The Evangelical Universalist Forum

The Ragamuffin Gospel

Dear MM,
If you carefully read my post that has set off this exchange, it will be clear that I DO acknowledge Christ’s “atoning” work apart from our self-effort. The difference in understanding seems to revolve around that which Christ’s death accomplished. Most who hold your position believe His death saves us from something—hell or punishment of some kind. Davo seems to deny this, and so I have no idea what Davo thinks was the purpose of His death.

My belief coincides with the teachings of Peter and Paul as I have quoted. That from which His death saves us is wrongdoing—from our self-centered lives. And yes, repentance (having a change of heart and mind) is necessary to enter the door of salvation (from wrongdoing, to begin an entirely new way of living in Christ). From then on, the process of salvation continues throughout our lives. But if we don’t coöperate with God’s enabling grace, we’ll slide back to the self-serving life again.

By the way, no form of “atone” is found in most translations of the New Testament. In my Online Bible Program, I have quite a few translations. The following one contain no form of “atone”: ASV, HCSB, Darby, Diaglot, LO, Murdoch, WNT, YLT, NASB, NKJV, Rotherham, RSV, ESV, RWebster. What translation do you use? Do you find “atoning work” or “atoning sacrifice” in it?

The English word “atone” means “to make amends” or “to compensate” for some wrong that has been done. For example, if you accidentally break a window in my house, I might say, “You’re going to have to atone for that!” You might atone for it by paying for a new window. Those who hold your view usually believe that Christ had to make up for your wrongdoing by appeasing the Father so that He won’t punish you. So He made an “atoning sacrifice” and thereby took the punishment on Himself that you deserve.

But let’s look at some of the translations who use the word. The AV (King James) uses the word “atonement” just once.

Romans 5:11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

However, the Greek word so translated actually means “reconciliation” the word that virtually every other translation uses to translate it.

Then the World English Bible renders a particular Greek word as “atoning sacrifice”:
1 John 2:2 And he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.
1 John 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son as the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

The Greek word here is ἱλασμος. This word has also been translated as “propitiation.” The English verb “propitiate” means “to appease” or “to gain the favour of.” It is supposed that Jesus appeased the Father by His sacrificial death, so that the Father wouldn’t punish us or send us to hell. But “propitiation” is NOT the meaning of ἱλασμος. Rather the word refers to a means of mercy. Indeed a similar word “ἱλαστηριον” is universally translated “mercy seat” in Hebrews 9:5 whereas it is translated as “propitiation” in Romans 3:25.

If you check out Chapter 2 of my book “The Supreme Sacrifice of Jesus Christ” you will see my full treatment of these two words:

So in what way is Christ’s sacrificial death a means of mercy? Isn’t it the greatest of all mercies to be delivered from our self-serving nature? From the inclination to hurt ourselves or others through sinful choices? For all wrongdoing has hurtful consequences. What a mercy it is to be saved from all of that! But again, it doesn’t happen instantaneously; it happens over a lifetime, some advancing more rapidly that others—all by God’s enabling grace of course.

The Supreme Sacrifice of Jesus ChristFor the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all people, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and to live sensible, righteous, and devout lives in the present age, expecting the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of the great God and of our Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good works. Declare these things; encourage and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you. (Titus 2:11-15)](Help the migration and archive: pdf your work here)


FWIW, I myself do not see your exegesis as diminishing the death of Christ. It appears consistent with my own understanding of hilastarion and of Jesus’ own teaching, which is found in my papers on that, and in one on ‘penal substitution.’ I see Jesus’ focus was on making disciples, and that the aim of his cross is consistent with that. But then I don’t mind being heretical, especially when I have company :wink:

Here’s a brief Wiki article on the author at Apparently, he appears to be, some sort of Catholic. But the article says he’s a (i.e. laicized priest). Which the second WIki article says:

But a little digging found - he apparently married. I think this is why, he was no long a priest.

It’s correct that he was long a Roman Catholic priest who addressed both Catholics and Protestants. But he eventually decided to leave the priesthood and marry, and most of his audience was evangelical.

Yes indeed, unlike yourself, I do deny that notion. As you have stated it clearly elsewhere… (in your view) there will be corrective punishment postmortem ONLY remediated by repentance; that’s your own “—hell or punishment of some kind.

The purpose of Jesus’ death was to save (redeem) HIS people (Israel) from their sins, as per…

Paul in-kind says this…

In error, it is sometimes contended that “Israel” here above is only the likes mentioned in Rom 2:28; 9:6, but this is to misread Paul. In these earlier passages Paul is contrasting faithfulness as against unfaithfulness, wherein obedience of the heart is the hallmark of being a true Israelite (Gal 6:16). Paul’s statement in Rom 11:26-27 however is built firmly and solidly upon his prior words here, speaking of and to OC Israel…

Thus Jesus’ death redeemed “all Israel” AND in divine consequence reconciled the world of humanity to Himself, which is borne out by Paul, as follows…

Or to paraphrase Paul: Now if Israel’s fall is riches for humanity, and Israel’s failure riches for the Gentile firstfruit saints, how much more Israel’s redemptive fullness! … For if Israel being cast away by God momentarily is the reconciling of humanity, what will Israel’s final acceptance by God be but redemptive resurrection, that is, life from the dead?

