Hello family! I’d like to know how would you respond to this:
I’d ask how arguing for an orthodox theological position like reformed theology is different. I’d think one could argue there too that what anyone “happens to do” in this life makes no ultimate difference for the long run.
That’s a good point, Bob.
I also think that this life on earth counts. It has meaning. I’m not sure at all that the character we develop here, by our choices, is irrelevant ‘in the long run’. There is some mystery. after all, about what form the ‘life after the life after death’ will take.
I like that idea, Dave. I doubt our current lives will just be invalidated. In response to the quote, within an atheistic system nothing anyone did could make any meaningful difference, period - not just in the long run. Nothing would ever have any meaning at all, either positively or negatively. Universalism doesn’t deny meaning or moral values. (Not that most atheists do either, but atheism itself certainly does if its logic is followed far enough.)
And yeah, if people’s ultimate fates are predestined, and if what they “believe or do in this life” is a result of that, then what they believe or do actually doesn’t make an ultimate difference. It’s the predestination that makes the ultimate difference, as well as making the immediate difference of altering their current behavior. The behavior itself is an effect, not a cause.
Reminds me of a BBC article I read today. US election 2016: Is Donald Trump Ronald Reagan’s Republican heir?. It’s the same thing as the quote. It all depends on how you phase the question. And on what factors you consider.
I could argue that either to elect Trump (i.e. the most likely Republican forerunner) or Hillary (i.e. the most likely Democratic forerunner) - in that…:
I like this presidential candidate for his alternative energy views using zombies
TS, I don’t even consider that an objection to universalism.
Triablogue has historically been quite Arminianistic in its Calvinism when that seemed more convenient for explaining why they also devote enormous amounts of time, passion, and energy to attacking opposing positions.
But Steve habitually likes to make specious comparisons in order to forge ephemeral feelings about something out of thin air. He knows perfectly well there’s all the difference in the world between a belief that God shall bring all rebels to be loyal to Him sooner or later, and a belief that there is no such God. He just doesn’t care about that difference, so hey might as well call them twins separated at birth huh!
It would be like me saying that Calvinists like the Triabloguers and New Atheists share this in common: they like to make specious comparisons in order to emotionally masturbate themselves, so really there’s no difference worth seriously counting between them – they’re twins separated at birth!
(I would except Paul Manata from that comparison, but I’m not sure he’s even involved with TB anymore. But the other key members there wouldn’t care about making such an exception in favor of someone who doesn’t behave that way.)
Please note the point of my sarcasm, though: even though the similarity is demonstrably true, and is also commonly true, it would be hugely unfair of me to rhetoricize against the Tblog crew that way.
As I said, I don’t even consider what this person/group has said to be an argument against universalism. But just to play along… Hopeless punishment (whether calv or arm) is like atheism; the end state for many people is hopeless. Hopeless punishment believers and atheists alike can offer no hope to the grieving mother of a nonChristian child who died.
I have to disagree with “Hopeless punishment believers” …“can offer no hope to the grieving mother of a non-Christian child who died.” I referenced this work before entitled Those Who Have Never Heard: A Survey of the Major Positions. It’s by a Mormon academic, but limits the positions to traditional Christianity. I think you will find that even those embracing the Restrictivism viewpoint (i.e. enlightened contemporary majority of professional theologians - who embrace Restrictivism), would allow for theological and philosophical allowances or exceptions - in that particular case. For some different approaches, see the Christian Today article entitled Do All Children Go to Heaven?. Many who embrace Restrictivism, would make exceptions for children, who have not reached the age of maturity. As the Christianity Today article mentions:
All the more reason to abort and kill children, right? The above argument is so stupid and inconsistent… It basically says “God is fair, he wouldn’t do that to children”… But of course, that same argument isn’t allow for uni’s… Only a special class of men (Children, in this case).
Children are precious and just in case someone gets the wrong idea, I don’t think we should abort or kill children. But, when a toxic belief like ‘eternal punishment’ is preached, it can only make crimes against children a positive thing. That is such a SICK theology… The fruit of ECT is bad because it comes from an evil and poisoned tree and a belief system that includes this can only product bad fruit.
I remember the mother killing her 5 children to save them from the fire. As much as I find her sick, the real sickness occurred in those who preach this evil theology.
It should be clear by now, Gabe, that I don’t embrace restrictivism - in any way, shape or form. But I’m pointing out a flaw in qaz’s previous statement, in the case of those embracing the viewpoint of restrictivism.
That’s a fair caveat to point out.
Hopeless punishment believers, like atheists, can offer no hope to parents grieving the loss of nonChristian children who had heard the Gospel and reached an “age of maturity”.
Much better, qaz. You just need to add a spoonful of sugar - like you just did