The Evangelical Universalist Forum

List of those of who reject traditional hellism

I do love Mother Julian Dick. I’m reading her Revelations now. Surprised she wasn’t denounced as a heretic, when she at times calls God our mother.

Must say I don’t particularly find infernalism offensive. Think I would’ve proudly held that title back when I was trying my best to be a Calvinist. I guess you could argue it’s unhelpful if it rattles people, but I cannot help but feel some will be rattled by any title you produce for such a topic.

Personally I find ECT so abhorrent, that I have no issue calling it cosmic child abuse etc. I think it is so vile, that in this case a spade needs to be called a spade. That said, care must be taken that it is the logical conclusions of these beliefs that are vile, not the adherents themselves

That’s pretty true. Even Matt/Edward’s suggestion “Eternal Torment” offends me, and I subscribe to the possibility of an eternal consequence. Eternal torment or even eternal punishment implies it’s a condition actively decreed from God. That I definitely do not subscribe to. I’m with Johnny on this. I think focusing on the affirmed belief of these people (i.e. universalism) would be more relevant and less offensive for everyone.

Andrew Jukes wrote the restitution of all things.


Love your new avatar pic. You is well glam :slight_smile: .

With you all the way on this. Personally I’m pretty fed up with pussyfooting around, giving ECT some kind of break because it’s ‘seemingly’ scriptural. It isn’t, and by every other criterion it is despicable, unjust, unfair, immoral, blasphemous, sadistic garbage. And I for one will no longer give it any house room whatsoever. I grind my teeth in angry despair whenever I hear ECT being espoused in the name of the God who is love. But then I grit my teeth and remind myself I used to believe it, albeit reluctantly and questioningly, myself. You’re of course correct that we shouldn’t condemn ECTers as vile JLS - except for those who actually want it to be true, because they are.



Pog, I think Derek is a hopeful Universalist. You could always PM him to ask. His user name is sharktacos. Guess you could ask James too.


space saving


Peter the Apostle
John the Revelator

My book Conditional Futurism argues that Peter the Apostle and John the Revelator taught about Christ-centered postmortem conversions for those who dies lost.

Note: “eternal conscious suffering” would be my suggestion.

Many Christians who hold to an otherwise “traditional” notion of hell now deny (against long-running super-majority tradition, ironically enough :wink: ) that God actively causes the suffering; but if they don’t include some kind of unavoidable inconvenience then the sinners might as well be in heaven (except as sinners!) “Suffering” would cover inconvenience inflicted by God or not.

I too find it ironic that many Christians who believe in Hell try and affirm that Hell is “chosen” by those who go there. And yet, in the passages in scripture that are traditionally believed to speak of Hell it is God that casts people there. People are consigned to punishment; they don’t choose it!

Quite so. We can’t lock ourselves in, firstly because “Christ holds the keys to death and hell” (not us), and secondly because He is in the very serious business of setting captives free. (But hey. Let’s not let that get in the way of a good theory.)

I don’t think being consigned, or “cast”, to hell precludes a preference to go there and I don’t think death and hades is “hell”. Christ now has keys over the general resurrection. Not over where you want to wind up. But anyway…

I think “eternal conscious suffering” is a pretty good definition for most people (whether from a hard Calvinist torture-for-God’s-glory to an Arminian giving-up-to-the-passions). But that would exclude Annihilationists, no? That’s why I think something like “eternal suffering” would be best.

But I still think we should go for a positive title. Who really cares about what they deny? That’s not the most important part. Freud rejected a traditional “hellism”. Why isn’t he on the list? So did Edward Fudge. I think this thread should be about what they’re actually affirming, namely: some form of ultimate reconciliation. But that’s just my two cents…

It’s difficult to define what a “hopeful universalist” actually is, but Greg Boyd should be considered a convinced annihilationist/hopeful universalist. You can see this hope here and his hopeful belief in post-mortem salvation here.

‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels…"

Do I detect a twinge of panic in the goats’ reply?

‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

Not so sure these folk want to experience the eternal fire…

You might be right, but since it would be inconvenient to surrender such a nice little argument, I shall mount a spirited defense.

Hades (the place of the dead) lies beneath the earth, just as heaven (the place of the living) lies above, somewhere beyond the sapphire Sky. The earth herself lies precariously in-between celestial light above and satanic darkness below, resting on unfathomable pillars in the midst of the primeval sea. This sea is restless, formless, void, dark, chaotic, empty of God’s light and life. It is uncreation, an evil space where death reigns, the haunt of the chaos monster, the Dragon of old, teeming with its demonic offspring. The creative power of God has been pouring into this darkness since the second day of creation, wresting order from chaos.

As in the beginning of the Age of Days, so too in the end. God speaks a mighty word into the chaos. Christ is that word. Christ descends into deepest darkness, taking with him the light and life of God, transforming the chaotic sea into a sea of glass, glowing from within. The Dragon is destroyed. Isaiah even suggests we will dine on Dragon flesh at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb.

This is the mythological context in which we’re told “Christ holds the keys to death and hades”. To me it promises much more than a general resurrection, but the utter victory of the good God over evil, the complete vindication of his wisdom in creating the world.

"Then I heard every created being in heaven and on earth and under the earth (Hades) and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”

But preference doesn’t necessitate a desire, Allan :slight_smile: The goats might indeed be fearful of eternal fire, they might even be ashamed of their own conduct and character, and they might even bow and confess the rightful Lordship of Yeshua (though that’s not in the context of those verses), but they might still prefer eternal fire because they’d rather suffer there, than suffer amongst the Least and alongside God. The goats reject the God that suffers amongst the Least for an idol of their imagination. The goats, in their contempt for the poor, are idolatrous. And they might just be happily miserable for it too.

Thank you for your spirited defence! :slight_smile: I’m not exactly sure what to say; “I’ll think it over” :wink:

Pog, thanks for that explanation. That makes a lot more sense. Though I suspect if non-universalists (“infernalists” ahem is very unfair) are convinced of their view, they will not be appeased by a long list of “heretics” that includes, amongst others, the Ballou Brothers (they were really second cousins who didn’t really get along, but I thought the words sounded lovely together :laughing: ). But yes, do carry on with your interesting project. I’ve said my pieces.

If we’re including “Post-Mortem Salvationists” you may wish to include Clark Pinnock and Jerry Walls. There are few other notable evangelicals who subscribe to this belief (alongside a purgatory; like Greg Boyd) but I cannot recall them.

Boyd though he entertains universalism as a hope, states (2001, p.321): “I do not see this position as having much biblical or philosophical merit.” He’s generally pretty critical of universalism whenever it comes up in ‘Satan and the Problem of Evil’. But in one of the videoblog links I included above, he states (2012): “In fact, I find I’ve got grounds for having a hope for everybody. That may sound kinda radical. But I can’t know that everyone’s saved. That’s going beyond the bounds of scripture. But Paul says in First Corinthians fifteen and in Romans chapter five, that is “all were in Adam, so all are in Christ”. There’s a direct parallel there. Which tells me that God’s got a bear-hugger ?] on everybody. And from God’s perspective, he has them all in, he’s squeezing them in. Now, I believe in free-will and the Bible warns about condemnation. And so a person can put themselves outside of that reality. You can choose to live against reality. You can choose to… say ‘no’ to God’s ‘yes’, to use Karl Barth’s terms. But you’ve got to put yourself out. The default of God’s grace is that you’re in. So based on God’s bear-hug, I have hope… I entrust everybody who dies, the worst of sinners, to the grace of Jesus Christ, and I know that they’re in the hands of somebody who loves them more… when they die they’re in the presence of someone who loves them infinitely more than any human being ever could. And I entrust that person to them. So hold fast to the exclusivity of Christ, but don’t feel like there’s anything wrong with having hope, and believing that there’s a wideness in God’s mercy, and his love is unfathomable and gracious, and we have confidence in that also.” You can watch that from here.

I’d say he’s under all three. Convinced Annihilationist. Convinced Post-Mortem Salvationist. And Hopeful Universalist. Of all three though, I’d say he’s most strongly a Convinced Annihilationist (presuming his view hasn’t changed all that much since 2001).

Um, yep, eternal conscious suffering would exclude annihilationists. But they’re part of the list of authors Pog was originally talking about. :slight_smile: "…who either affirm universalism or who deny traditional models of hellism."

Dang, how many chaplains to Oliver Cromwell were convinced universalists?! I wouldn’t even have thought of one before hearing of Jeremiah White, and now there’s two!

Robin Parry has some information about that on his blog, but I don’t remember where. Shouldn’t be hard to find, and it involves a video interview with Plantinga, so there should be relevant quotes to mine.

Also, our friendly competition over at the Evangelical Conditionalism blog is a good source for finding annihilationists.

I guess as the resident Lewis expert I should write a brief blurb for him.

Lewis, Clive Staples (1898-1963), British philosopher and professor of English literature, converted from atheism to become arguably the most influential Christian apologist of the 20th century. Taught that even those who formally oppose Christ in this life may in fact be secret Christians and would enter heaven (such as the character of Emeth in The Last Battle). Strongly speculated (such as in The Great Divorce) that God would save some (but not all) previously impenitent sinners post-mortem after some mode of purgatorial punishment. Proposed a unique theory (in The Problem of Pain) merging eternal conscious suffering with annihilation: the sinner may continue to exist in relation to God’s eternal existence but ceases to exist from the timeline reality of God’s creation. Otherwise usually trended more toward annihilationism than eternal conscious suffering. Final theological statement in his final work of theology (Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly On Prayer), in regard to his affirmation of purgatory: “If this isn’t true, something better will be.”

I’m pretty sure his stepson evangelist Douglas Gresham, on the other hand, is at least a hopeful Christian universalist–I heard him lecture in person once (at a Baptist university) shortly before my own switch and was amazed to hear him basically affirming someone’s universalistic interpretation of Romans 5. Will try to find some more information on him.

Aha Jason - good question. Only two - Sterry was Jerimiah Whites’ mentor :slight_smile:

Hrm. When I saw your mention of Paul Dean I tried to find his book of dialogues (similar to Winchester’s), but only ran into a reply to his popular tract from one of his opponents. (There are a couple of his books in libraries but they aren’t for casual loan.) I wonder if Sterry has any extant books.

Wait, Winchester isn’t on the list yet! Must rectify that soon… (but won’t mind if someone beats me to it.)

We also still need White and Ston(e)house.