The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Universalism and History

I wonder whether the forum would benefit from a topic on Church History? I don’t really know where I would post such a thread and I’m rather interested in this topic, because I see the Early Church’s views as immensely important (their experiences being much closer to the Apostle’s witness than ours). I know everyone recommends Hanson’s “Universalism: The Prevailing Doctrine…” but it’s a highly contested work, and we might benefit from some discussion?

Edit: Okay, there’s one in Ecclesiology :slight_smile: Maybe not worry about it. Maybe it’d be overkill. But I do wonder whether it deserves more of a prominent, permanent position on the board. shrugs. Tradition is, after all, mightily important to many Christians (although obviously less so for Evangelicals).

That’s a good suggestion, just wonder where I’d put it. Do you think “Church History” is a subcategory of “Theology” or “Practices” or somewhere else?

Interesting you say tradition is less important to evangelicals than other christians. From discussions I’ve had in recent years I’d say many evangelicals respect their tradition more highly than they respect scripture. So they casually dismiss scriptural arguments which challenge the tradition. I used to do this myself and it is something we all need to guard against. As for church history, I agree we have much to learn from it and would welcome more expert input from historians on the forum.

sadly I have to concur with you there :frowning:

That’s one of many reasons I want Luke to become an EU, as he likes church history :slight_smile:

I definitely think “Theology”. For me anyway, I’m more interested in what they thought (which then determined what they practiced).

When I said ‘tradition’ I really should have said the testimony of Church History (particularly the early church). But well, traditionally, evangelicals are supposed to be more skeptical of tradition :confused: But yeah, you’re right. I know my old evangelical church highly respects Church tradition, just as long as it’s not anything before or after Calvin…

I don’t consider myself overly concerned with traditions, but one of the most intimidating aspects of rejecting ECT is rejecting the testimony of Church History. (I know there were Universalists in the Early Church, but it seems that they were generally a minority).

Done :slight_smile:


I’m not so sure Universalism was a minority in the early church (at lease based from what I have read), I’ll offer here some of the stuff I’ve found on the topic,

Hmmm… yes, I’ve read many such things before. But I still hold reservations. If the Early Church had so thoroughly believed in Universalism, if their testimony had been so blatantly evident, one would think modern scholarship could easily vindicate this hopeful doctrine and many more would presently know of it. And so, it still concerns me that the Church has not thoroughly adopted Universalism.

This said, I am a committed non-resistant, and am strongly convinced that the overwhelming majority of the Early Church was also non-resistant and proudly and clearly testified of this practice. And as far as I (and every other Christian pacifist) has read no-one has adequately dismantled the clear teachings of Christ or the work of Cadoux (1919) in his historical defense of it, ‘The early Christian attitude to war’. And yet, the Church continues to reject the clear teachings of Christ, and the testimony of His earliest church. So I can still appreciate that history is most often obscured, despite good scholarship. Men generally favour the teachings of their immediate fathers.

Perhaps I just need to do a bit more of my own reading. Non-Berean-ness is what always gets us into these messes.

Thanks so much Alex! I think it will be a great topic. It’s a shame I’m just not educated enough on Church History to start something just yet. I hope to start a topic soon though, as I have so many questions about this.

The “church” (the very word church is pagan, has nothing to do with ecclesia) was in the business of book burning, smearing history. They adopted large amounts of paganism, burned heretics at the stake, etc etc. Much has been lost, washed over. I’m not saying the evidence can’t be found, but the deck is certainly stacked.

Ecclesiology - pertaining to the church.

Alex or I could set these up as forums so that they have subcatagories. But those categories need to be decided upon. So I’m open to ideas.

I made a separate category, however on second thoughts it might be better under Ecclesiology but with a changed blurb “Discussions pertaining to the Church and it’s history”. I could move the post across too… What do you think?

Ecclesiology is the study of the church. (If it comes to using pagan terms, “ekklesia” was first a pagan term, too, for cultural benefit societies–where the culture was definitely connected to one or another ‘cultic’ worship. :stuck_out_tongue: )

Church history would definitely be under ecclesiology; but I could see it being a subcategory. In any case the description for “Ecclesiology” category ought to include reference to church history.

first off, I’m not saying that we shouldnt ever use the word church, it doesn’t really matter, the word god is also a pagan term, but we understand what we’re talking about when we use the word god, most people don’t understand what elohim is, so we use the word god. same with church, most don’t know what ecclesia is so we use the word church.

ecclesia is used in the bible, so God has therefore sanctioned it as a proper term

church is not, and is not related to ecclesia etymologically at all, and is very likely from Circe the daughter of the sun-god, which I believe to be the whore of babylon

as an aside, there are many, many pagan terms in the bible, these are all pagan deities names
in greek:

in hebrew:

I always thought that Ecclesiology only referred to the cultic system and practices of the church (confession, priesthood, administering of the sacraments, veneration, and so forth), not its theology per se, (that may have once been held somewhere in history). Otherwise, wouldn’t all (Christian) theology in some way be part of the church? :confused:

I’ve moved Church History to be a subforum of Ecclesiology. I also moved one other thread into it too, let me know if you think I should move others there.