The Evangelical Universalist Forum

The Lost message of Paul by Steve Chalke

I wonder if anyone has read this book, it sounds fascinating and Steve Chalk declares that he believes in the eventual salvation of all.

In addition, this interview with Steve Chalk is well worth the time:


Very interesting and most enjoyable.

Possibly if SC jettisoned some of his weaker universalist stances, e.g., the standard universalist pruning take on Mt 25, then he could better embrace the term inclusionist which from my perspective doesn’t share the view on postmortem hell that both Universalists AND Infernalists indeed do share… albeit the variance there being the amount of time spent therein, i.e., one longer than the other.

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Yes, he obviously doesn’t hold to the pluralist position and so is reluctant to be labelled as a ‘universalist’ but clearly he does believe in the eventual redemption of the whole cosmos.
I’m tempted to buy his book but I have two more in the ‘must read’ queue ahead of his.
What did you think to the exchanges between the two of them because Chalke seemed to get some flak in the comments section. Do you think Steve treated Chris fairly?

Yeah I read quite a number of the responses and all too critical of Chalke… but they were pretty much obviously anti his position, but it was a radio debate/discussion and they were both reasonably passionate though Phil a little more reserved so she’s all fair game in that Steve was allowed to jump in so he did a bit more of that, but it was all amicable, but Phil gave as good as he got and made some fair points. Phil’s absolute best rejoinder was his personal testimony… but that said Steve did have a good and genuine response to it.


It certainly seemed like an ace in the pack but it lost its knock-out punch when Chris said Steve’s sermon was ‘scary’ about an angry God from whom we could be eternally separated in Hell but then Chris went on to say that his repentance was not out of fear of Hell.
I tend to think it probably WAS out of fear of Hell but he knew that would give Steve some amunition.


Yep my thoughts exactly when I heard that as well.

Cheers Davo - and I’ve just realised I’ve called him ‘Chris’ rather than ‘Phil’ (my bad).

I believe hell is judgment followed by resurrection or restoration but there’s nothing wrong with fearing the consequences of sinful behavior. There’s nothing wrong with a healthy fear. As Bill Wilson of AA states:

For all its usual destructiveness, we have found that fear can be the starting point for better things. Fear can be a stepping stone to prudence and to a decent respect for others. It can point the path to justice, as well as to hate. And the more we have of respect and justice, the more we shall begin to find the love which can suffer much, and yet be freely given. So fear need not always be destructive, because the lessons of its consequences can lead us to positive values

People who have no fear of the consequences are those that are manic and do crazy things on their highs. It’s abnormal not to fear the consequences.

Well that’s true… I have a healthy fear of driving through red traffic lights… consequently I don’t.

From my book “The Shyness & Social Anxiety Workbook” by Martin Antony Ph.D. and Richard Swinson M.D.:

There is no question that when anxiety is too intense it can interfere with performance; however, mild to moderate amounts of anxiety are actually helpful. If you never became even slightly anxious under any circumstance you probably wouldn’t bother doing the things that must be done. Why would you bother eating healthy food if you weren’t concerned about the consequences of not doing it? In part, it is anxiety that motivates us to work hard, prepares us for challenges, and protects us from possible threats…Anxiety and fear have a helpful function in that they prepare you for future threats and protect you from danger. So, your goal should not be to rid yourself of all fear and anxiety. Rather, your goal should be to reduce your anxiety to a level that no longer interferes significantly with your life. page 9

The anxiety about the consequences are reduced by the love and hope of heaven. Hope motivates as well as fear.


The Sufi Mystic Rumi explains the paradox

God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposites, so that you will have two wings to fly not one ~~ Rumi - Sufi

I agree but that is quite different to a church organisation latching on to that fear and using it as a threat against anyone who may not fall in line with church doctrine.
Just as the definition of ‘Islam’ is ‘submission’, so certain parts of Christendom have used the fear of Hell as a stick to instil submission amongst its possible followers.
The power that Christ exemplifies is the power of Love and perfect Love casts out fear.

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What Jesus exemplified was humility. It was a humble love. Yes perfect love casts out fear but no one is made perfect in love. We won’t be perfect in love until we reach the new creation. While we are on earth we have healthy fear. Your original comment was using fear for repentance was what I was responding to. Now you’ve changed that to fear about doctrine. THATS not the same thing and I agree.

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