The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Michael McClymond on Universalism

Hi Mike, I still suppose that Gregory was a definite universalist, but if I am wrong, then he was a hopeful universalist. Chapters 13-15 of my 2012 Conditional Futurism: New Perspective of End-Time Prophecy [in part] look at Gregory’s and Augustine’s and the Fifth Ecumenical Council’s view of possible postmortem conversions and the conversion of evil spirits including Satan. Ironically, Emperor Justinian’s introduction to the Council honored Gregory and Augustine among a handful of other church fathers while condemning Origen. The irony involved Gregory’s clear support of postmortem conversions and the eventual conversion of evil spirits. All in all, I did not go into the recent criticism of Gregory’s universalism because my book never addressed definite universalism, which I plan to address in future works. The criticism looked weak to me and only challenges if Gregory was a definite universalist and never challenges if he believed in postmortem conversions and eventual conversion of evil spirits. If you like, I will let you know when I put together an analysis of Gregory’s universalism.

I agree that Gregory has major differences compared to his predecessor Origen. Gregory believed in a finite beginning of creatures and an everlasting progress of creatures instead of Origen’s view that everything will restore to original perfect, which sounds off to me. I also appreciate Gregory’s support of the Trinity. Since I have only one life to live, I study only summaries and small portions of Origen while I focus more on Gregory.

AN obscure note on Karma and the ancient Church of the Far East. Regarding my post above - I’d like to nuance my obscure point. The Jesus Sutras of this Church - that was eventually persecuted out of existence - cerintaly take on board the metaphysics of the people they are meant for, but they are no rooted in pessimism about the goodness of the world that we find in many schools of ascetic Hinduism and in the Hinayana school of Buddhism in which samara - the wheel of birth and death - is often seen as an unmitigated disaster from which we should seek to escape. Rather the process of salvation/liberation is seen in terms of Mahayana Buddhism. This rejects the monastic asceticism of earlier schools - and has as it’s hero figure the Bodhisattva (which I’ve posted about elsewhere here0. Also samsara - the wheel of becoming - is seen as the place where loves work is done through transforming compassion as the lotus flowers out of the sludge and silt at the bottom of a pond. A bloke named Martin Palmer wrote a very good book on the Jesus Sutras :slight_smile:

And Origen did not believe/teach the transmigration of souls - that’s is for certain and can be demonstrated from his commentates on Scripture.

Another obscure and scholarly note here for Mike and others with nothing better to read –

In an earlier post you mentioned the influence of the Florentine Neo Platonic Academy’s appropriation of the ‘Corpus Hermeticum’ upon Christian Universalism. As I have shown a long way up thread the key Hermetic text – the Poimander – while being more positive about the universe than classical Gnosticism was certainly not Universalist. Also the Florentine Neo-Platonists are not on record as advocating for the doctrine of apocatastasis. Their ‘universalism; was more akin to UUC doctrine today – they believed in a Prisci Thelogi in which Orpheus, Zoroaster, Hermes Trismegistus, , Jewish Kabbala, Proclus and Plotinus and the Bible were saying the same thing – but they were aristocratic and elitist in their ‘universalism’. Also they misinterpreted Origen with Neo-Platonic glasses when in fact Origen was a Christian Platonist – like the other Greek early Church Fathers -not a Neo Platonists (he argued passionately against the Neo-Platonists Celsus – especially no the grounds that Celsus was a snob).

I’m not sure that Hermes Trismegitus had much influence on Boheme actually – his thought world is inspired by the Theologia Germanica, Pseudo Dionysus, the Discarded Image of the Medieval World Picture, and Lutheran Pietism primarily (perhaps with some influences from Christian Cabbala ( Jewish Kabbala, Christian Cabbala and Occultist Qabbala are the different spellings/meanings of the term I gather). Certainly the Prisic Theologia had an influence on some more marginal thinkers that we cannot identify as universalists in Origneist terms – for example the mysticism of High grade Masonry of a Martinez de Pasqually and his ‘Elect Cohens’ has all of the aristocratic hallmarks of Florentine Neo-Platonic inspiration and of course the magical angel summoning rites (which Louis Claude de St Martin rejected when he became a Boehemnist and also resigned from High Grade Masonry). Obviously this elitism persisted in deeply trivial, shady occultist, quasi fascist figures like Julius Evlova and Aleister Crowley in the twentieth century who sought to become as God (and declared that the weak should go to the wall).

