the portion that led me to think what I initially thought he was saying:

Sounds like the being is split apart. @hollytree, what exactly did you mean there?

So… it’s basically purgatory then?

Yes, insofar as purgatory is imaged as a purifying transformation, many universalists read ‘hell’ as something analogous to that (except not limited to Christian believers nor involving some kind of merit).

The usual idea in speaking of characters with two names is that one becomes the other, not that both continue to exist. Thus the violent ‘Saul’ of Tarsus becomes the more gracious believer 'Paul." So if Parry applies this to the angel, Lucifer, I assume that it would actually mean that the rebel of evil personified as ‘Satan’ would be forever eradicated with only the deeper person, Lucifer, remaining (perhaps similar to how Paul speaks of fire devouring the wood, hay and stubble in our lives, while leaving the gold and silver).

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And could be seen as Bovine Feces!

I never said that it’s the view Parry holds to He offers it as an alternative view to make sense of and harmonize Col. where it says all will be reconciled. Here’s the quote. Again Parry doesn’t hold the view but offers it as one view:

One could maintain that the devil will be punished forever, but that Lucifer will ultimately be saved. Paul is able to speak of how God saves humans through the putting to death of “the flesh” or the “old person”. The human in rebellion against God is “killed” so that there is a new creation (2 Cor 5:17). According to the tradition, the devil is a fallen angel. The devil, like the “flesh”, must be destroyed forever, because creation has no place for him. But he dies, and Lucifer is reborn as a redeemed angel. It would still be possible to speak of the devil being tormented forever and ever to symbolize this defeat even though no actual being is still in the lake of fire. This goes beyond anything taught in Revelation, but it is one way of trying to reconcile what revelation teaches with what Colossians teaches and I tentatively commend it to the reader. The Evangelical Universalist page 131

I would just add that Bible also speaks of a true self and a false self. When we are crucified with Christ we die to the old self and hidden with God in Christ. We have a new identity. Indeed we are a new creation. In ego death we lose our identity and develop a new self. This is the Christ within. It’s the sense of great significance and worth. Indeed we have eternal significance when we die to self and come into union with love. We fall in love with our true self or new self made in the likeness of Christ. It’s the image of God within. It’s intrinsic because we are covered and infused with Christ’s righteousness. Our dignity is inherent. The falling in love is with the child within. It’s a falling in love with our true self. It’s the kind of falling in love a Mother has with her baby. It’s not sexual. Christ tells us to have the faith of a child and be humble like a child. To learn more about ego death here’s a Wikipedia article on it:


I also recommend this book:

The book gives two of the pillars for self-esteem. They are unconditional worth and unconditional love. The book speaks of the core self or true self. This is the Child within. It’s the good lovable essence of love that is eternally significant and infinite in value and worth. It’s intrinsic. It’s the image of God. We fall in love with our true self. It’s the kind of falling in love a mother has with her baby not the kind that is sexual. The same concepts are described in this book:

From the “Self-Esteem Workbook” by Glenn R Schirald Ph.D

“Unconditional human worth” means that you are important and valuable as a person because your essential core self is unique and precious, of infinite eternal, unchanging value, and good. Unconditional human worth implies that you are as precious as any other person. ~~ page 33

When worth is separate from externals, human worth is intrinsic and unchanging, irrespective of outside events of circumstances. ~~ page 39

There is within each of us a light…a core of peace, wholeness joy, goodness, innate worth, and feelings that are good and make us human. The core being is sometimes called the “inner child”. The inner child possesses, in embryo, every attribute it needs, plus the inborn tendency to grow and polish the rough edges. ~~ page 84

From “Healing The Child Within” by Charles L. Whitfield, M.D.

Charles L. Whitfield, M.D. is a physician, psychotherapist and internationally recognized expert on mental illness, behavior problems and recovery.

Real self, Child within, Inner Child, and Higher Self are all used interchangeably. It has also been called our Deepest Self, our Inner Core. No matter how distant, evasive or even alien it may seem to be, we each have a “Child Within” - the part of us that is ultimately alive, energetic, creative, and fulfilled. This is the Real Self - who we truly are. Horney, Masterson and others call it the “Real Self”. Some psychotherapists including Winicott and Miller, call it the True Self. Some clinicians and educators call it the “Inner Child”

Our Real Self is spontaneous, expansive, giving, and communicating. Our True Self accepts ourselves and others. It feels and expresses those feelings.

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