Reason is good and has it’s purposes but my point is that there are limits to reason. It can only take you so far. I’ve written about this here:
After studying the scriptures for and against Christian universalism I have to say that a good case can be made for it’s rational permissibility from the scriptures. For the scriptures can be taken this way or that way depending on one’s starting point and assumptions on this issue. Our starting point, assumptions, and emotional biases will cause us to explain away those passages that seem to contradict our position. We simply cannot get the view from nowhere. Reason is situated, located, embodied in this person at this time and in this place. It is moved by our biases and emotions to attend to this sort of evidence and to ignore that sort of evidence. From what I can see, if you want universalism to be true then, yes, “the evidence” is perfectly clear and there is much of it. If I believe in bigfoot I see lots of evidence for bigfoot. The trouble is with the prior conviction and how it creates an epistemological filter, literally creates the evidence you want to see. It’s called confirmation bias. Can we show from scripture that universalists are in an epistemically superior position? I don’t know. We don’t have belief independent access to all the factors that condition our acceptance or rejection of all the relevant passages. I know it’s just as reasonable position as the others based on the scripture and the fact of religious diversity and peoples beliefs and the problem of suffering I am forced to say it’s not the only reasonable position but the most reasonable position. Reality forces me to accept it.
Reality forces me to accept some form of Christian Universalism. I also include the arguments from Natural Theology and evidence for the resurrection of Christ. When it’s all said and done I believe Christian universalism is the most reasonable worldview. But there’s more. I’ve also undergone a change in my life at times where a Creator of the universe just seemed real. I lose myself in love. I can look people in the eye and communicate with them now. I haven’t been able to do this my whole life. This along with the other considerations I think I am justified and warranted in believing in a form of Christian Universalism. Like when they had evidence that the earth was round but not absolute proof. When we experienced the spherical earth it then became a fact of knowledge. Just like I have knowledge that I’m drinking a Reign energy drink right now. You don’t have this knowledge but it’s true for me. Alvin Plantinga has developed this. I wrote about it here here:
Alvin Plantinga has developed a model where basic Christian belief can be rational and warranted. I will outline it here. For a better and more in depth treatment see “Warranted Christian Belief”. According to the model humans have fallen into sin and this has disrupted or clouded our awareness of God. It affects not only our rational faculties but our affections as well. They have malfunctioned or are to some degree dysfunctional (some worse than others). When these faculties are functioning properly (the way they ought) we will come to sense God’s presence. Not only from looking at a beautiful sunset but the beautiful Christ in the Gospel as well. When things go as they ought to (according to a design plan) we will love God above all else and our neighbor as our self. The Holy Spirit produces within that firm and certain knowledge (faith) that we are loved by Christ. When held firmly enough these beliefs will constitute knowledge. Because the beliefs and affections are functioning properly according to a design plan successfully aimed at the production of true belief we are justified and rational in holding our beliefs. Plantinga doesn’t claim to argue or prove that God exists or that Christianity is true. These beliefs just rise up within. But FOR THOSE who have changed and love God above all else and their neighbor as their self their beliefs and faith in Christ have warrant FOR THEM and they are rational in holding them. That is, they are functioning properly according to a design plan. God’s design plan. And are therefore rational.