The Evangelical Universalist Forum

God's Final Victory: A Comparative Philosophical Case for Universalism (Continuum Studies in Philosophy of Religion)


Just ordered me a copy. Will keep you updated.


GFV is an ironclad case for universalism. See my review on here or Amazon with the username legomorph.


What qaz is universalism in your view?


Everyone goes to heaven.


So if we look at heaven as the Christian fundamentalist take, we have to say is there a 180 to that view, in other words HELL,

That in and of it self is a problem.

My view of final victory is that God has already through Jesus put forth the place where you are going to be reconciled to God.

There is no Hell, from my standpoint, and if that is true, Jesus came to do a different deed for you and Humanity. You should not be asking about going to ‘Heaven’ but maybe how Christ’s death is going to be the beacon for humanity to seek greater things… And then ask yourself ‘how can I be part of it’?


Just finished chapter 2 where they critique eternal punishment. The authors conclude:

Therefore, the defender of any form of the classical version of DH must explain why it would be a demand of justice to bring it about that a criminal never stop committing his crime. We, at least, cannot conceive of any coherent conception of justice under which this would make any sense. ~~ page 27

But since perfect love and perfect justice protect then those who have hardened hearts would be restrained by the torment from committing evil. God’s love is expressed by protecting His children in the new creation from evil. It’s also expressed to those who have their hearts eternally separated from God’s mercy in hell by inflicting them with sufficient torment to prevent them from doing evil. God keeps in check the horrors those people could inflict on each other (because their hearts are separated from all mercy) by distracting them with a precisely determined amount and kind of pain or discomfort. Such pain and discomfort restrains them. God calibrates each person’s torment to exactly the level necessary for restraint of their potential for expressing evil. Thus, we see God’s paradoxical love in hell. These are morally sufficient and justifiable reasons for hell. Therefore it’s not unjust for hell to exist. Still reading the book. Getting ready for the next chapter.


Though I don’t see that the Bible says that ‘hell’ is to protect anyone from horrors, I don’t find Reitan disagrees that love & justice would protect his new creation from evils. But he is asking why it’d make sense that such protection and justice would require that sinners only be able to never stop committing the rebellion that separated them from God.



If their hearts are separated from mercy it hardens. Therefore, they don’t want God. God is never obligated to be merciful to someone who doesn’t want to have anything to do with Him. I haven’t made my mind up on the Bible yet but I know it teaches that perfect love and perfect justice protect from evil. Therefore, God would be keeping in check the evil these people could inflict on each other and Himself and His children by distracting them with a precisely determined amount and kind of pain or discomfort. Such pain and discomfort restrains them. Thus, we would see God’s paradoxical love in hell.


We appear to see in reverse what “mercy” is needed for. I don’t see that “mercy” separates from those who are hardened or in rebellion. Indeed, I read that mercy is precisely relevant and for those who ARE hardened and don’t want God. I love the Bible’s view that the Gospel is about God’s rich mercy toward precisely all like me who are blind, deceived, and dead in trespasses and sin, i.e. those hopelessly hardened.

‘Protecting’ me by ensuring that I get no mercy and am distracted, and cut off from all hope of avoiding damnation seems a form of ‘protection’ that no sane person could prefer.


God is free to choose. He’s never obligated to be merciful to someone who doesn’t want to have anything to do with Him. If they don’t want God they don’t have to have Him. I need to think this over. It seems universalism restricts and denies God’s freedom. I’m a hopeful at the moment.


There’s no need to “protect” from people who have no intention of causing harm.


I imagine it depends on God’s ‘freedom’ to do what? I find that the Bible says that all people are dead in sin and don’t truly, want ‘God.’ Thus, His glory is that with sinners, God is free to be true to his mercy which endures forever. For it declares that God’s intrinsic nature “IS love,” not that God sometimes loves the lost. Thus arguing that God has to able to NOT be merciful toward sinners who by nature don’t want Him, seems to restrict and deny God’s freedom to be faithful to his character.


But Bob,

God’s love and justice are expressed to those in hell by tormenting them with the kind and amount of pain to restrain them from committing evil. It’s His severe mercy not His kindness mercy that takes out the heart of stone and gives a heart of flesh. Thus, all would be reconciled to God. In heaven and earth and under the earth. All would be submitted. God’s character of love and justice remains intact. For the Bible teaches that love and justice protect from evil.

Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness

God would indeed have mercy on all. In heaven, and on earth, and under the earth. We see God’s love and compassion in hell with the restraints He places on it’s inhabitants keeping them from committing evil. All would be submitted to God.


LOL My upbringing thought hell was the hopeless pits. But redefining Jesus’ severe warnings about being separated from God and His kingdom, by being thrown into Gehenna and the outer darkness with constant weeping as what epitomizes entering the confines of God’s mercy and grace is a new theory of Hell and damnation that might sell somewhere.

Though I myself see nothing in Paul’s schema of redemption’s design to have “mercy on all” as meaning confine them to the horrors of the outer darkness.


I get my theory of hell from the Bible’s teaching that love and justice protect from evil. Also, God’s mercy takes on the form of a severe mercy. To read more about God’s love and compassion in hell I recommend “Beyond The Cosmos: The Extra dimensionality of God” by Astrophysicist Hugh Ross:

Beyond the Cosmos brings the reality of God more fully before our minds and helps us love him with our whole being. We cannot love or believe a blank, but many parts of God s revelation of himself and his world remain little more than a blank until qualified and gifted teachers lead us to a greater clarity. Hugh Ross does that, giving the most difficult ideas in Christian teachings gripping new relevance to the realities of time and eternity. --Dallas Willard, professor of philosophy, University of Southern California


How can my choices be totally free if God is in control of all things at all times and knows the end from the beginning?

How can God hear my prayers while listening to billions of others around the world at the exact same time moment?

How can God be all-powerful and all-loving yet allow so much suffering and evil?

These complex paradoxes hold far-reaching implications that have troubled people for centuries. Drawing on biblical teaching and scientific evidence that supports it, Hugh Ross invites us to know and experience God in a way we may never have considered before. As a result, our love and appreciation for God will be dramatically deepened, and the way we relate to him and to others both believers and nonbelievers will be changed forever, for good.


Do you have any Bible texts where the purpose of Gehenna and being thrown into the outer darkness is defined as providing love and protection to its’ inhabitants or to others?


No but if you will understand that God did what he did as a purpose, in other words, Gehenna in and of it self was what Jesus was talking about when the word ‘hell’ comes up as a translation, it could possibly make more sense… God was speaking to the Jews there and then. Bob, not everything has to be hinged on a Biblical verse. Our understanding has to be looked at from the view of the present person.