Last year I read a book by James D. Heiser ‘The Prisci Theologi and the Hermetic Reformation in the Fifteenth Century’. He is an ultra conservative American Lutheran Bishop ( but no friend to Calvinists because he has also edited and published an early Lutheran fulminating and polemical tract against the Calvinists). Heiser does not mention Christian universalist in this book per se – but he is keen to see the Hermetic Prisci Theologi as the fountain head of all modern ills – post modernism, relativism, lack of belief in hell etc. His key and much used secondary source for this attack is D.P. Walker’s classic ‘Spiritual and Demonic Magic from Ficino to Campanella’ (but he does nor reference D.P. Walker’s other classic ‘The Decline of Hell’).

D.P. Walker was a good friend of one of my favourite scholars, Professor M.A. Screech. I’ve just spent a delightful hour reading Screech’s book Ecstasy and Praise of Folly’. It turns out that he and Walker had many productive scholarly discussions about how Erasmus rejected the Florentine Neo-Platonist for the Platonism of Origen and Athanasius (and I’m still happy to enumerate the reason why I think Erasmus both inclined to universalism and was the level in the dough for of the non sectarian and orthodox tradition in the modern world. Also I’m close to tracking down the Universalist tradition about the salvations for Judas – I think it probably does come from Origen’s commentary on the Gospel Matthew (from hints in Screech). Now if there is one man I’d love to speak to it is M.A. Screech – he’s very old but still alive and kicking and in England. Hmmmmmm

Yours dull as dishwater


Dear Dr Mike – putting aside all Erasmian irony here – why don’t you pull your lecture and three seminars off of Youtube? You are a kind, decent man and a fine scholar with an ecumenical vision. Whatever shape your book eventually takes the stuff on Youtube at the moment is so full of errors and half truths and it is rousing others to hate Christian Universalists with holy hatred. THE Lecture is delivered in a very decisive and polemical manner – it’s not a tentative opener to wider discussion. You must know that in the hands of people less kind and less open minded than you it could lead to American non sectarian universalists – loyal members of Churches which also contain ECT believers, Annihilationist and Wider Hopers probably –being treated as scapegoats.

If you pulled them off you’d have my respect and the respect of all here. You’d get the respect of your pupils and colleagues too – for admitting to begin wrong and grasping the nettle rather than opting for a slow car crash option. We’ve all made mistakes in our lives – I know I’ve made some big ones.

You don’t have to become a universalist, but your book - if it is to be a platform for scholarly dialogue – which I understand Robin Parry has hopes about – will need to be far more measured and far more factual – making proper distinctions between what is impossible. What is possible, what is probable, and what is certain in terms of historical reconstruction and of what most mainstream universalists actually believe today.
I think you’d be much respected if you did this.

In Christ our Hen


I’ve been super-busy at ‘work’ work the past few days, which has reduced my free time for posting research and analysis during the day (I’m a manager who doesn’t get vacations so I have permission from the owner :wink: ), and hasn’t left me much energy after work for doing anything other than crashing into a nap – and then all my materials are at the office not at the house so continuing at night isn’t much of an option.

However, I’m working on summarizing Dr. Ramelli’s main entry on Maximos the Confessor – not transcribing because even I would get tired of typing out 20 small-font pages, and it would surely be illegal anyway! But hopefully detailed enough that readers can compare what she’s saying with what Dr. M and his sources are saying. Including what Dr. M is saying about her, since he’s charging her with irresponsible interpretation from minimally selective data at best.

{cough cough pot kettle marijuana hack} :unamused: :wink:

Hopefully I can get that up later today, though I’ll probably consolidate it over in the Dr. M vs. Dr. R thread and then link over to that from here.

Okay, I have now posted up a very extensive summary of Dr. Ramelli’s analyses on Maximus the Confessor from her main section on him (she talks about him elsewhere, too):

I realize it’s messy topically, and I hope to write a summary of the summary later pulling the points together better, but I was following her order of presentation. This should provide a good snapshot of material to work from in comparing her to other scholars in evaluating Maximus.

