May I have feedback on my CU drafts?


I would really appreciate some feedback on my CU rough drafts at the following url … /item.html?

I will eventually add more (including other chapters)

polycarp and iraneus talk of everlasing hell
Is Jesus God or What?
Mt. 25:46
Will People be Raised as Immortal Sinners?
Please help me out here
"The Prodigal Gospel of Rob Bell" (aka JRP's long review)
"The Prodigal Gospel of Rob Bell" (aka JRP's long review)
The Wheat and the Tares

Some thoughts as I read through it…

1.) I much appreciated the literal translation “drag”! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

2.) I don’t have Talbott’s book handy here, but I recall his three prima facie positions being a bit more nuanced than that. Regardless, © must be modified to feature a proper counterpoise to position (b), such that God for whatever reason does not have the power to redeem certain people. (This, roughly speaking, and as you correctly note shortly afterward, is the Arminian soteriological position. Calvinists by contrast would tend to agree that God does have the power to redeem anyone He chooses to redeem; they would deny (a) in some significant fashion instead. As it currently stands, though, you only present the Calv version of ©.)

3.) Nice eye-for-an-eye maneuver. :slight_smile: The other points are generally good, too.

4.) The ‘chrestos’ term had connotations of ‘healer’ in 1st century Greek, btw; which is why authors sometimes used it as a pun with Christ or mistakenly thought that the two terms were identical. They’re very closely related in any case, since Xristos means anointed one, and xrestos means one who anoints with a plaster for healing. The plaster would be sulphuric or mustard, and so be yellow (the more direct meaning for xrestos, or ‘golden’); it would also smell terrible. :wink: But it would kill the infections and save the person from death. Sound familiar to any biblical language? :exclamation: At the same time, because of its connection to gold/yellow, xrestos also connotated the sweetness of honey. (Which is what the 1 Pet reference is talking about.)

5.) Heck, agape is even greater than hope! :mrgreen:

Anyway, lots of good points in chp 2.

To chapter 3, I would add the observation that in the final chapter of RevJohn there is clearly a river of life flowing from under the throne of God and out those never-closed gates (the river of life being itself a symbol for YHWH and especially for the Son), so that the Spirit is encouraging those who are still outside the city and still loving their sins, to drink freely of the water without cost, slaking their thirst and obtaining permission for entering the city and eating of the tree of life (the leaves of which are for the healing of the nations). Moreover, the saints of the church are exhorted by the Spirit to join in this encouragement of witness to the (currently) impenitent sinners outside the city.

Also, I agree with Gregory (and other commentators) that the term in Thessalonians means whole-runination; but I also agree that the context doesn’t necessarily imply ED. As I seem to recall Gregory himself mentioning, God promises in the OT to restore Israel from its own whole-ruination (same term used in the ancient LXX translation) after they’ve learned their lesson. So whole-ruination isn’t the end of the matter.

{{But God’s loving attitude towards everyone is not an ongoing process}}

Slight correction: it is not only an ongoing process. (It’s that, too. :slight_smile: )

Good article! My one major contribution (other than pointing back to some of the OT contexts, which are also highly universalistic in context), would be to emphasize that the intrinsic nature of God as love is exclusively connected to trinitarian orthodoxy. That is, only trinitarian (or at least binitarian) orthodox theism can coherently say that God (singularly) is love (a coherently beneficial interpersonal relationship); and God’s intrinsic self-existent essence as such involves theological corollaries leading to the kind of universalism you’re talking about–and not to any other kind of soteriology (including not to mere wussy universalism where sin is of no account. :wink: )

Orthodox universalists are still lagging behind in connecting solidly to this topic in such a fashion.


Thanks Jason! :slight_smile:

Please feel free to give me any other constructive criticisms if they come to mind.


  • Pat


Hey Jason, could you give me some references on the above points that I can look into?


  • Pat


Oy… I’ve picked those up over time from a bunch of different places. A biography of John Chrystostom should give you several pieces of information along this line. Justin Martyr makes a running play of words between “Christ” and “Chrestus” in one of his apologetic works, but I forget whether it’s the apologia to the Emperors or whether it’s in the Dialogue with Trypho. (Probably the former.) Modern disputation over references to Christ by Roman historians (possibly in the case of Suetonius, practically certain in the case of Tacitus) largely involves the question of the use of “Chrestus” instead of “Christos” (which Tacitus seems to be correcting the vulgar crowds about in his referencing: Xristos, not Xrestos.)

The details in the paragraph you quoted all come from one of those three situations. I’ll try to remember to look up which biography of JohnChys I’ve recently read, when I get back to the house; Robert E. Van Voorst’s Jesus Outside the New Testament is a good place to start on the dispute about Suetonius and Tacitus (though there are further references, pro and con, online in various places); and I’m sure there must be online reference works for both those apologetics by JustMart which should be relatively easy to search through for overt contemporary parallel usages between Christ and Chrestus.