Howdy Everybody:grinning:… its been awhile since I’ve posted, but I remember a few years ago when I did and everybody was very gracious and candid in their answers.
Anyway, I find myself flirting with some form of deism/pluralism the more convinced I am that God will save everyone. For I can’t reconcile why God would leave so many millions (billions) in ignorance of Christ’s Good News. Obviously, part of this our fault (where the Christ and the Word have been revealed, most are exclusivists) but some of this is God’s fault as well. There are huge geographic and historical swaths where the Good News (or revelation of Christ) never reaches, so people don’t even have a chance to interpret (or misinterpret) it. This seems a big problem with the universalist assumption that God WANTS everybody to know that Jesus loves them.
Now, I don’t think that all religions are on a par, and to my lights, Christianity (esp universalist Christianity) is the best game in town, with the exception of perhaps Tom Paine’s Theo-philanthropy (which just assumed God, a moral code, and the conviction that an omnibenevolent God would never endlessly punish people in the next world). To me, Paine’s is a simpler, and therefore “better” scheme for God to adopt (although Christianity is certainly poignant with the Incarnation), because there are less ways it can malfunction due to lack of evangelism, human misinterpretation, geographic/historical universality, etc. Nevertheless, I cannot help getting back to the justice question: why would a God that wants to save everybody mire us in ignorance as to his love?
I also am disturbed by the historical trajectory of universalism. There was a boom of universalism in the 18th-19th century I’m sure you’re all aware of. But then look, by the early 20th century, the Universalist Church had joined forces with the Unitarian Church to the point where evangelical Christian universalism was just subsumed. But it seems the logical conclusion of universalism… if you believe God will save everybody, regardless of what religion, then the “Christian” part of that equation becomes, though poignant, superfluous.
So… please help me to keep my faith in Jesus;), because I am in fear of jettisoning Christianity for something “easier” like benevolent deism. Do any of you struggle with this temptation to pluralism/unitarianism? What keeps you from it? How do you answer the theological justice question of God’s allowing EU, if true, to be not pervasive?
Thanks for considering