Meanwhile, Dr. Talbott replies to Dr. McClymond again over in the collected thread for that topic:

So. Let’s talk about Balthasar for a minute. Here’s a handy recap of what Dr. McClymond said upthread:

He says a few other things, too, afterward, for example how Balthasar was wrong about Maximus being an Origenist and how Balthasar was right about Maximus being anti-Origenist. (As Dr. R notes Balthasar is correct about Maximus picking up the actual teaching of Origen, including on universal salvation, and running with it albeit in a covert fashion convenient with his socio-political situation; while also observing in detail that Maximus attacks the Origenists of his day and the day of Justinian – on points that Origen himself would have strenuously disagreed with them about.)

Be that as it may; my concern this morning is on Dr. M’s claims about Balthasar’s trinitarianism being radically defective, nothing more than bi-nitarian, ignoring the work of the Holy Spirit.

Now, God knows I am far from the world’s greatest expert on the work of Hans Urs Von Balthasar (on the work of Lewis, maybe. :wink: Balthasar, no.) But even as a rank amateur, and not even counting all the other places Dr. M has confidently critiqued someone and been demonstrably proven wrong, that sounded suspicious to me. I’ve read enough Balt references at secondhand to know he put at least as much stress on the Holy Spirit as the New Testament does; he even wrote over 500 pages of his systematic theology on the Holy Spirit, and wrote enough essays on the Spirit for them to be collected into an even larger supplementary tome. So the idea that he is just completely ignoring the work of the Holy Spirit is just as completely wrong as it stands.

But okay, maybe Dr. M is correct to report that Balthasar completely ignores the Holy Spirit in his little book on Christology and the importance of the Incarnation as the central fact of history. It would hardly be the first time a devotedly trinitarian theologian wrote a monograph on one part of the Trinity without mentioning another part because topically he focused on something else.

Still, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to send out for a copy of A Theology of History and look for myself. At worst I’d have another interesting book on the shelf.

Dr. M is talking about chapter 3, “Christ the Norm of History”. Anyone following along with tracking Dr. M’s claims may now proceed to have a heart attack from not-surprise to learn that Balthasar opens up this chapter with a discourse on the importance of the Holy Spirit in Christ’s actions during the 40 days, and Pentacost, and after Pentacost until today.

But, does Balthasar perhaps stop talking about the Holy Spirit in the particular section of this chapter concerning the 40 Days? – even though he already established the context in the preceding section, so that any reader with at least a junior high school reading competency might remember he emphasized the Spirit’s role in what Christ was doing during that time?

To the surprise of absolutely no one anywhere with the slightest grasp of Balthasar’s theology, he does indeed mention the importance of the work of the Holy Spirit during the 40 Days. Granted, this may be the section in the chapter Balthasar mentions the Spirit least often, but he does mention Him with key importance.

Is Dr. McClymond at least correct on what would be the entirely trivial claim that Balthasar never even mentions Pentacost?

Nope, smack in the middle of the section talking about the 40 Days, page 90 in the standard Ignatius edition, Balthasar writes that the 40 Days anticipated the giving of the Holy Spirit at Pentacost, and mentions Pentacost a couple more times while taking a moment to account for the sequence of Christ breathing the Holy Spirit on the disciples in GosJohn up through the descent of the Spirit in Acts.

After talking about the 40 Days for a while, including the Spirit’s important role in it, Balthasar spends a few pages (following out the scheme he sets up in the first section of the chapter about “The Role of the Holy Spirit”) talking about sacraments and their importance in the life of the church and the importance of the Holy Spirit in relation to the sacraments. Maybe Dr. McClymond skipped over this section because he rejects any idea of the sacraments; but then Balthasar goes on to talk about “The Mission of the Christian and the Church’s Tradition”, which one might have expected even a radically anti-Catholic Protestant to think was somewhat relevant to discuss, and once again Balthasar talks about the importance of the Holy Spirit in this regard, too.

It may be true that Balthasar doesn’t specifically talk about the precise moment of Pentacost per se, the descent of the spirit upon the disciples in the upper room – I don’t recall seeing that in the chapter – but he does talk about Pentacost and the importance of Pentacost in principle. In effect he says Pentacost, the baptism of the holy spirit, is still going on in the life of the Church. He even uses the word “Pentacost” a few times in case he has any readers so dull as to think he wasn’t talking about Pentacost if he happened not to use the term (although why any readers that dull would be reading Balthasar of all people, I can only leave to the imagination of God.) I think he might even use the term “Pentacost” most often in this chapter in the very section where Dr. McCly was complaining about him never even referring to Pentacost!

