Universalism series starting online


i just happened upon a new experimental “online church” if you will, called darkwoodbrew.com

really cool thing theyve got going- never really seen anything like it- but they are starting this sunday (may 15) a series called “If love wins…now what”

guests like brian mclaren will be discussing the issues of the expansive love of God…check out there site, im hoping to watch tomorrow at 6 pm est.

nice to see another positive calm look at this subject


Don’t like on-line churches. Why not have an on-line marriage? An on-line family? God made us flesh and blood. We’re not created to be disembodied spirits flitting about in cyberspace. Thing about actual people is you can’t get rid of them by pressing a button.


I’m okay enough with the concept of an online church in special case situations; and since Christian universalists (at least if we’re Protestant) don’t have anywhere much to meet, that’s a special case situation. Sort of like online churches in China or Vietnam.

Anyway, I appreciate the link Andrew. Thanks! :slight_smile: I hope other people will look into it. Just be careful y’all.


I’m going to check it out. Seems interesting.

Of course I wouldn’t normally rely on an “online church” for my primary means of body-of-Christ expression, but this seems worth looking at…


Well, if this is church, :astonished: count me in. I wish we had a Darkwoodbrew Coffe House in our neck of the woods. :smiley: I pray that one day our little house fellowship that meets in my livingroom would look and sound something like that :smiley:

And how do you like those beats … finally somebody that would agree with me, jazz can be spiritual too :open_mouth:

i just finished watching the presentation and I was very pleased with their way of helping those from outside of EU to better understand what Universalism is all about. Very thought provoking.

Two thumbs up! I’m looking forward to the next three parts.

You guys should take a look.


“online church” was a bad call on my part- just didn’t know how else to describe it. What I can say now is that it is some sort of “alternative meeting” (in addition to traditional “church”) led by the two pastors of a United Church of Christ. Eric Elnes, the leader of Darkwood Brew is the lead pastor of Countryside Community Church, a United Church of Christ congregation in Omaha…countrysideucc.org

apparently Eric also has a book that he has written espousing Universalist, or “expansive grace of God” beliefs, that is titled Phoenix Affirmations

his website is ericelnes.com

Overall, after enjoying the live stream, I can say, online church or not, it is a grace-filled place that is welcoming even to me and my computer.

the full video is here: onfaithonline.tv/darkwoodbrew/#/?ep-id=23776332

glad some of you enjoyed it!

As someone rather new to this conversation, it is always nice to see fresh expressions, and a variety of types of Christians expressing UR


Thanks Andrew for letting us know about it. I think we should keep an eye on this, it looks like it has potential :sunglasses: It seems to be well designed too.


Mutter mutter grumble. :wink:


I watched it and man was it cool. I’d love to do something like that also. I might even watch Episode 2, of “If Love Wins then What?” live this coming Sunday night with my boys. That would be cool. And I think they’d really like the music! I appreciated McLaren being a guest and sharing briefly on the difference between interpreting a passage, the Mt. 25 passage specifically, from an Ontological view, as oppossed to interpreting it from a Rhetorical view.

It was really cool and might become part of my regular life - especially considering I have no local fellowship and find myself unable to openly share my faith in Christ with other Christians. That sounds really strange when you put it that way, but that’s the way it is. If I participate in worship or fellowship at established churches I have to be very careful to not share too much or people get freaked out and start acting and speaking irrationally.

Anyhow, thanks for the link Andrew! You da bomb!


Ditto to pretty much everything Sherman said. :mrgreen: I wish there was something physically like that closer to me…


:laughing: Dad I think you’re in an extremely rare position that your church is open enough to allow you to still preach, even though they know you’re an EU! What would you do if they said you weren’t allow to preach or attend there anymore (even after being there for 30 years)?

I agree local/physical church is better, but that simply isn’t an option for most it seems, without hiding their light under a jar, which personally I refuse to do! Similar to this forum, at least the “online church” provides some encouragement/fellowship.


I watched some of it (the recording), and even took communion with it - albeit a day late lol. But I must say that I enjoyed the experience, even if I am not at all a fan of Jazz… :confused: (I like stuff like this :laughing: ) But it really was a nice experience. Wish there was a church like that closer to me…At least to visit. It seemed so welcoming and calm, and less “all rise! sing the doxology, all sit…bow your head and pray…stand up! shake your neighbor’s hand and call it fellowship…sit down again…”

It was neat at least.


