The Evangelical Universalist Forum

The Meaning of Universalism


I must admit I was stunned by these statements, Cindy. But before I question them, I must understand them correctly.

From WHAT is everyone saved?


Paidion, I suppose I ought to have said, “Everyone is eventually saved.” That was my meaning–sorry to be ambiguous. Jesus came to save His people from their sins. (Or sinfulness, which seems to me to be less easy to misconstrue than “sins” since many would see the latter as being saved merely from the penalty of one’s sins–which I think isn’t exactly the point.)


I also was wondering about that. Though in her detailed apologetic for sex only within the shackles of marriage she made it clear that the wicked will suffer the consequences of their sinful actions & may also be the recipients of Divine punishment. So clearly she was not suggesting they are saved from such things.


Thank you for the clarification, Cindy. I fully agree with you. The angel told Joseph to call the Baby’s name “Jesus” (Saviour) because He would save His people from their SINS.

What was troubling me with your initial statement was that it seemed to be affirming the doctrine of much of modern universalism—that through Christ’s sacrifice everyone will be acceptable to God in the afterlife. But if that were the case, why did Christ die? Why couldn’t God simply accept everybody to be with Him forever without the necessity of the death of His Son? It’s because of modern universalism that I don’t call myself a “universalist” but a “reconciliationist.” The Unitarian-Universalist Church accepts anyone as members, including atheists.

Your initial statement prompted me to reread William Ellery Channing’s “Baltimore Sermon.” Doubtless you know that Channing was the pioneer of modern universalism but would have been shocked to have seen where his teaching eventually led. In the “Baltimore Sermon” he states, “We regard the Scriptures as the records of God’s successive revelations to mankind, and particularly of the last and most important revelation of his will by Jesus Christ.” Excellent statement. He also affirms the unity of God and states that “We object to the doctrine of the Trinity, that it subverts the unity of God.” He also affirms the unity of Christ saying that He is not God Himself nor half God and half human. He denies penal substitution, that Christ took the punishment that we deserve for our sins so that when God looks upon us He no longer sees our sin but Christ’s righteousness. Rather Channing understands that Christ came to deliver us from sin itself. He said in the Baltimore Sermon, “Whilst we gratefully acknowledge that that he came to rescue us from punishment, we believe that he was sent on a still nobler errand, namely, to deliver us from sin itself, and to form us to a sublime and heavenly virtue.” Nowhere in the sermon does Channing suggest that everyone will automatically go to heaven at death and be fully acceptable to God even without having a change of heart and mind, and being delivered from sin.

But nowhere in the sermon




Hear that noise? That’s Paidion dropping some knowin’ on ya!


:laughing: Paidion has a lot of that to share and I have benefited from it many, many times.

Sorry to have been unclear, Don. I am a (as Jason calls it) purga-U, as I think you also are–if I’m mistaken about that, please forgive my forgetfulness. :slight_smile:


Yes, I believe in the ultimate reconciliation of all to God, and also believe God will correct those who need correction. If that is “Purgatorial Universalism” so be it.


FWIW, I too find Cindy and Paidion’s view of how reconciliation works, to be the best interpretation toward a Biblical kind of ‘universalism.’