And while it is true that Balthasar happens not to mention the Holy Spirit in this chapter as often as he talks about the Son – just like almost every theologian ever in Christian history when talking about both Christ and the Holy Spirit in any given work (including the canonical authors, not-incidentally) – it is also true that he mentions the Spirit a lot, with highly important roles in each section of the chapter.

Think of this: Dr. Mike apparently thinks he has the right to flatly ignore what Balthasar says about the Holy Spirit, not only across his whole body of work, and not only throughout the book Dr. Mike is referencing, but across the breadth of the very chapter of that book Dr. Mike cites for critiquing Balthasar along this line. And then Dr. Mike thinks he has the right, after doing this, to accuse Von Balthasar of ignoring the work of the Holy Spirit and being practically bi-nitarian in his theology, and even “never more than bi-nitaria[n]”.

Please, Dr. McClymond. Please think about what you are doing. You are setting up to slander numerous people, for less than no good reason, and most of your audience won’t be in a position to know how radically wrong you are (much less how so very often you’re radically wrong) – they’ll believe you because non-experts are supposed to trust experts. No misrepresentation can serve God, but such gross misrepresentation… you wouldn’t want someone to treat you the way you’re treating Balthasar and Dr. Talbott (and Dr. Ramelli for that matter), would you?!?



Thanks, Jason, for the brief on von Balthasar.

I’m in the process of moving, and I completely forgot about Dr. McClymond’s claims about von Balthasar’s supposed binitarianism. Somehow I had missed that his major complaint was that von Balthasar has supposedly not given due diligence to the Spirit in Theology of History (which, despite my reading a hefty chunk of vB, is one of the many books of his I haven’t gotten around to). As you correctly note, to complain that von Balthasar doesn’t pay enough attention to the Spirit by invoking one solitary book while failing to acknowledge any references to the Spirit in his actual systematic theology is odd, to say the least.

Your avatar continues to make me chuckle, Dale–I mean “Arlenite”. :wink:

I’m no theologian or philosopher, but I do hope Dr Mike is honest with himself in what he says in the book. Jason’s last paragraph is work repeating…

I wanted to put this out there again for Dr. Mike. I second Jason here—think about what you’re saying and search your conscience. If what you write is honest and based on conclusions you’ve come to in a thorough, honest and open-minded investigation of the evidence, then great! :smiley: But make sure it is ,indeed, “thorough and open-minded” Otherwise—perhaps purgatory awaits? :wink: Yes, that was uncalled for and unnecessary, I admit. Couldn’t help myself, though…. :laughing:

That would be odd enough. To miss the many numerous references to the importance of the work of the Holy Spirit in that book, and in that chapter, and even in that section of the chapter (not even counting the claim that Balt doesn’t even mention Pentacost, in the section of that chapter where he appears to explicitly mention Pentacost most often)…?

That’s… that is so waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay beyond weird. I can’t even imagine what source Dr. Mike might have been working from secondarily which would have made those claims, by which he was inadvertently misled – though I guess someone somewhere must be capable of making those claims while pretending to know what they’re talking about. :open_mouth:

I know it’s harsh to say “pretending to know what they’re talking about”, but… man. What am I supposed to say instead?

Imagine if Dr. McClymond had written some large books on the topic of the Holy Spirit, and often spoke of the importance of the work of the Holy Spirit (which for all I know is entirely true), including often in a small book focusing more on the historical importance of the Incarnation, including in a chapter where Dr. Mike starts with affirming the importance of the Holy Spirit in the post-resurrection ministry of Jesus, starting during the 40 Days and continuing into the present day, with special mention of the importance of Pentacost in one of the sections of those chapters.

Now imagine I came along and confidently reported to people that Dr. McClymond ignored the Holy Spirit so much in favor of Christology (after basically accusing Dr. Mike of being practically Gnostic in Christology and then being caught on that) that he has never been more than practically binitarian, verging naturally into unitarianism (somehow from bi-nitarianism per se which is a very different theology from any unitarianism even without reference to the Holy Spirit as a distinct 3rd Person), and then cited that book and that chapter as an example of Dr. Mike’s flagrant disregard for the work of the Holy Spirit, adding by the way that in that section of the chapter where Dr. McClymond actually mentions Pentacost the most he never even mentions Pentacost.

Is that how you would want me to treat you and your work, Dr. McClymond?

Because that’s literally how you’re treating Von Balthasar!