Just to let everyone know,

the second week of the universalism series will be streaming live tonight at darkwoodbrew.com

At 6 pm est. with guest author Diana Butler-Bass


But Eric Elnes is NOT a Universalist, or an EUer or a URer.

onfaithonline.tv/darkwoodbre … salvation/

He sounds like an Arminian to me. Of the CS Lewis variety perhaps, but so what.

He’s like Rob Bell, who he mentions all the time. I don’t get these guys. They act as if they are SO different than traditionalists just because they and say a bunch of tender words about God’s attitude towards the lost and allow for the possibility of EU or UR or whatever. Both of them make traditionalists out to be this heinous crew who have contaminated the church with the poison of ECT, but then they refuse to accept the contrary doctrine. Whats the point of trying to show how absurd ECT is if you are just going to allow it as a possibility in the end? It is as if they are saying “You traditionalists are terrible for terrifying everybody. But hey, you might be right, so maybe you aren’t so terrible. Well, even if you’re right, you’re still terrible. So there.”

It seems to me that before Bell and Elne castigate traditionalists for propagating a monstrous and harmful doctrine they better figure out where they stand. Because if the traditionalists are right, its not the traditionalists who are leading us astray, its them.


Listen at the end of Episode 1 on May 15. Eric Elne says something truly remarkable:

First he takes the parable of the Talents and casts talents as a symbol for grace. He then derives from the parable that God commends risk taking. The promotion of UR is then defined as a “risky” proposition (as opposed to preaching ECT which is considered safe.) He then admits that UR might be wrong. Should this serve as a caution for us in the preaching of UR? According to Elne: No way! Why? Because God likes it when we take risks, even if it means the preaching of a lie.

So apparently according to Elne, whether UR is true or not, God would prefer that we just believe its true and preach accordingly. So much for truth.

Is this the kind of exegesis we can expect to see on DB?

Check it out yourself. Am I mis-characterizing him?


I tell people God is good. I don’t know if he is, but I cling to this high hope just the same. If I’m wrong, we will lose everything in the end, whatever we do. But if I’m right, we will gain everything in the end. Literally* everything*.

I guess you could call it a risk, but I think it’s a no-brainer. The reasoning has mathematical clarity. I’m like a person dying of some disease. The best medicine on offer might do nothing, but then again, it might save my life. Will I take it? Of course I will.


To be clear,

1.) Eric Elne was not suggesting that preaching salvation through Christ was “risky” but that preaching UR/EU was “risky.” The “safe” route was preaching ECT.

2.) Eric Elne was not suggesting that Christ’s death on the cross was in question, but that UR/EU was in question. Therefore when I attributed this thought to Elne, “Because God likes it when we take risks, even if it means the preaching of a lie” (not his exact words, but my paraphrase) the possible “lie” is a reference to UR/EU and not “salvation through Christ” in general.

What I was attempting to say is that it is my understanding that Elne is teaching that God would like us to believe and preach UR/EU even if we are not sure it is true, as he admits himself. And he uses the Parable of the Talents to make his case.


He may have done this because we hear the opposite said so often: that we can’t know for sure, so it’s best to play it safe and believe in Endless Hell.



I’ll just repeat myself :stuck_out_tongue: Like I said on another post. This is the reason that I’m not crazy about the fact that it seems like EU is given an Emergent Face with Rob and Brian being the poster boys, in the States anyway.

Trying to get an answer out of Emergent double-speak is like trying to nail jello to the wall. Most people will just throw out UR baby out with the Emergent bath water without really discussing the real facts of the case. :frowning:

We need some folks that are more right of center to speak up and challenge the Mohlers of the Conservative far right. I’m sure that they are out there. I’m one of them, put I do not have any position or recognition. I’m just Bob the retired Letter Carrier from Windsor. :unamused: :laughing:


I SO agree with you Bob! Maclaren recently defended Rob Bell and that just doesn’t work if you want to convince folks to “evangelical universalism”. Maclaren denies many traditional interpretations of biblical texts - he says this of Noah and the flood:

"In this light, a god who mandates an intentional supernatural disaster leading to unparalleled genocide is hardly worthy of belief, much less worship. How can you ask your children—or nonchurch colleagues and neighbors—to honor a deity so uncreative, overreactive, and utterly capricious regarding life? To make matters worse, the global holocaust strategy didn’t even work. Soon the “good guy” Noah gets drunk, and soon after that his sons are up to no good, and soon after that we’re right back to the antediluvian violence and crime levels. Genocide, it turns out, doesn’t really solve anything in Genesis, even if a character named “God” does it."

Do you really think any evangelical is going to listen to UR when you have guys like Maclaren on your team? I disagree with most of what he says - his arrogance is astounding.