This at least is my understanding as a pantelist, as opposed to a universalist.

Yes indeed, unlike myself (as you understand me), I also deny that notion.

I don’t know how to say it any plainer than I have been saying it in this thread:

Jesus didn’t die to save us from hell or punishment. He died to save us from sin. This salvation extends well beyond Israel. It was a message to the WORLD. We all need to be saved from our self-seeking life and come into the life of the Anointed One, come under His authority.

Hi Don. Can’t express how difficult it will be to not cross swords with you once this forum is kaput. :smiley:

You said:

So we are at least maybe possibly on the same page here.

Then you said:

You go on in your post to say how you see it. GREAT :exclamation:

And I kind of think that Christ’s death burial, resurrection and subsequent parousia brought Israel and thus the whole of humanity into a right relationship with God. IT IS A COVENANT RELATIONSHIP.

You (and most Christians) keep wanting to make it a personal thing. And to be honest, good for you and I hope it works out. (I think there are many things we all can glean from the scriptures.) That is basically what much of the evangelical Christianity does, though I do think you put a nice spin on it, and I appreciate your view, but I don’t agree with it. Or at least not all of it. You have some good and valid points and a bunch of wisdom. I appreciate that. :smiley:

I don’t understand why you get so flustered at any idea of the ‘gospel of grace’ as it is an obviously valid and arguable position, though you don’t agree and don’t want to entertain the idea… :astonished:

So I gotta say, love ya brother.

This latest edition of the Suni Bali blog at, might have some related content - to this book. :wink:

Everyone is forgiven. (Father forgive them they know not what they do).

Forgiveness stands at the door and knocks, " I am here for you, let me come in"

Jesus said, “If you do not forgive you will not be forgiven(receive the benefit of forgiveness).”

What Jesus said about forgiveness and proceeding from forgiveness through to beng transformed into the likeness of His righteousness(love) all hinges at the open door of repentence(a broken and a contrite heart) and faith towards God.

“A broken and a contrite heart O God you will never cast away”

“I live in the high and holy place and with the one who has is of broken and a contrite heart”

If you split the coin, separating forgivenes and brokeness( the state in which one receives forgiveness and begins to be transformed by the power that flows through the open door -“Christ in you”) you can buy nothing with it. Neither “half coin” is worth a thing to anyone but the holder of it who thinks he has an answer when really he is trying to sell a seedless grain, a tare as wheat, etc.
The gospel is all about tranformation, and the transformation begins at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whenever that occurs, and the Lord knows those who are His.

The broken and contrite heart is the ground. The word of reconciliation(gospel) is the seed. One must receive the word implanted before the righteousness can grow.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Not saved by works or saved from works, but saved for works(thoughts, attitudes, actions) that are expressions of the life planted within, “I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me”

Grace is the engine, reconciliation the connection, manifesting the love, light and life of Christ the resulting fruit of the incorruptible seed.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no Law.”

Unless one escapes the condemnation of the law there can be no transformation because the access to the engine is “disconnected”, so the “word of reconciliation” …

All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s trespasses against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

…is the source, the starting point, and it is broadcast to all through the event that permeates the ages, Christ crucified, but it is accessed through revelation, the penetration of the veil of the “flesh” and the carnal(self-ruled) mind by “brokeness” (the crack in the chaff) which is a blow delivered by the gospel(speak to the rock and water will come forth)- so repentence has nothing to do with “law”, it is a gift of grace, the fundamental awareness of need and insufficiency that opens the door for grace to flow in and establish the connection with the divine nature.

“He that believes in me, out of his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.”

Transformation is the reason for everything, so the concept tha God loves us and receives us as/where we are does not conflict with anything, as long as the reason is included in the revelation. Communion resulting in transformation.

Having read the first 100 pages or so, I am really enjoying this book. Many beautiful things in it. Thanks for the recco MM.

Eaglesway, Christ didn’t have to die in order to forgive people; He forgave people when He walked this earth prior to His death:

*Matthew 9:2 And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.”

Mark 2:5 And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “My son, your sins are forgiven.”

Luke 7:48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”*

But it took Jesus’ death in order to effect deliverance from the self-life and transformation.

