Interesting Debate on Gehenna

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This is interesting. If I’m reading the introduction right, it appears to be a universalist providing a rebuttal against a unitarian who believes in future punishments!


It does look interesting. I’ve downloaded it to read sometime when live gets a little less busy.



I highly recommend anything by Walter Balfour. He’s one of my favorite universalist authors! :mrgreen:


i haven’t even read it- it just looked interesting!


I’ll have to look up some of his other works. I’m reading this one right now; I’m up to about page 70 or 71.

I especially think it’s funny that it’s a Universalist vs. a Unitarian, because they are often thought of as the same thing these days. :laughing:


And further, they are neither- I grew up in the group. To be fair, there are theists in their fold, but it isn’t what a Unitarian Universalist is. They don’t claim a belief in God as to what makes their group’s identity.


So, what you’re saying is that Unitarian Universalists are actually neither Unitarians or Universalists? (On the whole, at least) Wow, talk about a misnomer… What exactly do they believe? Or is it a sort of “anything goes” type of thing?

And if that’s the case, why distinguish themselves as UU at all?


Just because it is their heritage and they take away things from it, basically that they are people of “reason” who challenged the status quo. That’s my take. It’s pretty much humanism, liberal humanism.

From their website:
There are seven principles which Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote:

* The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
* Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
* Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
* A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
* The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
* The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
* Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Unitarian Universalism (UU) draws from many sources:

* Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
* Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
* Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
* Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
* Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.
* Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

These principles and sources of faith are the backbone of our religious community.


Roofus, just a note that the opening chapters of Brad Jerzak’s new book, “Her Gates Will Never be Shut,” (recommended recently on Robin Parry’s page) emphasizes what Jesus meant by “Gehenna,” focusing especially on his parallells with Jeremiah’s references to fire in the Valley of Hinnon. I’m in the midst of it and finding it fascinating.


Hi, Bob-
Yes, this is where I found that link that I posted. I’m almost done with Jersak’s book. Interesting book. Not always sure what he is saying and if I agree. Why does he say that the universalist church fathers were speculating? Is there some statement in their writings that states that they are not going by scripture, but, rather, speculating? My take has always been that they believed that scripture taught universalism and that this wasn’t a speculation. By speculation I mean the idea that they thought that the scriptures didn’t address the issue and that they were “speculating”.
Take Care, Bob


I’m afraid that I’m too early in the book to evaluate or to know yet where Jerzak is going, but I hope to make progress in it soon.