I would really like to hear what [tag]Dr Mike[/tag] has to say about all this? Perhaps he’s busy writing/revising?

He might just be busy doing ‘work’ work. :slight_smile: I doubt he thinks much about us during the week compared to all the other things he’s doing; doctorates are usually busy teaching, preaching, etc.

Mike should still pull the videos off You tube. For example (just a tiny wee one); its very misleading to assert that Origen was a marginal figure and looked upon as a heretic and a loony until the Jesuit revival of interest in him in the twentieth century (which has made him ‘cool’ and ‘trendy’ today - and that’s an emotive and quite offensive way of putting it as well as being misleading). To date Mike has just about conceded here the importance of Erasmus, Huet, Leclerc etc in transmitting Origen in the early modern period.

Mike, I wish you’d pull those videos - they are very misleading, and that’s not good :slight_smile: Then we could get down to a proper discussion.

Dear Sobornost–

The only reason I am having this online discussion with so many of you here is because the seminary in Chicago (TEDS) decided to record my lecture and post it on YouTube. We should not be pulling my lecture, and so shutting down the discussion. Besides, I signed it over to TEDS, and I’m pretty sure that they own it anyway–so far as intellectual property is concerned. If you have factual corrections (I do mean factual), then please do let me know on this website. But if it’s an interpretive question–e.g., that I make Origen more “marginal” than he truly is–well, that’s not a factual matter. What you seem to be reacting against is an interpretation of the historical facts that conflicts with your own.

Did you read the quotation from the Patriarch of Constantinople (Scholarios) who called Origen a “font of foul doctrines”? Of course the question is: How representative is this? What I found in my reading of literature from the 1800s into the early 1900s indicated that Origen was (a) widely appreciated for his contributions to Christian spirituality and exegesis, and (b) widely repudiated for his eschatology (and his protology). It was always a **mixed **reception. This is acknowledged by most professional Origen scholars, by the way. If you want a really fine book on Origen, I recommend Danielou, who does a good job of bringing out the nuances in Origen. Crouzel is quite apologetic. Ramelli is much, much more extreme.

It’s simplistic to think that it’s all-or-nothing on Origen. I don’t believe that at all. And I would bet money that there isn’t anyone on this website who really buys into the whole package. Let me ask this: Who on this website believe that his or her own soul (the one presumably in their body right now) basked in the glorious presence of God himself for countless stretches of time until a spiritual cooling off of ardor or love for God occurred and you ended up in the body you have now? (Don’t remember your premundane blissful contemplation of the eternal Logos?) If you don’t believe this, then are you following Origen’s theology? Aren’t you instead reading Origen selectively? Yes, that’s what Christians have always done with Origen. And the apokatastasis thing got dumped rather early on in church history.

Regarding Balthasar, it’s amazing how little attention he gives to the Holy Spirit. Indeed it isn’t so much that the Spirit is never mentioned. The point is that the Spirit really doesn’t do much of anything in Balthasar’s theology.

I believe that this is a problem–as mentioned before–for christocentric universalists generally. How does one get from the POINT A that “Christ died and rose again for all” to the POINT B that “Mary B. Smith has died and rose again with Christ.” Ephesians 1:12-16 shows a sequence–the preaching of the gospel, responding with faith, being “sealed” with the Spirit, and then awaiting the future day of full redemption. To use traditional Protestant language, the Spirit “applies” the work of Christ. This seems to get left out in christocentric universalism. I didn’t find much on the Spirit in Balthsar, but there is a good article in French on Balthasar on the Spirit, on just this point. The author claims that the Spirit gets swallowed up in the Son. Pentecost always happens (i.e., a universal spiritual presence of Christ). *Pentecost never happens *(i.e., as a discrete outpouring of the Holy Spirit on a particular group of people).

So this is the strength of a trinitarian particularist (or non-universalist) account of salvation–it does honor to the specific work of the Holy Spirit as well as the specific work of Christ.


PS–If someone wants to say that something analogous to Eph. 1:12-16 happens postmortem, then this requires that one explain what “faith” means postmortem. Does the human person have any kind of encounter with God after death? If so, then how is “faith” possible? I could understand the idea of postmortem repentance perhaps easier than postmortem faith or faith-decision.

“Faith” seems to me to be the counterpart to repentance. Faith is simply ‘belief’ – that is, a trusting belief true enough to result in change (repentance), rather than a mere intellectual assent.

