James, I’m not sure. I started out as the sort of conservative evangelical who has diagrams for everything that will happen from now til death til the end of time. According to that upbringing, all are raised and judged. I’ve nuanced my view, but I still hold loosely to this understanding. I now understand the judgment of God differently from those who originally taught me. I don’t have a firm enough grasp on the pertinent scriptures and arguments, however, to make any very strong claim.
RanRan, you say, Love is meaningless without freedom. Of course love is impossible without the positive freedom TO love i.e. to love we must be free to love. But when I’ve spoken of freedom I do so in the libertarian sense - love is meaningful because we have the negative freedom NOT TO love - true love is not compelled. I agree with you that determinism is a corruption of Christianity, but I don’t see how the belief that all must be saved can fail to be determinism.
Aug, I disagree that we sin because we are born sinners. But I appreciate the answer. Am I correct in paraphrasing your view thus: “All are born sinners and all will be brought to salvation, and so with regard to his or her own sinfulness and final redemption the person is without freedom.”
Jason, I’m happy to discuss annihilationism. I am an annihilationist primarily because it is the only way I see of logically eschatologically reconciling free will and justice. I’m interested in knowing if the universalist here also attempt to do the same or is free will abandoned (I expect justice would not be abandoned) with respect to eventual salvation.
I don’t know if you all prefer I defend annihilationism here or on another thread, so I’ll start here and those in charge can correct me if they want.
You define what is commonly called righteousness as ‘fair-togetherness’ and I will accept this definition. I take free will to be an essential part of the imago Dei. So a ‘fair’-togetherness is one which fairly treats this free will. Were a person to choose a path of annihilation it would be an ‘unfair’ treatment of this person to revoke free will at this point. Of course there are limits to what we can expect our will to accomplish, but God’s urging us to accept eternal life suggests that our choice of eternal destiny falls within those limits. It is not at all unlike God to deny his own desires in order to do the loving and just thing. I think I still fall within the bounds of lower-case ‘o’ orthodox trinitarianism.
I do accept the possibility that certain biblical descriptions of post-mortem judgment are poetic. I think it’s possible that the poetically true passages outnumber the literally true ones for this issue (it is the subject of apocalyptic literature after all). My view banks on these possibilities.
I’m undecided about how long annihilation takes. If it is until the ‘end of the ages’, that still falls within the bounds of annihilationism as I hold to it. My main concern is to allow freedom with respect to eternal destiny.
I’m not arguing for absolute freedom in every regard. We can only exist or cease to exist independently of God if God so allows it. And I believe that God has an interest in allowing us freedom in this regard. You said, “Rebel agents may wish to be self-existent apart from the providence of God, but apart from the providence of God is only non-existence, regardless of how much the agents may desire otherwise.” This is exactly what I believe! If God revokes free will at this point, then he has done so at the expense of love, since love requires freedom and cannot be so coerced while still being considered love.
He stands at the door and knocks…