The Evangelical Universalist Forum

List of those of who reject traditional hellism


John Eldridge isn’t a universalist, alas, or at least he wasn’t a year or so ago. I don’t remember all that was said, but he and I had a brief exchange on his blog and he made it clear (tactfully) that he believed in eternal punishment. I hesitate to say more because I don’t remember exactly what either of us said. It was a little sad, though not unexpected.


Wendy I got the same impression as Cindy about Eldridge concerning universal salvation. He speaks of a universal restoration which many are not part of I guess :confused:

Will do Pog but I’m still thinking how to couch the entries. I also think that the Soren entry needs updating - I’ve found out more about him. At the moment in research I am doing I’m coming across another group of people who I think extremely important in the history of universalism who don’t fit any current categories; namely that people I would call ‘mitigators’. These are people who still believed in ECT but somehow tried to soften the doctrine. For example -

Aquinas mitigated Augustine’s doctrine of the damnation of unbaptized infants by the idea of limbo where the unbaptized don’t suffer in the sense of being tortured but only in the sense of being deprived of the complete vision of God.

Dante walked among the damned with pity rather than mockery

Even Calvin asserted that the fire that torments is a spiritual anguish rather than material (something his followers forgot)

Simon Episcopius was keen to stress that the torments of hell were not as terrible as others thought

John Pordage who I once thought might be a universalist - and needs to be shifted from this category - viewed hell as self chosen a bit like Lewis etc…

John Piper - against the Westminster Confession - teaches that all children who die in infancy are among the elect.

I’ve loads of examples of mitigators. I think they are important in terms of the gradual shift away from belief in ECT. I don’t what you think - but they are certainly on my radar at the moment.


Yeah, I read a couple of Eldredge’s books back in the day, The Sacred Romance and Wild At Heart, and I liked his passion and his eloquence, and how he focused on the heart and the importance of emotions, which I think a lot of evangelicals have an overly distrustful and dismissive attitude towards, and I like how Eldredge tries to correct that attitude, and I also appreciate his love for good stories and how he used a lot of literature and film to illustrate what he was trying to say (and I believe he has some good things to say), as I often do myself, but nowadays I think he’s off-kilter in some areas to be sure, even in his thoughts on what it means to be a man, which is kind of one of his main focuses (I’ll save my qualms on that for another time) and I agree with Cindy that, unless things have changed with him recently, he’s most definitely not a universalist. :neutral_face:

I remember reading a tract that I found written by him a few years ago, where he talked about salvation, and there was the usual ‘turn to God before it’s forever too late’ kind of thing going on, even if it was put in a more eloquent way than it usually is. :unamused:


In “The Sacred Romance,” Jesus and the Bible’s storyline are presented as the true fulfillment of all humanity’s deepest hopes as revealed in our fairy tales, which ultimately end with, “And they all lived happily ever after.” When I read that, I thought how much such tales implied the desire of genuine love that a good ending will come to everyone who has value in our eyes, and how close Eldredge thus seemed to universalism. Alas, many don’t see where the logic of their faith would lead, or appear satisfied with a good ending for themselves.


Thanks for the info on Eldredge folks, sad but clear.


Yeah, if you can provide extra info for Soren that’d be grand :slight_smile: Also, yes I understand the issue regarding ‘mitigators’. However, I think this would so greatly expand the list beyond it’s initial scope (same as with non-Christian universalists) that it’d a huge undertaking, probably deserving of its own list (most ECTers are in some way mitigators no-a-days, I think - especially in terms of infant salvation). So, unless they can happily fit into one of the current categories (hopeful, anti-hellist, post-mortem salvationst (maybe infant salvationists could fit here?) etc, I’m not sure it’d be wise to include them here and now.

Perhaps and expanded section/ separate list? I’m not sure.


Pog your the editor here - I’ll pass any people that I see as key mitigators from the past over to you as I come across them (they are especially important in the seventeenth century. Yes you can put them in with the anti-hellist if you think they sound useful. I think John Prodage is currently in hopeful universalist category on the basis of a single quotation that isn’t that clear (my fault - I hand’s studied him at the time I gave the quotation). You can either delete him or move him to anti -hellist on the basis of the following -

Thus you see how many eternal spirits through abuse of their own wills make themselves dwellers in the suffering principium, in that they themselves transform themselves into the devilish nature, and thus become one will and nature with the devil, and not that God has ordered them there, or that they are fated to go there. Why should we make of God the source of man’s eternal suffering and damnation? Why do we need to? Why not more the dragon and the devil and the act of our own free will that turns itself from God’s will and to the dragon’s and the devil’s will? Because this is consistent with the teaching of the Old and New Testaments, of that I am absolutely certain.
(from the close of the 22nd chapter of ‘Sophia; The Graceful Eternal Virgin’)


I’ve moved Prodage to anti-hellist for the moment.

I’ll be enlarging bios as I see ones that need extra info over the next few weeks, but probably not in any order (McKeeman).

Does anyone know if there were any new names, info or quotes that came out of Ramelli’s book?


Does anyone know anything about L Ray Smith?

