The Evangelical Universalist Forum

If God were a Universalist at heart...why didn't?

Aaron, As far as I can see your ban does not end until 31 January 2013. The fact that your IP address may not be physically barred does not mean your ban has been lifted. I’ve asked the other mods and admins to confirm or correct me on this.

Whilst we are happy to have healthy debate with opponents of universalism on the forum, during your previous spells here you seemed to find it difficult to stay within acceptable boundaries. So before lifting the ban, as far as I remember, we wanted some evidence that you were ready to adopt a more respectful, healthy approach.

I was not given a fair opportunity to defend myself to the accusations presented against
Me. I really vaguely recall why I was banned so long ago in the first place. I was surprised of my banning. That is here nor there.


Sorry guys. I knew the name seemed familiar, but I had forgotten who it went to.

So you would not of responded if you knew it was me? Why not? Are you not going to respond to the truth given to you now because of me? How silly, Cindy. That would be a shame.

And so it begins. Again.
Regardless, Cindy raises some good points.

God is not a universalist, so it’s a bit silly to start with, “if God were a universalist at heart…” Christian universalism is a theological position. God is not a Christian either. So let’s at least start with an accurate set of presuppositions that will enable us to ask the right questions…

No, she wouldn’t have responded to you because you’re still on the one-year ban, Aaron. It doesn’t end until Jan 15, 2013; and as we explicitly told you earlier this year when we banned you (again), if you want back on you’ll have to show us where you’ve been recently active on other forums first so we can decide if you’ve changed your standard operating procedures. That means dealing with the ad/mods first and convincing us you’ve changed (instead of merely telling us you’ve changed without providing any publicly available evidence, which is how you got back on last time).

Your new accounts will be banned until Jan 15 as well. That includes ip addresses, which were banned last time; they’ll unfreeze 12:00am system time on Tuesday Jan 15.

This time/times yes; some previous times, no, and those were the ones I referred to: even then we still kept the threads and posts you had started.

Most recently, the comments you posted and the threads you started as “BookofActsChristian”, trying to get around a yearlong ban in 2010, can still be found here, here (in a thread started by Aaron Reynolds), and here (in a thread started by Alex and featuring Tom Talbott). Once we realized it was you, I set the system to register those comments under your previous pseudonym of Aaron37, but in the latter thread several of the replies to you still show “BookofActsChristian” as your pseudonym.

However, I do think I confused your case with someone else we banned for a year around the same time (definitely not you), a self-described prophet who claimed to be Jesus Christ reborn/incarnate/something named wikkiwikkiwoowoo, who tried to get back on the board under a new name “meric” this spring; his account doesn’t unfreeze until April next year. Like you, the charges against him were libeling another member, with various associated impenitences connected to that subsequently; and although otherwise the cases were quite different, that’s probably why I mis-remembered his attempt to get back on as though you had done so. My apologies.

You were banned specifically for your behavior in this particular thread, although you’d been treading hard on the line for a while before then. If it was a surprise to you, then you weren’t paying sufficient attention.

Regardless of whether you showed up this time without a pseudonym, you were banned for a year (with warnings prior, including three official warnings to your account as “Revival”, so it wasn’t a surprise), with specific criteria for reinstatement once the ban was up. You have not even remotely tried to meet that criteria, and the ban wouldn’t expire until Jan 15 anyway, so your account will be frozen again as usual. (Updated: now done. “Aaron Curry” will unban as a username, along with the connected ip address, on Jan 15. If we do decide to allow you back on, it won’t be with a pseudonym anymore, so I’ve made sure this name will be available for you to use.)

I will warn you that trying to post on Jan 15 without a quorum of ad/mods agreeing you’ve met the criteria will result in an instant ban for at least another year and possibly longer; probably also with a deletion of your comment or thread.

Note: while members are welcome to discuss Aaron’s comments on this thread, be aware that he will not be able to respond to challenges, so please don’t use him as easy target practice: the ad/mods will act to protect him from people trying to claim that they scared him off with the awesomeness of their replies.

(I realize Johnny wasn’t trying to take advantage of Aaron that way, but even if people don’t realize he can’t answer we’ll still try to clarify that he isn’t hiding or retreating.)

Worth noting: when the ban came down in January, you were also specifically told…

So if we decide you lost your appeal by trying to get on again around the ban, you can’t say you weren’t warned about that back in January.

Thanks for clarifying things Jason. ‘Debating’ Aaron is like shooting fish in a barrel even when he isn’t temporarily on the naughty stair, so I’ll keep my powder dry until such time as he isn’t :smiley: .

But seriously, something really good has already come of this thread - Cindy’s super ‘potted guide to Universalism’. Seriously, what you wrote Cindy is one of the best pieces of EU apologetics I’ve read in ages. Concise yet comprehensive, scripturally respectful, historically educative, philosophically satisfying, and both erudite and easy to understand - and that ain’t no mean feat! So cheers for that Aaron!

Peace guys


God can do all things that are possible. He cannot draw a square circle. He cannot directly create people with ready-made experience. Experience has to accumulate over time, or else it would be fake. If we don’t genuinely experience evil, how can we genuinely reject it? An innocent person who has experienced no evil is weak. A guilty person who has experienced much evil and rejected it, is strong. Who died the wiser man: the prodigal son, or the elder brother?

As Paul said, God has bound all of us to disobedience in order to have mercy on us all.

Awww Johnny :blush:


In case anyone is wondering whether we’ll take that into account in deliberating whether AC was intentionally trying to get around his ban early:

Most people don’t know how to change their ip address (it gets changed for them based on several factors), and I don’t recall any evidence that AaronC is particularly competent at computer technicals. (Heck, I’m kind of competent and I’m not totally sure I could reassign my ip address!) So at first I was inclined to accept this explanation in his favor as true.

(One might wonder why, if this is true, he didn’t stop to wonder why if we were merciful enough to end the ban early we hadn’t alerted him. But then one would recall who we’re talking about: I can imagine him thinking to himself how deceitful and unfair we were to go out of our way to end his ban early without telling him, thus continuing to frustrate his right to post ‘the truth’ here etc. :unamused: Or possibly not putting enough of the contexts together to even realize there was an obvious problem with the early ban-release theory. Or perhaps having forgotten the easy-to-recall concept of a 1-year ban. Or maybe not comprehending how long a 1-year ban lasts.)

But then, on a hunch, I compared the email addresses for his “Revival”, “Aaron Curry”, and “Aaron C” accounts.

Being assigned a new ip address by his computer is something that could have easily happened to him by accident without knowing it.

Registering with new email addresses isn’t something that would have happened to him by accident.

In fact, only Aaron’s username was banned by the mod today (before I got involved–AC is correct that it was RevDrew btw), not his email address nor his ip; yet he not only re-registered with a new email address as “Aaron C” compared to the address he used as “Aaron Curry”, but also re-registered with a new email address as “Aaron Curry” compared to the address he used as “Revival”!

The obvious explanation is that he (reasonably) thought the “Aaron Curry” email address had been banned today by Drew, so he re-registered with a new email address as “Aaron C”; thus also (reasonably) thought the “Revival” email address was still under a ban.

As it happens, we also banned his username “Revival” at the same time we banned his ip address, back in January. (There isn’t much reason to do that compared to banning an ip address and/or an email address; it simply prevents a member from using an inappropriate handle and forces them to change to a new one. But it’s the first ban option on the list, so often we temp-ban a person’s username first for provisional purposes and then ban the ip address later once we’ve settled on whether or how long to enforce the ban.)

Had he tried logging in opportunistically under the account he had been using when banned in January, the account for “Revival” (whom everyone here either knows is Aaron Curry anyway or else doesn’t know at all and so doesn’t care), he would have found himself still banned (because the username was still banned) even if his computer had assigned him a new ip number since January.

So either he didn’t bother trying at all to log in as “Revival”, and created the new membership of “Aaron Curry” from scratch with a new email address different from the one he used as “Revival”; or he tried to log in, discovered he was (of course) still banned, and then started the new membership with the new email address.

Either way, the evidence indicates he came back thinking his email address had been banned back in January, and was trying to get around that ban.

This is why I still don’t believe he only tried an opportunistic attempt at a login and, purely by accident, thought the ban had been lifted early.

(Which is completely aside from the fact that we had explicitly told him he’d have to have ad/mod permission to return and under what conditions that had to be met. Which he either conveniently forgot, despite being very important for him ever having a chance at operating here again, or flat decided to ignore. Had he really accidentally thought his ban had ended early without anyone bothering to tell him, or had he accidentally forgotten when the ban even ended, the first thing he would have done to try to operate here legitimately upon discovering he could sign-in was contact the ad/mods.)

(Which is also completely aside from the fact that, despite being clearly told he was still under a ban, he very obviously went ahead and re-registered under a new membership, “Aaron C”, to get around the ban on “Aaron Curry” today! And then after obviously acting to get around a ban he had been placed under today had the chutzpah to try to pretend he had accidentally misunderstood the situation and thought his ban was lifted early.)

If you don’t recall your own arguments against Christian universalism, when you yourself made them in a thread you yourself created for the purpose of making the arguments (and to which you replied up to the day you were banned), maybe the problem isn’t with our competency at keeping track of things, BA.