I hear you say this Don, AND IF that was strictly what you meant I would agree, BUT… your own words on the forum seem to testify against this, at least in terms of semantics WHEN elsewhere you clearly state according to your view that… repentance is the prerequisite to escape or find release from a postmortem fire i.e., your oft state ‘salted with fire’ (by any other understanding = hell or lake of fire), aka corrective discipline. But NONE of that idea or concept is germane to Jesus’ death with regards to humanity.

And this he did, period (Heb 9:26); this is not something STILL outworking through humanity. You confuse sinful type ACTIONS, as opposed to the condition of sin itself… two different things entirely.

What God’s singular Cross-Parousia event established on-behalf-of ALL Israel AND THEN humanity WAS the permanent removal of the condition of sin in terms of “guilt” as it stood over and against Israel and humanity, experienced in terms of separation from GodTHAT separation is gone; ALL has been reconciled and God is at peace with His creation, i.e., the world. When man “wakes up” to this reality (through the gospel) he catches up to this reality — so it is that repentance facilitates the grasping of this reality.

Again, it is the sin condition that God dealt with in Christ (Jn 1:29) NOT the ability to “miss and thus fall short of the mark” (the doing action of sin) — something we all in that vein will do till the day we step through death’s doorway into God’s greater blessedness beyond.

Paul in Romans said… “for by the law is the knowledge of sin” — by this he meant the condition of sin (the noun), not the verb; he deals with the verb here: “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!” The removal of the “condition” (noun) in terms of the “guilt” does not mean one cannot practice wrongdoing (verb). This is why James exhorts the brethren to “confess your sins” (<ἁμαρτίας> hamartias / verb) NOT to God :astonished: BUT “to one another”… thus allowing His restorative healing to flow.

Actually as I understand it… technically the “deliverance from the self-life and transformation” for believers is due to Jesus’ resurrection; his death wrought for humanity ‘the reconciliation’ as per…

When ‘enemies’ his death reconciled humanity, and then in consequence to those “much more” responding in repentant faith came/comes the “deliverance from the self-life and transformation” IN LIFE because of “His life” i.e., his resurrection.

Davo, I don’t think “repentance is the prerquisite to escape or find release from a postmortem fire” is what I stated or implied.

When I say, “Jesus didn’t die to save us from hell or punishment,” I am speaking of the concept of “hell” and “punishment” that is commonly understood as being penalty for wrongdoing. This is a totally separate concept from the reality of God’s remediation of sinners. If one has lived his whole life for self, has sinned throughout his days (continued to so those things that harm himself and/or others), there is no reason to think that he will be magically changed into a righteous person in the after-life just because he has died. God will do whatever it takes to correct him.

Jesus death is to deliver us from sin IN THIS LIFE. If we repent (have a change of heart and mind) about our sin and submit to the authority of Christ in our lives, we are in the process of salvation—and we have the promise that that salvation will some day be completed:

Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

However, only a minority of humanity is undergoing the process of salvation from sin. The vast multitude of humanity die in their sin, without having even begun the process. Death will not transform them. The Lord must correct them. He will do whatever it takes, even if that means discomfort—slight or great as required. This is not “punishment” but remediation. In my opinion, this remediation may also include ministry to them by the sons of God being sent to them. God will not give them anymore pain or discomfort than is absolutely necessary.

It seems to me that even those who are now Christ’s disciples may need a degree of post-mortem correction. For surely they also will not be perfect at the time of their death. Their remediation may be effected in that “He who began a good work in us will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Thus “Everyone will be salted with fire.”

I found this worth a read: … n-manning/

Whoever this girls is… And I assume it’s a girl, Said:

Says Her. :angry:

What I’ve read about the books and the man, he was a broken individual. And he wrote about it.

I know that 'The Ragamuffin Gospel is another view of God and Christ. Many don’t like that. Any view that differs from theirs is usually wrong and many times heretical.

Read the book. Make your own decision. :smiley:

(thnx eagle.)

Hmm, I could be mistaken, but you’ve definitely “stated or implied” as much elsewhere on the forum, the likes of for example HERE…

Or even HERE…


I think repentance is clearly taught by Jesus and the apostles as the way of life, defined as entering a humble state, a broken and a contrite heart. Repentance is the gateway of love . It is also all through the scriptures. Psalm 51 Follows the whole process from recognition to remorse and confession through reconciliation and restoration.

It is departing from the way of life, or refusing it in the first place that leads to correction, in life or post-mortem, and the fire is the light that penetrates and “brings every hidden thing to light”, separates the wheat from the chaff, purges the wood, hay and stubble. Light is fire to darkness. Love is fire to hate. repentance is fire to arrogance and rebellion.

