The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Thoughts On This?

#1 … iversalism

On the eternality of Gehenna Article on ClassicalChristianity - responses?

I noticed their banner bore the following phrase: “All of Christ for All of Australia”.

Ironic, in that the thrust of the piece is LIMITED atonement - in other words, Christ did not die for ALL Australians! :laughing: :laughing:




I think this portion of the article deserves some comment:

I have discussed this topic with one prominent Hobart Universalist who has gone so far as to say that some of the Old Testament text is in error! Why? Because God would not be so harsh or mean as to legislate the death penalty for certain crimes and destroy the wicked! Just think about that for a minute. What standard is being used to judge the King of glory? Subjective 21st-century emotive philosophy has smugly thought to put the Creator of the universe in the dock. This reasoning places man in authority over God. It is absurdity. If man judges the Word of God he is the declaring himself the final, ultimate authority. This then begs the question: does man choose which bits of the Bible are true? Does man judge God according to his own autonomous reasoning? Did Jesus really die on the cross? Did He rise again? Did He ascend into heaven? Is He seated at the right hand of the Father? By what standard do we determine truth? Universalism will once again be thrown precisely where all junk theology belongs: the bin of historic irrelevance. It will die the eternal death that it deserves. - unquote

So, in response to someone’s statement that some of the Old Testament is in error, we get this question: “What standard is being used to judge the King of glory?”
That is what we call a non-sequitur - the question does not follow from the statement. The statement was not about the glory of the KIng. Every Universalist I know glories in the ‘glory of the King’ - I might even suggest that the Universalist has even MORE reason to glory in God.

Then this: “Subjective 21st-century emotive philosophy has smugly thought to put the Creator of the universe in the dock. This reasoning places man in authority over God.”
Almost everything in that sentence could be questioned. Is ‘subjective’ bad? Is ‘21st century’ a pejorative? Are Universalists always ‘Smug’ - or is anyone who disagrees with the writer ‘smug’, I wonder.
Also, the question once again was about OT errors, NOT putting the Creator ‘in the Dock’. What muddled thinking this person has.

I will skip over most of the rest of this hodge-podge; it is a target-rich environment for ridicule, but I will show mercy as others have had to show mercy to me. :blush:

One last thing: “By what standard do we determine truth?” he asks.
I would ask him the same thing, I would get the doctrine of ‘sola scriptura’ in response (is my guess), and I would then ask if he CHOOSES to believe in that doctrine; or if he has another criteria - councils, creeds, Reformed Tradition? Or, god forbid, his own thinking based on all the evidence? Does he not have to make up his own mind about obvious errors, hyperbole, fiction, genre, source materials, propoganda and other interpretive tools?

And by golly, the Character of our God IS what is at stake. If it is ‘emotive philosophy’ to cling to the Father and savior of all, despite some interpretations of very old and revised, redacted, re-imagined Old Testament ‘history’, I am guilty as charged.

To be fair, I am not addressing his pre-Nicene fathers quotes; I’ll leave that to someone who knows that subject better than I do.


It sounds like he subscribes to divine command theory. Which any undergraduate philosophy student could expose as rubbish.


DaveB said :

Don’t you think (not speaking for you :slight_smile: ) that we are looking at an evolution of ‘the character of God’ or maybe at least an evolution of our understanding of 'the character of God?


Yes! Until the final revelation in Jesus Christ and His body!!


Not sure what you mean?


I was just referring to this:
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.”

But it is HIs body, the Church, that the world can actually see, right? The ‘Form’ of Christ; Christ being the ‘substance’ of the Form.

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one —so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”


OKAY I’ll work through this. “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.”

Yes but does the exact verbiage of the son mean or imply that we here in the 21st century are the ones he is speaking to? That becomes a critical question, and a question that will have incredible relevance as to how we as 21st century Christians conduct ourselves.


Hmmm…not sure what you are getting at. The writer of Hebrews was making a declaration - mind-blowing!!! - that I think stands for all time. The Son will ALWAYS be so. The word ‘god’ is essentially ‘empty’ for most moderns, or else the word is filled with pagan nonsense, but we can give that word content by telling the story of Jesus and more importantly, living as unified believers as a testimony: then the world will know.

But perhaps I am missing the thrust of your question?


Hi Dave, this is the point I am working on

And I appreciate your view, so where in your opinion are we at within your understanding as to the view of the second coming of Christ?


I don’t have an opinion on that yet, Chad. I’ve been all over the place on it and have yet to find a comfortable perch.




It’s not in my list of top 10 all time websites.

Though the main page has a remark that caught my attention:

“Not one square inch of this world is under the power, authority and direction of Satan.”

On the page you refer to it quotes someone saying:

“The influence of Origen is clearly visible here, but by the fifth century the stern doctrine that sinners will have no second chance after this life and that the fir which will devour them will never be extinguished was everywhere paramount.”

What is the “fir” that will “devour them”? Does “fir” refer to fir coats? Or is it a reference to fir trees? Perhaps a man eating variety? Related to a species of zombies? A zombie specialist would be better able to address that.

Another quote there says:

"Letter to Diognetus (A.D. 125-200)
“You should fear what is truly death, which is reserved for those who will be condemned to the eternal fire. It will afflict those who are committed to it even to the end.” "

What is the reference to this quote? Is it even legitimate? Is the word translated “eternal” aionios from aion, literally an age or eon? Does the reference “to the end” refer to the end of the person, the end of the “afflict[ion]”, or something else?


I am no expert on fir coats, but know a thing or two about fir trees. Some of them are my friends and there is not a one that has an evil thought or is concerned with punishment. :wink:


I also know a few things about fir trees, but I know nothing about fur trees or fir coats. However I know this about one particular fur coat. It keeps me warm outside during the -30°C. temperatures in the backwoods of Northern Ontario. :wink:


That must be SOME fur coat! :open_mouth:


Fir coat :blush:



Another quote from the OP website says:

“One of the earliest creedal formulations of the eternality of hell is found in the Athanasian Creed.”

AFAIK these are the earliest creeds:

Apostles’ Creed (120-250 A.D.)
Nicene Creed (325 A.D.)
Chalcedonian Creed (451 A.D.)
Athanasian Creed (500 A.D.)

So it took almost 5 centuries for a creed to assert eternal punishment & reject universalism. None of the creeds previous to the Athanasian creed did that. And thereafter followed dark ages for over a millennium.

The website quotes from the Athanasian creed:

“Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly…At whose coming (Jesus) all men shall rise again with their bodies, and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire. This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.”

So it seems the creed says Christians who deny everlasting fire will get everlasting fire.