I am thrilled to see that Tom Talbott has agreed to come onto the form. As those who have read my book will know, Tom’s work has had a profound influence on my own journey towards universalism. Indeed I can say without hesitation that had I not come across Tom’s work I do not see how I would ever have made my way to embrace a doctrine of universal reconciliation. I owe him a huge debt as do many who have read his articles and books as well as his online engagements. For that reason I dedicated TEU to Tom and for that reason I am excited that he has agreed to join us for a discussion.
Tom is first and foremost a Christian philosopher. I first came across him through William Lane Craig’s attempts to refute universalism. Craig tried, on a couple of occasions, to blow Talbott out of the water. I read Craig’s articles as a traditional evangelical very keen to find a good argument in favor of Hell. To my horror I discovered myself more persuaded by Talbott and than by Craig! (and I ought to add that I rate Bill Craig very highly as a Christian philosopher)
Through a series of events (some of which you can read about in TEU) I came to read lots of Tom’s work and to interact with him online (and eventually face to face). To this day I remain unwavering in saying that his philosophical work on universalism is absolutely outstanding. It played a major role in opening me up to the possibility of apocatastasis.
Tom is not a biblical scholar but I must also say that his work on the biblical text also played a very signifcant role in leading me away from traditional views on Hell. Whilst I did not find all of Tom’s suggestions totally convincing I did find them sufficiently plausible to give me solid grounds for hope that universalism might be biblical after all! This was a real lifeline for a struggling soul.
So Tom is for me a real hero. I hope that any of you who have not taken the time to read his work will check it out.