Gehenna, the lake of fire, aionian pyr, these are metaphors for being brought before the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

"I kept looking Until thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow And the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, Its wheels were a burning fire. 10"A river of fire was flowing And coming out from before Him; Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; The court sat, And the books were opened. Dan 7

their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, 16** on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus. Ro 2
“They will be tormented by fire and brimstone before the face of(in the presence of) the Lamb and his holy messengers” Rev 14:10

All of that has to do with repentance, which a word for yielding to God, giving Him glory, acknowledging His righteousness. Entering or renewing a proper attitude towards God and man(love and humility)

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” Ps 51

Phil 2:11 and 1 Cor 15:25-28 talk about the bowing of the knees of the adversaries. It is His glory that will disarm them and they will repent before Him and bow their knees and confess His Lordship to the glory of God the Father. Maybe it will be short, maybe instant, maybe for some a few stripes maybe some more stripes, the lashes upon the conscience that bring remorse and repentance because of the light of His love breaking through. But i agree with Paidon, Jesus says it will be difficult and is to be avoided.

In my experience it is very difficult, as I believe I know that fire more and more closely as I grow older and the light is breaking through the thinning veil of my carnality.

Behold, thou dost desire truth in the inward parts, and in the secret things thou hast made me to know wisdom.

Remove the sin in me with hyssop(bitterness, remorse, repentance), and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Make me to hear joy and gladness that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

Hide thy face from my sins and eradicate all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Cast me not away from thy presence and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.

Restore unto me the joy of thy saving health, and thy spirit of liberty shall uphold me. Ps 51

Well, I do think repentance is a prerequisite to escaping the severity of the postmortem fire to which the unrepentant will be subject (if that’s what you mean). However, since I do not believe in that fire as penalty, I do not believe repentance to be any means of escape in that sense. Nor do I believe that even the repentant will entirely escape the corrective proclivities of postmortem fire.

Again I quote, “Everyone will be salted (or seasoned) with fire.” (Mark 9:49)

By the way, the words “and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt” may have been an addition to the original text. The following translations do not contain it: ASV, ESV, HCSB, NASB, RSV, Philips, and Rotherham. The following Greek editions do not contain it: Nestle, Westcott-Hort, Tischendorf, and the Greek edition of Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo Martini, Bruce Metzger, and Allen Wikgren. Unfortunately, none of the extant manuscripts prior to 300 A.D. contain Mark 9:49. If even one of them did, I would be inclined to accept its wording as the correct one.

Don said,:

To be honest, I had to churn this in my mind for a moment.

It seems that your take from scripture (and your obvious leaning to the early church writers)…

Is that,

1)Post mortem fire is an absolute given
2)So, Repentance is mandatory for escaping how severe the postmortem fire is going to be…
3)But, this postmortem fire is definitely not a penalty, (or I assume you mean punishment of some sort)
4)And you say that repentance ( no matter how sincere) will not keep you from the correction of post mortem fire.

And so,

  1. What is the fire?

And I know we’ve danced around aunt Sally’s house about these things, and you and others have been at it for a while,
I was wondering (though I know it might seem redundant) if you would give some bible references for the above five points?

Finally, for my own interest, you have stated that you believe that repentance* is necessary *for forgiveness, though you do seem to allude to the fact that repentance will not keep you from the fire… That forgiveness does not mean that one will not pass through the fire. Of maybe you are saying that all will pass through the fire before forgiveness. :question:

Forgive (no pun)me if I worded that wrong.

Can you give a few details on these things?
Thanks Paidion.
We may not get much more of a chance to elaborate on this forum. :smiley:

P.S. I have not read your paper that you posted in another topic thread, and I know that there are others that have questioned you about this. Would dearly and sincerely, love an answer.

FWIW, The view you seem to hold, I also held briefly at one point and is in my theological graveyard, though I have moved from it, it was and is a valid stepping stone for understanding.

Though I am not saying you are wrong and I am right… Just being honest.


**Whether punitive penalty OR propitiating penance your prerequisite is still a price paid… there’s NO difference!

That you KEEP applying this to postmortem (WITHOUT scriptural warrant) does not arbitrarily make it so, as in, simply according to your say so. As I’ve pointed out before, you read into the text AND ignore the context… and in consequence, your pretext. But we’ve been here before…

Mk 9:49 needs to be read within the context of the biblical story and not projected beyond it in term of theological interpretation — which is what you are doing. In Jewish practice, all sacrifices were to be salted and no sacrifice was acceptable without it…

Jesus’ being salted had nothing to do with postmortem “correction” but was very much indicative of the antemortem (this life) nature of the preparatory effect persecution was about to bring. According to the context of the passage such salting would indeed be limited and yet fully inclusive of all in that grouping, i.e., the disciples — all disciples in faithful service were a “living sacrifice” (Rom 12:1) and would be tried by the fires of persecution.

Again… as salt accompanied OT sacrifices so would the soon coming fire of trial and tribulation accompany and try (refine) NT believers…

This then as I understand it is what Jesus meant when he said…