The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Some Form Of Christian Universalism isn't the Only Reasonable Position, But the MOST Reasonable Position

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.

A good book on Rationality of Belief by Kelly James Clark. Clark earned his Ph.D in philosophy under Alvin Plantinga:

And this one by James E. Taylor


C. Stephen Evans:




The probabilities for the resurrection make it very likely that Christ rose. Swinburne shows the probabilities as he points out the mistake in Plantinga’s assessment of the probabilities. Published by Oxford University Press.

Being the most reasonable world view (for me) doesn’t place it beyond all question. It is still possible to be wrong. One could resist and still be rational. Plausibility judgments are after all in the eye of the beholder. One trusts in ones faculties when one believes in the existence of other minds. It’s a belief based on trust. Indeed, quantum mechanics now gives us s scientific basis that the world is a hologram. This is in facts what most of the mystics believe. That it only appears to be real. But underneath lies the reality. This is only one interpretation of quantum mechanics not the most reasonable. There are many others. And the mystics could be wrong. But according to Thomas Reid, our initial and rational approach to belief is one of trust, not one of doubt or suspicion. Therefore, Beliefs are innocent until proven guilty rather than vice versa. A person is rationally justified in believing a proposition that is produced by her properly functioning cognitive faculties in the appropriate circumstances unless or until she has adequate reason to cease from believing it.

I guess the main reason I’m a Christian Universalist is because it brings God the most glory. According to Jonathan Edwards:

God is glorified not only by His glory’s being seen, but by its being rejoiced in

When those that see it delight in it, God is more glorified than if they only see it. Therefore, God is most glorified if everybody sees His glory and rejoices in it instead of being miserable in hell. The old sinful self (ego) is “tormented” forever in hell. The Devil is punished forever, not Lucifer. Therefore, the manifestation of God glory in His hatred of sin goes on forever.

It is a proper and excellent thing for infinite glory to shine forth; and for the same reason, it is proper that the shining forth of God’s glory should be complete; that is, all the parts of His glory should shine forth, that every beauty should be proportionably effulgent, that the beholder may have a proper notion of God. It is not proper that one glory should be exceedingly manifested, and another not at all…Thus it is necessary, that God’s aweful majesty, His authority and dreadful greatness, justice, and holiness, should be manifested. But this could not be, unless sin and punishment had been decreed; so that the shining forth of God’s glory would be very imperfect, both because these parts of divine glory would not shine forth as the others do, and also the glory of His goodness, love, and holiness would be faint without them; nay, they could scarcely shine forth at all. If it were not right that God should permit and punish sin, there could be no manifestation of God’s holiness in hatred of sin, or in showing any preference, in His providence, of godliness before it. There would be no manifestation of God’s grace or true goodness, if there was no sin to be pardoned, no misery to be saved from. How much happiness soever He bestowed, His goodness would not be so much prized and admired…So evil is necessary, in order to the highest happiness of the creature, and the completeness of that communication of God, for which He made the world; because the creature’s happiness consists in the knowledge of God, and the sense of His love. And if the knowledge of Him be imperfect, the happiness of the creature must be proportionably imperfect. ~~ Jonathan Edwards

Can reason explain the existence of God? Or should that be considered a mystery?

What other things are mysteries? The atonement? The Trinity?

I suppose some who believe in ECT would consider that a mystery. They might admit it seems unjust, cruel & monstrous, but can’t get past what they think the “Scriptures” say. So just chalk it up to “it’s a mystery”. And “my reason is limited” here.