I agree with Bill too.Who is this great mind?
A very tidy piece although I think the author has underestimated the importance of free will for Arminians.
William Brennan. He started the Yahoo group on “Reformed Universalist”.
Unfortunately, the group didn’t really take off, so I’ve invited them all over here, and in the process got to emailing Bill and another member. Both extremely interesting, and may join the forum
I thought it was well written, especially for an email, which is why I asked him is I could post it
Digging deeper with Google, I’ve discovered he is a Former Presbyterian minister, now evangelical universalist!!! twitter.com/#!/hopeforthelost
UR affirms both foundational assumptions of Calvinism (God’s Sovereignty) and Arminianism (God’s love for all humanity and human autonomy). The problem that both Calvinism and Arminianism have with UR is their one shared assumption - the certainty of damnation of others. Because Calvinists are certain that God damns some people eternally, it must be then that God sovereignly decided this, God loves some but hates others, and that the Atonement must be limited in scope (Jesus must have only died for some of humanity). Because Arminianists are certain that God damns some people eternally, it must be then that human autonomy trumphs God’s sovereignty, love fails, and the Atonement is limited in effect not fully reconciling all whom God loves.
The certainty of damnation of others is in importance either equal to or greater than God’s Sovereignty for the Calvinist and Human Autonomy for the Arminianist. If one challenges ECT, then one shakes the whole of their soteriology; in fact, it shakes their worldview. So though UR embraces both God’s Sovereignty and God’s love for all humanity, it’s very difficult for either Calvinists or Arminianists to seriously consider the evidence for UR. Our traditions do very much influence what we are willing to seriously consider, like the hardened ground in the parble of the sower.
You may be right on that point! Arminians insist on the right of the individual to choose to reject God. But if the “death deadline” is eliminated, eternity becomes available for the winning of the lost.
That’s my type of universalism. I hold to the five points of Arminianism and universalism.
Human Autonomy is a foundational element of Arminianism, but in reality Human Autonomy is Very Limited. In the scope of our lives we do not choose our nationality, race, family, parents, physical characteristics, IQ, talents, spiritual disposition, socio-economic status, etc., etc., etc. In the scope of our lives, we have very little (if any) autonomy. And what autonomy we have is quickly taken away if we make radically bad decisions. So of all the foundational elements of Arminianism, human autonomy is the weakest, imo.
The weakest foundational assumption of Calvinism, imo, is their belief in Limited Atonement. The concept of Limited Atonement is not supported in scripture, but is a logical deduction “IF” one assumes 1) the certainty of damnation of some and 2) the Atonement effects the salvation of everyone whom Jesus died for.
That is unfortunate their group didn’t take off. Seems, though, that there are more and more people coming out of the woodwork. Love to have them over here!
It sure seems like we have some choice (certain passages would seem to say so), but that people, myself included, can be quite blind in making them. It’s nice that there is a sovereign God able to use whatever limited choice to draw us to Him because he is faithful to do so. “Free” will would seem to imply that we are not blind, not hardened and can rescue ourselves from sin, but it does seem like it is God that does this. I think it’s really important to give God the credit for saving us, breaking us of our pride, but I can see how the Arminian would have a hard time giving God the credit for doing this very important work if God neglects to help save some. Like Sonia says, the whole dilemma is really solved if we believe God is not finished, is faithful to do a work in all of our hearts.
BTW, I did try sharing this with a friend, when it came up in a discussion, because it made so much sense to me. I didn’t even get a one word response. Nothing. Had lunch with her and she acted like she’d never gotten my email. I know she did. She’s got plenty to say about how the Calvinist is all wrong. I guess that’s a positve sign she can’t find anything to say? That or she can see how passionate I am and doesn’t want to open a can of worms. Probably the latter.
I agree, however, here’s an interesting reply to Arminians:
Which is why I’m so excited to discover that Augustine, Luther, Ignatius, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Origen, Clemens Of Alexandria, Eusebius Of Caesarea, Athanasius, Gregory Of Nazianzus, Firmicius Maternus, Victorinus, Ambrose, Hilary Of Poictiers, Epiphanius, Jerome, Synesius, Cyril Of Alexandria all didn’t have “death as a deadline”!
I just happened to watch a video on YouTube concerning this issue.
Explains it really well, in my opinion.
It would be nice to have a list of relevant quotes and refs. We have a little on Augustine on another thread, maybe we should make a sticky topic for pro-universalist quotes by famous ancients.
I’ll try to watch YouTube video after work, sounds interesting.
Good idea Sonia, will do.
Yeah, I thought it was good too, so I’ve subscribed to Alice’s channel and requested her as a friend on FB, as I’d love to talk to her more about UR.