I mean no disrespect when I ask this, but it seems to me that, when it comes to God’s violence, the “brand” of Universalism you endorse simply looks the other way. Since God will save (eventually) everyone, we are secure in turning a blind eye to the violence God employs to accomplish this. His violence is but a tool in His arsenal, we like the results, so we are safe to “wink” at it and let it slide.
The God of the OT appears to be extremely violent (I say appears to be since there is a small chance that the violence said to come from God was actually only a projection of mans deeply ingrained violence onto God); and this violence has in part, I’m fairly confident in assuming, made it easier for Christians to excuse – and indeed celebrate – God’s violence in the NT. See the redemptive violence of hell and the Lake of Fire. For most Christians of course God’s violence is not redemptive but punitive; violence as payment for sin. End of story. God can do whatever He wants to effect his purpose and plan. Violence included.
My discomfort comes from my reading of Walter Wink and the light he has shone into our (we humans) embrace of the Myth of Redemptive Violence. Violence as solution. Violence rooted in the very nature of God. Yet it seems rather impossible that a God who employs such violence can reasonably come among us (as He has) and bid us “fear not”; for the natural offspring of violence IS fear.
Yes I like a God who is so engaged with His creation that He will go to any length to redeem it. But no, I’m troubled by a God who resorts to violence to accomplish His purposes. Perhaps I’ve read too much into your silence on this issue, but silence, sometimes, also speaks. (Or perhaps you’ve not been silent – and I’ve simply missed your comments on this subject) Does the end result (UR) justify the means (violence) in your formulations of Universal Reconciliation??