It's unlikely the Church has gotten it wrong for 2000 years!


This one seems big enough to deserve it own topic :slight_smile:

Firstly, I’d say it’s an excellent question, and that it’s right for people to start from this position.

However, I’d then point out that:

]For what it’s worth, I think EU “conforms with the biblical data” better than ECT :sunglasses: /]

]Not “everyone throughout the centuries” has believed ECT. In fact up until Calvin, theologians believed that at least some people were being saved from hell. Furthermore, there has always been a small minority (with the occasional prominent person like Gregory of Nicea) that held onto Universalism./]

]If ECT hadn’t been enforced by the sword and used for political purposes, I’m sure it would have been more common./]

]People find it hard to trust God, who they can’t see, touch, smell, feel or hear (at least not everyday). /]

]People instinctively want revenge of people who hurt them. I think this makes us more inclined to ECT./]

]Institutions are self reinforcing e.g. the students become the teachers./]

]I’ve been trying to think of instances where the Church has changed it’s thinking/practices on an issue. One which came to mind is “the role of women in church”. When my parents attended church as children (only 50 years ago), most women wore head coverings and were silent in church. After a fair bit of arguing and sometimes controversy (still ongoing in some places), both theological and practically, most churches have have moved to women praying up front, reading the bible up front, leading children’s stories and in some cases preaching (leaving aside for the moment, if this is legit or not), all without head coverings. My point is this is something the mainstream church had held for almost 2000 years, and only now have we changed stance./]

Richard Abanes: The Truth That Hurts

If Israel pretty much got it wrong for 2000 years, so can the church.

You have heard it said “an eye for an eye”, but I tell you… etc.


This argument, “How can you be right and everyone else for 2000 years be wrong?” is my biggest barrier to UR. However when I see AllanS’s argument I have to think, “Well maybe…”

I slowly coming to the conclusion that we all have it wrong; that God has bound us all up in unbelief that He might have mercy on us all.


There has been disagreement in the church concerning every aspect of theology for 2000 years. I’ve come to accept that much concerning God is beyond site, transcends our ability to understand. And I’ve come to accept that I could be completely wrong about much, if not everything, I believe. And you know, I’m ok with that. I seek truth and wisdom and do my best to live in the light I have in the darkness of this present evil age. Having undergone a couple of significant crisises of faith, I’ve come to trust in the Lord with all my heart and not rely upon my own understanding; though I do seek understanding.

It’s helpful to understand our sourses of theology. The Weaslyan Quadrilateral is pretty good (scripture, tradition, reason, and experience); though I think Sherman’s Pentagonal is better (scripture, tradition, reason, experience, and ministerial). I’ve added “ministerial” recognizing that some people respect certain ministers so much that if they believe something, then they accept it as true without considering it for themselves.


It’s not so unlikely, in my view. We like to make God like us, and forget that His ways are not like ours. It’s not hard for me to believe that people simply imported their pagan/human ideas into Christianity and read hopeless hell into God’s strong words of condemnation against evil. People read their own ideas into scripture all the time–the difficulty is to NOT do that, and we should always be evaluating to see if we are.

The true Church, of course, is not the institutions called by that name, but the faithful individuals who have truly followed Christ through the ages. The ones to whom He says “Well done!” which are not necessarily the ones who say, “Lord, Lord!”

Faith is not bound up is creedal affirmations, but in taking up the cross and following, and in taking His yoke and learning from Him.

On what basis then can we judge what the true Church has affirmed for 2000 years? And is it the theoretical doctrines or the practical doctrines that matter?



My parents are strong Calvinists, but have generous and compassionate hearts and wouldn’t hurt a fly. The contrast between their theology and their practice makes me smile. Is the reverse is true? Do very nasty people “believe” generous theology?


I’m sure it must be true. Let us examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith.



Is everyone accepting the ‘2000 year’ part of the statement? Was UR condemned in the first few centuries? Weren’t there churches which espoused UR at some time during the 2000 years? Anabaptists? I’m fairly ignorant of such things and would like some input on this thanks.


Good point, I hadn’t thought of that.

Definitely worth remembering.

I’ve certainly fallen into that trap myself occasionally :blush:

I agree, however, this cuts both ways. i.e. I’ve had it used against me to say God’s ways in Judgement is not like ours, but harsher (more holy??).

True, very difficult, I sure some see me as reading in sentimental/new-age views of love :frowning:


Sobering thought :neutral_face:

A huge challenge.

God knows!

I think both, because often one’s theory influences your practice, but I agree knowledge without love is worthless.

True. I agree often love overpowers false and harsh doctrine. However, it would be even better not to have the false and harsh doctrine.

Probably, but I wish it wasn’t the case. If they have truth and love, they shouldn’t be nasty, but sadly we are all still sinful and make many mistakes.

Good point, that would reduce at least reduce it to '1500 years".

I believe so. Certainly theologians who publicly held the view.

Sorry, same here. I reckon “All Shall Be Well” is helpful in this regard (I’ve only just started reading it).


I know at least that UR was prevalent in Augustine’s time, or he would not have been arguing against it and calling it’s proponents, “these perversely compassionate persons”! :sunglasses:

I suspect there have been people with this faith throughout the years. I think I’ve seen a list of quotes at Tentmaker of well known people through the ages who have believed it.



Awe, let’s not let facts get in the way of such statements! :slight_smile:


:laughing: :laughing:


Of course the original ‘chosen people’ seem to have been wrong for nearly triple the time. :wink: