UR is not tolerated well in the States, I’m afraid. People think it’s something to run from and they like to ditch us in a hurry. It does make it difficult to know what to do about fellowship. Just in the last 2 weeks my dad was told he can’t teach Sunday School anymore. It was the best darn class around. Well, if I don’t say so myself. Too bad we’re all in different locations. I keep thinking there have to be more of us around, that are asking these questions. Maybe we just have to find them? There are a lot of alienated people from church in general that could probably use a group that allows for more thought.
Welcome from Sydney (cold & windy)
Welcome to the EU forum. I look forward to your participation. I only came to have faith that Jesus really is the savior of all humanity (1 Tim. 4:10) in the last couple of years. And sadly, I’ve found that UR is not tolerated in any of the fellowships that I know of. I was expelled, well, not expelled but nudged out of our local fellowship a year ago. And I don’t know of a fellowship that is open to UR in my local area. But it seems that God is increasingly revealing UR to people around the world, so I hope that some churches come open to UR soon. And it’s likely that UR congregations will start popping up all around, I believe.
I don’t know of a book that specifically deals with the judgment passages, though I too am working on a UR primer that will cover many of them. May the Lord bless you in your studies.
I’m sorry to hear your dad can no longer teach in his fellowship, though such is not surprising.
Thank you all so very much for your responses and very warm welcomes. I am surprised that there are so many of you from Australia too. (It sure is icy in Melbourne – I couldn’t imagine how it is in Tasmania). I shall check out the Recommended Materials and continue in my own study. I have a lot of questions but I’m sure I can find many of their answers between Scripture, this forum and its members. Thanks again!
I should just correct a pretty horrifying error in my previous post. My biggest and oldest influence is neither Jacques Ellul or Adin Ballou. My biggest and oldest influence is Jesus/Yeshua the Christ! I do apologize for this omission (Oh dear…). (I know “Yeshua” might seem like a bit too much, but I’m reclaiming it )
Corpselight: Could the “come” not be directed towards Yeshua the Christ? I do suspect that the “Spirit” issuing this call with the Bride in Revelation 22:17 is just the Holy Spirit, as the word pneumas signifies in most uses of the word (and everywhere else in Revelation; except in some verses where it is clearly not the Lamb either). To me anyway, this seems to fit the narrative of Revelation a bit better – being the concluding remarks of Yeshua, that are descriptive of the present age, and not the one to come. But I don’t know exactly…
Yeah, you’re totally right, you certainly could not implement Christian anarchism in this fallen world, as this fallen world is certainly not Christian. So my anarchism is purely a personal secession from political power (whether that be left, right or anything in-between) à la Yeshua/Menno Simons/Tolstoy/Ellul/Eller and so forth (cf. Matthew 20:25-28). All political power is coercive, fallen and will be ultimately conquered and reclaimed by Christ in the next dispensation.
Jason Pratt: Oh right? I only just recently adopted trinitarianism myself. This was actually what gave me a big, hearty shove towards UR.
I first came to believe universalism was true after composing an 800+ page progressing metaphysic arriving at ortho-trin, as a self-critical exercise. So yep, a huge (just about literally) “heart-y” shove from that direction here, too!
(I eventually posted that book in pieces here, and at the Christian Cadre Journal which is an ecumenical apologetics site I also guest author for. You can find it in the “Sword To The Heart” link in my signature below, if you’re interested.)
Wow. My shove wasn’t that big I am interested in having a read though, because I’m still not entirely sold on either trinitarianism or universalism just yet, and would love to be thoroughly convinced (of the former particularly). Trinitarianism is one of those staple doctrines (like ECT) that I’d rather not argue about because I don’t really see it as wholly important (unlike ECT). But it’s a really misunderstood doctrine, most of the trinitarians that I know are just modalists who think/claim they’re trinitarians. Apparently this was even the position of Karl Barth (according to Leonardo Boff). But if you come out as a modalist, labelling it with what it actually is, you will be crucified in a conservative church! But I must say, the 800-pages are a bit intimidating. I couldn’t find it at the CCadre Journal, but I’ll try and have a more thorough look later. Thanks.
The contents page at the Cadre (which handily features all the chapters and Sections with links, as well as a preface to the text) can be found here.
The summary page for the first Section here at the EU forum (which features numerous links to different portions) can be found here.
The EU version has all sections upgraded to third edition; the Cadre version has a second edition Section One.
Many of the EU chapters have topical summaries posted on their respective Section pages. (I had to stop doing that somewhere in Section Four, if I recall correctly, in order to be sure I had time to finish editing and posting entries before Easter this year.)
You’re right about many trinitarians being modalists or unitarians without realizing it. (Not that this is a problem in the least to any modalists or unitarians. ) That shouldn’t be surprising, though; the doctrinal set combines positions taken in both the other doctrinal sets, so depending on the emphasis someone without discipline in keeping the points in mind will naturally simplify to one or the other. I expect this is less of a problem, though far from entirely mitigated, for congregations with strong creedal and/or catechetical affirmation programs and training. (This is aside from the question of whether modalism or unitarianism is true compared to ortho-trin.)
I don’t know if it’s up to your standard of “rigorousness” or complete enough for you, but there is a book out there that explores the hellfire texts. I’ve mentioned it a handful of times, but it apparently has never been reviewed and added to the recommended list. It is What does the bible really say about hell: Wrestling with the traditional view by (Retired Pastor) Randy Klassen (Randy was educated at Fuller, where our own Bob Wilson was).
Thanks for the welcome and suggestion Buddyb4, I hope to check it out.
I just thought I’d write a bit of a last post though. I had hoped to be an active member on this forum, but unfortunately as a PhD student with everything else I have on, I just can’t make the time I need to contribute to the discussions. Although I haven’t and probably won’t contribute in the future, I have been reading many of your thoughts and hope to continue reading this forum as a bit of a ghostly presence – although you mightn’t read me, I’ll be reading you! cue creepy music Thank you for all of your welcomes though, and I appreciate your obvious eagerness to serve the body of Christ.
A little update, if one happens to be interested:
Although I have read a fair amount of the universalist literature, I’m still not thoroughly convinced. But neither am I opposed to your hope either, nor do I deny its profoundly clear, Biblical merit. Despite my resistance to it (some may say my weak faith), a week or so ago I was conversing with a dear brother of mine about Eschatology. Partly as a Devil’s Advocate, and partly as a quasi-universalist, I presented a reasonable defense of universal-reconciliation as a legitimate, biblical option, particularly in regards to Romans 9 (this brother of mine is a Calvinist). Out of the conversation, I have now been identified with the universalists (an identity I don’t take any offense to and an identity I’m not going to overly trouble myself with discarding) and for all practical purposes, I probably am a universalist. So I am hopeful that in the subsequent discussions we will have, both our minds will be challenged and shaped, that ultimately we may find the truth in and of Christ.
I know prayer requests are not usually done here, and it seems peculiar to ask (particularly as a rather inactive member), but if you do happen to remember this post, just once this day (for I certainly do not ask for frequent prayer), I would dearly appreciate your briefest of intercessions as I (and my friend) try and understand, well, the future of all things. Secondly, as one more request if I may, I have had the strangest experiences – truly the most horrible and yet most sanctifying – of my life these last eight months. [Edit: just to clarify, this has had nothing to do with my dapplings with Universalism, or theology per se. Rather, universalism has been a product of these experiences]. If you could then also pray, even just once, for my own future walk with Yeshua the Christ, I would be eternally indebted. I hope to keep this community especially in my mind as I pray for the Bride.
As a current member if an IFB church I can tell you that I tread carefully. I can’t tell you the struggles I have in keeping silent, because I know that should I make my views on UR known it will cause such repercussions that will surely destroy what rapport I have with the Pastor and members of my church, yea, even my immediate family, as I haven’t even let them in on it.
Judging by others who have ventured toward bringing their beliefs to light in their respective churches, I would surely follow in eventually being banned from any leadership positions I hold now and would even jeopardize my membership standing. So I keep quiet for the sake of my family simply for the fact that there has been so much positive influence in the lives of my family, especially my kids, from being members of this church and the great teen group we have, that I do not wish to unduly disrupt that in any way. I love the people here and I’m not about to ruin the relationships over some dispute over doctrine.
My church has a heart for souls and is reaching out to the community in bringing to Christ. We’ve seen hearts changed and amazing testamonies of how God has impacted the lives orf various members, some even having been involved in and escaped from gang activities and how God has used them to reach others in the same predicament (you should no that in the eyes of gangs, there is no such thing as walking away. But God is gracious.)
So one has to weight the factors. I understand the struggles you may be having in coming to grips with UR, as I’ve once been a proponent of ECT, as most evangelical Baptists are. I will poray for you as your journey, especially on your walk with God.
Praying for you Andrew…
Yes, I’ll pray for you, too, Andrew! May the Lord fill you with His Spirit!
I’m sorry that you don’t have time to be involved in this forum. I was looking forward to your input. I understand though. And I do pray that you’ll be filled with a spirit of grace and wisdom as you continue in your studies and fellowship with others.
Thank you all for your prayers. I appreciate it immensely. And thanks Dondi, for sharing your own experiences. While I haven’t yet struggled with the church on universalism, as a staunchly unrepentant pacifist I can sympathize with your own struggles (you couldn’t possibly imagine how much trouble this has got me into). I hope everything works out for you and your own house.
Blessings to you, Andrew! I’m a little disappointed that you won’t have time for this forum, but glad to hear God is using you “in real life.” I’ll pray for you.
Hope this can catch you before you leave the Forum! I am a newcomer to the Forum, joined in July. One of the reasons I joined was reading and praying over a book yet to be published but available on the internet by Derek Flood Penal Substitution vs Christus Victor recommended to over a year ago by our parish Priest Andrew Tweedy at St George’s Anglican Church here in Barcelona (see his blog www.drewtweedy.blogspot.com for his sermons especially his first and second sermons in July on Universalism warmly received by all of us at St George’s!!) I printed Derek Floods book out from the web and carried it about with for over a year. It cleared so many doubts for me and best of all opened my heart to the knock on on its door!!
Go for it!
With a cheer and a prayer!
Thanks for your post Michael. I’ll be hovering around just a little while longer, while I can. I’m familiar with Flood – I’ve been thinking through Christus Victor for a good many months now. Alongside universalism, atonement theology is one of the other things I’ve been studying I think they work immensely well together.
Thank you Andrew. Praying for you and specially for a happy landing! You will find this is a very friendly, active, and supportive forum if you can find the time. Maybe you could try opening a topic on atonement theology.
There have been a few changes, and I now think that I might just be able to commit to the forum! Thank you all for your prayers I’ve introduced myself a bit more properly in the Introductions thread.