Why do you think faith cannot happen after an encounter with God?

Paul’s faith was the result of his encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus.

Thomas’ faith was the result of his encounter with the resurrected Christ.

Why should it be different for those who die apart from Christ after their resurrection? Perhaps some require a face to face encounter with Christ before they can repent and have faith.


That’s fair enough Mike - now I understand I won’t raise it again. It was simply a misunderstanding - and you can see where my concerns were coming from. Good - well it was a discussion opener. You know it was an emotive discussion opener Mike so my emoting can be forgiven here too :laughing: And yes - you are making far more sense to me now. And I do understand that you are honourable (and I mean that :slight_smile:)

All very good wishes to you


Mike and all - I think we can start again now in better understanding and not hold you to the lecture and affirm that it has in the end been very positive in opening up dialogue (because you’ve also shown a willingness to engage in dialogue with us :slight_smile: Bless you :slight_smile:

Yes - I am well area of Patriarch Scholarios’ views since you’ve pointed them out to me. I think that obviously he knew Origen in garbled form and after the views of his detractors. Also there is the issues raised by later scholars like Romanidies about the Orthodox Church actual being rather captive to Western Augustinianism at this point and about the wide tolerance and influence in Orthodox eschatology at this time of the Aerial Toll House speculations that actually have their roots in real Gnosticism.

I’m not sure that Dr Ramelli is extreme; IMHO she I simply making the case - through extensive knowledge and research in the primary sources - regarding who the tradition of apocatastasis was very influential in the Early Church, has earlier roots that hitherto suspected, and has been widely misrepresented to date. It seems that she is also a Christian universalist but her open scholarship is still extremely useful to all comers. Hanson - of the American Universalist Church - now he is extreme and polemical - but Dr Ramelli is a really fine scholar and she plays the game with scholarly apparatus to open up her conclusions.

Mike I don’t think that even when the many distortions of Origen have been cleared away - any of us here are suggesting for a moment that we return to his early Christian Platonism - he was teaching when Christina doctrine was still in it’s developmental phase and made a major contribution to this by ‘chancing his arm’. Eramsus did not advocate this either - he saw the great moral worth in Origen’s teaching of the Way of Christ and of his scriptural exegesis but viewed the metaphysical speculations as time bound and not relevant to his (Erasmus’) day (and Erasmus did not have access to the original Origen to the extent that we have today - but he still intuited that Origen and Athanasius were basically on the same page in spirit).

Christians’ from the Augustinian tradition today - by the same token - do not assent to all of Augustine’s protology and eschatology (if they are aware of what this is). ‘So what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander’ - as we say in England :laughing:

All very good wishes


A note to all here –

Well we have to be canny in this world – but my opinion - for what it’s worth - is that Mike is a gentleman who, as we’d say in England, ‘would not cheat you at cards’ :smiley: So we can proceed now in an orderly fashion and enjoy the stimulating conversation (and from now on we comment on what Mike is saying now rather than the lecture and small seminars – or else we will be showing ill courtesy). Its good to clear all of this up and put it behind us 

A note to Mike –

We’ve all worked very hard to get responses in to you from busy people who are also very accomplished scholars. Jason and Tom have responded very carefully to you now – and possibly have even forgiven me for my mad cap ways :smiley: – Professor Ramelli has also responded to your concerns which is great :smiley: And Arlenite – who is no mean scholar himself– has also done some excellent posts- as has Sonia from the point of view of a very articulate and intelligent Universalist stating what they believe as a universalist today. I know Alex has also been working very hard trying to recall all and sundry from their summer breaks. So they are to be thanked warmly by all of us.

So a note of thanks to them would be nice – and it would take any steam that’s still in the situation out of it. You are not in hostile territory here Mike 

As for Robin (Parry) – well I don’t know Robin from Adam. I know that in your talk - which we shall not mention again (promise this is the last time and I’ll just respond to current questions now) - you made a lot of his initial anonymity as a universalist – I never quite understood that myself; but I think it had to do with the stresses and strains of being an English and fairly conservative evangelical (which in American terms means that he tends towards being a liberal/open Evangelical I think) and also to do with certain scruples about his Publishing House. But Robin – apparently – is very interested in debating with you when your book comes out – so that’s a result too (and I hope the debate or at least a version of it takes place here). Robin can explain his initial anonymity when he debates with you I guess – and we all make mistakes (if it was a mistake). 

Love to all