Because it looks like you’re picking up exactly where you left off when you were kicked off the forum.

At any rate, there was already a very long discussion on this which some of us who possess this thing called “memory” still recall (even if like myself we didn’t participate in it, being busy with other things at the time), even though you do not.

just to send His Son Jesus to be crucified and resurrected to reconcile what he could of had in the beginning if he created man without free will. It would of saved Jesus and humanity a whole lot of needless pain and suffering. … why not just stop Adam from eating the forbidden fruit or just take away humans free will and save Jesus and humanity a whole lot of needless pain and suffering? Because God could of done this if Universalism was his original plan.

Or, hey, maybe you do remember one of your threads you created and participated in shortly before being banned after all!–I mean, considering the number of parallel or even identical phrases used by you both now and then on the same exact topic.

But then, you would have been outright lying to us (if not to the thread in general in your original post, whatever the precise form of that was), about how you don’t recall UR being challenged from this angle before, as part of your strategy to challenge us with “the truth” that you want us to believe.

But that would be uncharitable to suppose. So, maybe what happened is that you didn’t think your argument was all that great the first time, consequently you completly forgot about it, and you don’t recall anymore why you dropped it (sometime after being banned apparently, as you’re still holding to it the day you were banned), and it’s just a wacky coincidence how many verbal parallels there are between your new presentation of your own previously discarded and forgotten argument and one of the last threads you were working on before being banned for a year.

Alternately, maybe you’re largely copy-pasting it from somewhere else (not something you yourself wrote, of course, although you do like to quote yourself over and over), which you were also largely copy-pasting it from last time you were here, and you’ve just forgotten that you’ve ever seen your source that you’re passing off as your own argument without attribution before (the way you used to do before we caught you at it), much less that you’ve actually passed it off as your own argument previously as one of the last things you did the last time you were here.

Or maybe you were copy-pasting in both cases (with some variant rewordings here and there for flavor) from something you yourself did write, although you’ve forgotten not only that you’ve previously used this common source here before but that you yourself wrote that common source to begin with. In which case you’d be passing it off to as though you wrote it, thinking someone else wrote it because you don’t recall writing it yourself originally.

None of those seem like great options.

Well, since you’re still banned from January I guess I shouldn’t pick on you about it. But maybe when next January comes around, assuming you can demonstrate your newly reformed behavior to us with evidence on other forums, and we let you back on, you’ll get around to explaining why it looks like you tried to start over on where you had left off while trying to convince us you don’t recall seeing this argument before.

After which we can have another discussion about it. Again. Like before. Except, you know, different.

(Or… omg, I feel the Spirit of Prophecy suggesting something I can hardly believe… that the next time you try to come back and manage to get on, whether or not you’re still banned, you’ll pick up this topic from scratch again while claiming you’ve never seen it tried before! NO WAY! EVEN YOU WOULDN’T TRY THAT!! That has to be my upset stomach talking…)

You have dedicated half this thread assuming my motives without even attempting to respond to the truth given to this forum in this thread. How honorable of you to attack me unjustifiably knowing I can’t defend myself to your theories. I know coming in like this to defend myself is the only way and I accept any consequences of it.

I honestly did not remember starting that thread almost a year ago.( And i did not copy and paste anything…it is all mine) But what I did notice you are busy mocking my memory of it instead of giving a biblical response to it. You failed to respond in both cases which tells me you can’t respond biblically nor can anyone else on this forum. Cindy’s response was based out of her emotions and not the Bible.

I believe my time on this forum has run its course. I believe I read somewhere on here that they were sad my voice was silenced
On this forum because I presented challenges to UR that went unanswered or unsatisfactory answers.

Jason instead of making unnecessary untrue attacks on me that I can’t defend maybe you should try to answer my refutation of UR on this thread and last Januarys thread. God bless.

G’day Aaron…

Perhaps your view of Universalism doesn’t need to be as narrow as you seem to make it. The essence of salvation is NOT about who gets to heaven, but rather about bringing service to God, i.e., one is ‘saved to serve’.

Thus God or man’s ability “to choose” isn’t wrapped up in post mortem destinies, but rather WHO is being called to serve God in THIS life in loving his neighbour, i.e., the royal rule Jas 2:8].

Incidentally, also a completely new email address and ip there. What are the odds?!

Also now banned, and since you insist on trying to get around the bans I expect your Jan 15 scheduled unban will be revoked and probably not reassigned. As to your motives, I’ve brought out the data for members to decide for themselves whether the logic adds up.

I didn’t “fail” to address your thread last time because I was busy elsewhere. But imagine what you like, no one can stop you.

Discussions about Adam and Eve (either literally or representing our first human ancestors), in regard to free will, salvation, God’s omniscience and/or God’s intentions in the Fall, are actually rather common on the forum, as anyone who bothers to spend a few minutes checking will discover; challenges to Christian universalism amounting to God’s respect for free will of sinners resulting in Him destroying the free will of sinners or allowing them to destroy their own free will, are even more common. Two projects I’ve been recently working on (with extensive commentary here on the forum) feature opponents to universalism appealing to such arguments, and a third very recent thread features Jerry Walls (and one of his own annihilationist opponents for that matter!) giving it, too. That doesn’t count the dozens of other times I myself (not even counting other members) have discussed the topic on this forum since its inception, including in relation to my beloved ‘teacher’ C. S. Lewis, whose theological and apologetical school of thought I definitely follow (with slight modifications in line with the logical implications of his own arguments, including with repairs to the few logical incoherencies in his arguments) and who was by far the most popular Protestant proponent of the theory in the 20th century, thereby greatly influencing contemporary proponents of the theory today.

But what the hey, never hurts to lick that calf again.

Christian universalism, like any other Christian soteriology, is about salvation of sinners from sin. God puts it into effect if and only if some of His creatures sin, just like He would put any other salvation theory (if another one is true instead) into effect if and only if some of His creatures sin.

That God in His omniscience sees creatures using their free will to sin and so (from our temporal perspective) plans in advance to save them from their sins, including how to go about it through the Incarnation and Passion (among other things like inspiring evangelism and setting up the historical contexts of the Incarnation and Passion), is no more a problem for Christian universalism than it is for any variety of Arminianism or Calvinism.

That God insists on acting to save sinners from sin without their initial permission or even desire, is no more a disrespect or violation of their free will in Christian universalism than it is in Arminianism (where God does so for all sinners at first even if for whatever reason(s) He gives up later) or in Calvinism (where God persists in doing so for some sinners instead of for all sinners until He gets it done).

That God created a perfect world and yet allowed His perfectly good creatures to fall into sin, temporarily ruining His world, is no more a problem if He persistently acts to save all such sinners from sin afterward, than if He acts to save only some sinners from sin afterward. I would say it’s even less of a problem in the former case, because unless God saves all sinners from sin eventually, then God allows (or cannot stop) sin from ultimately and permanently ruining at least some of His originally perfectly good creatures!

So much for Adam and Eve: it is at least as logically coherent for God to allow them to sin, temporarily ruining His world, if He plans to save them both from their sins someday (per Universalism), than if He plans to save only Adam or only Eve from his or her sin someday (per Calvinism), or omnisciently foresees that He will give up saving one of them from their sins for whatever reason (per Arminianism). The same principle extends to however many sinners other than two ever exist: a comparison of total or partial salvation from sin, is still an all or part comparison regardless of the actual numbers involved.

Meanwhile, it is far more logically coherent for God to restore all His creatures to righteousness and incorruption someday, if He created them to be righteous and uncorrupt in the first place and regards this as an optimal state of affairs, than for God to allow or insist on some of His creatures never being righteous and uncorrupted.

It is also far more logically coherent for God to keep acting to preserve the free will of His creatures, even if currently they are freely choosing to do that which will destroy their free will apart from God’s gracious intervention, if He values their free will; than to allow them to destroy their free will (much moreso to destroy their free will Himself) if He values their free will.

Precisely because I wholeheartedly and coherently endorse the doctrine that true love requires, values and supports free will, thus that God Who is essentially and fundamentally True Love as the ground of all existence requires, values, and supports free will; I therefore logically reject any soteriology which involves God’s creatures losing God’s gift of their free will. There are some versions of universalism which avoid that problem, but every version of non-universalism involves God allowing or forcing at least some of His creatures to permanently lose their free will.

That all people will come someday to a point where they freely choose good instead of evil ever afterward, is no more problematic than that God eternally chooses to do good instead of evil rather than being constrained by some superior force to only do good. That God will persistently act toward bringing about such a state of affairs between all persons until, in His omnicompetency He gets it done, and won’t give up short of the goal, is no more problematic than for God to persistently and eternally act to self-exist as the foundational “state of affairs” (in several senses of that phrase) between Persons freely choosing to fulfill fair-togetherness toward one another in interpersonal communion. The greater (God’s Trinitarian foundational self-existence) is itself the strongest possible guarantee of the lesser (God bringing all derivative creatures to be righteous to one another, even if at particular moments in time they aren’t being righteous with the righteousness of God, apart from which there is no other righteousness).

In short, because the Trinity is true, God is and must be a universalist at heart.