And I just noticed we have two entries, in two differing categories, for Westcott!!! Will try and sort out … (done, correctly I hope)



I’ve got me hands full at the moment Pog. So it’s ‘what you will’ - it will be great whatever you do


Pog, just a quick note to say thanks for this opus magnum! I haven’t been posting here because I’m a complete ignoramus on the topic, besides what you and Dick et al have taught me. Muchas Gracias!


Pog, I think I sent you a citation from Paul Tillich; this would have been some months back. Did you get it, or shall I send it again?


Sorry Dave, I must have totally missed the Tillich one :frowning: Can you post the info here, with a recommended category? I’m not conversant with his work or position. Apologies.

Cindy, you’re more than welcome - but it’s Dick that deserves most of the credit, his historical research has proved invaluable. :slight_smile:

Sobornost: no worries :slight_smile:

Anyone know if Jason is able to provide any new info/updates after reading Ramelli?

Also, anyone know about this L Ray Smith chap?

And I’m a bit concerned about how spotty the annihilationist sections are - I’ve looked, and sought help from annis, but no dice :frowning:

And do we still have no German readers who can sort something for Jens Adam?

I’ll expand a few more of the bios while I wait :slight_smile: (up to/ including Reitan) - I notice some bios are still a little sparse. Like Morwenna Ludlow - I don’t even have info on here denomination? Anyone know? And Robin Parry!?


I’m going to tag [tag]JasonPratt[/tag] for you, Pog, re your question for him in your preceding post.


“Therefore, the Christian message points to an ultimate salvation which cannot be lost because it is reunion with the ground of being. This ultimate salvation is also the ultimate revelation, often described as the 'vision of God”. The mystery of being is present without the paradoxa of every revelation in time and space and beyond anything fragmentary and preliminary.

This does not refer to the individual in isolation. Fulfillment is universal. A limited fulfillment of separated individuals would not be fulfillment at all, not even for these individuals, for no person is separated from other persons and from the whole of reality in such a way that he could be saved apart from the salvation of everyone and everything. One can be saved only within the Kingdom of God which comprises the universe. But the Kingdom of God is also the place where there is complete transparency of everything for the divine to shine through it. In his fulfilled kingdom, God is everything for everything. This is the symbol of ultimate revelation and ultimate salvation in complete unity.
The recognition or nonrecognition of this unity is a decisive test of the character of a theology."

Paul Tillich, Systematic Theology, vol. 1


Thanks Cindy and Dave :slight_smile:

Dave, do you think Tillich should be put as a convinced universalist, yes?


“Tillich should be put as a convinced universalist”?

Yes, as well as being a convinc-ING universalist :smiley:


Bios updated as far as Tutt.

Tillich added.


This is from the book, “The Gospel: Universal Restoration,” by Richard Kirsch …

Dr. [G Campbell] Morgan was dubbed “The Prince of Expositors” and “the leading Bible expositor of the 20th Century” by Revell publishers on the back dust jacket of Morgan’s book, “An Exposition of the Whole Bible” (25th printing, January 1993). Here’s the first of two G. Campbell Morgan UR quotations cited in Kirsch’s book:

G. Campbell Morgan – "We cannot conceive of a Creator who knows the end from the beginning, one who is Love, who has infinite wisdom, and infinite power, giving to any being life, life which is never to end, but to continue in suffering to all eternity. The Bible does not teach it anywhere in the original languages. God’s punishments are remedial and take place within the span of the ages during which He is accomplishing the making of man in His image and likeness. Punishment will last no longer than is necessary to bring man to hate his sin and be reconciled to his Saviour. As the judgment came unto all men, even so the free gift came unto all men [Romans 5:18-19]. – From a sermon in Westminster Chapel, London called “The Cross and the Ages to Come.”


Cheers for the info, Quest for Truth :slight_smile:

I’ll add him into the 20thc convinced universalists (by the sound of that quote). Could you have a look over the entry and see if you think it’s ok for him? I admit to not knowing much about him, so clarification of his views would be helpful. Thanks for the contribution, and apologies for the slowness of my response - I only check in every now and again (my bad).


I’ve double-checked the quote and it’s good to go.

Here’s a little more biographical information from *The Gospel – Universal Restoration *by Richard Kirsch …” G. Campbell Morgan, respected and loved throughout the Christian world, had a vast following in this country from coast to coast. He preached to congregations from Los Angeles to London, making the Bible vibrant and alive to children, ministers, and laymen. His more than fifty books have been read by nearly a million people, and his writings are continuing to bring the light of his incomparable exposition to new generations.

Dr. Morgan’s splendid powers of Biblical analysis and synthesis made him the leading Bible expositor of [the 20th] century.”

He lived from 1863 to 1945. He preached his first sermon at age 13, and by age 15 was preaching regularly in country chapels. About this time he became involved with the ministry of evangelist D. L. Moody. In his later days he persuaded the well known evangelical D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones to join him at Westminster Chapel in London in 1939. My impression is that he was not known as a Christian Universalist during most or all of his lifetime.