Those (and your other brief scripture refs) have all been discussed many times on the forum, including by me, including (for Matt 12 and 2 Thess 1) in some recent threads of mine, including in threads you either started or participated in, including in threads you were running before being banned in January; so for anyone new to the forum (unlike you) if I don’t go out of my way to discuss them again here, that doesn’t mean I’m ignoring them. But since I know from long past experience that you’re going to claim (against all evidence) I ignore such things anyway, I figured I might as well pre-empt your complaint.

Same is true for your claim that God’s spiritual fire and heat (analogically describing the action of the Holy Spirit) do not change a man’s heart (since few if any universalists either claim or care whether literal fire and heat leads a man to repentance)–you’ve conveniently forgotten scriptural examples to the contrary, as well as the extended discussions of the contexts of Rev 14, just like you claim to have forgotten you created this thread and its topic shortly before being banned, thus having never seen your own argument before.

Anyone wanting to discuss things with you who doesn’t know you yet is advised to take such things into account.

Meanwhile, I have indeed finally grown tired after all these years of trying to protect you from the consequences of your actions; let them fall on you for a while. For example, anyone who wants to score free points on you while you can’t respond is welcome to do so, as far as I care–I won’t stop them.

Shouldn’t that be *your version *of the truth, my multiple identitied friend?

Yup, you got us all. We’re all totally non-plussed, literally struck dumb by your brilliantly persuasive arguments.

Er, quite possibly … :laughing:

Adios amigo


:laughing: Johnny

I’m sorry Revival, er, Aaron can’t seem to see, but one day he will. And all will be well and all manner of things will be well. :wink:

You failed to address my challenge. You have given reasons why you think it is not a problem for God to allow his creation to sabotage it and you also gave your emotional reasons why God will not stop to bring people to salvation after the fall but you did not address why he allowed it if Unversalim were true.

In Gen 1:28 God told man to replenish the earth with perfect righteous humans who would be born with the life of God. If Universalism were truly in God’s heart he would not of created man with the ability to choose to sabotage that plan. Before the fall in Gen 3 God already had what UR represents without the torment, pain and suffering that people would have to experience in Hell and the lake of fire to have an eternal relationship with him according to UR theology Why would God want his perfect creation to be corrupted with sin and death, and allow humans and his Son to suffer needlessly just to send Jesus to restore creation back to what he already had in the beginning? That is absurdity gone wacko, Jason.

The truth of the matter is God knew the risk making humanity with the ability to choose and he also knew that a large number of people would not choose him and reject him. That is why Jesus was slain before the foundation of the world because God knew Adam would cause creation to fall and God made provision for WHOSOEVER calls on the name of the Lord to be reconciled back to him! He absolutely knows not ALL people who ever lived will accept this reconciliation therefore making Universalism false and never in the heart of God. God honors peoples choices. Choose life, and not death, Jason.

God never has or never will use Hell or the lake of fire as a means to salvation.

Against my better judgement I’m gonna thow in my 2p … (more to benefit my own thinking than anything else)

Because the original plan was to have a good universe full of free creatures who participated in & with God freely.

Really good question; I think the answer is that God’s love obligates Him to create free beings, and freedom that is not limited by coercion carries with it the risk of rejection.

Agreed IF God wanted universalism without free will. But He wanted universalism AND free will. And, when it comes to ultimates, God gets what God wants. God doesn’t fail: His plan of having a good universe full of free willed beings participating in love (and with none outside) will succeed.

Yes they were. And they were also capable of rejecting Him also. Because God had a degree of epistemic distance between Him and Adam; because Adam had freedom which God had bound Himself to honour with serious consequence without overwhelming interference, Adam could, and did, choose contrary to God’s will.

Only if freedom cannot guarantee universalism; only if free will makes universalism incoherent. And it does with certain types of freedom or certain types of universalism. But I think that God can ensure that all creatures come to Him freely without coercion by using *fully convincing *persuasion. All beings will retain their free will, though God’s persuasive abilities will be so good that no rational being (and all beings will be fully rational then) could reject God. Maybe a bit like believing 2+2=4. Once you understand that 2+2=4 you cannot seriously doubt it, or will to disbelieve it. To understand is to know, and then to act accordingly (to the degree that you are consistent and rational).

Why didn’t God just start the universe off like that? Because full persuasion/revelation of God’s character is seen only in the crucified God, and God couldn’t be crucified without death, which meant death had to enter the universe before that option ws available to Him. He couldn’t introduce it Himself as it is contrary to His character (it’s evil), but once introduced by free willed beings He could subvert that worst weapon of the devil to ensure the completion of His initial plan.