The Evangelical Universalist Forum

What books are our members reading? Post updates freely! {g}

Cast Away — more from Irrevocable pt. 15…

I am presently reading David Bentley Hart’s “That All Shall Be Saved”. It’s taking me some time to read because I have to look up the meaning of many of the words he uses! - and he’s writing in English, not Greek. That’s my only negative about his writing.

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A stunning reexamination of one of the essential tenets of Christian belief from one of the most provocative and admired writers on religion today

The great fourth-century church father Basil of Caesarea once observed that, in his time, most Christians believed that hell was not everlasting, and that all would eventually attain salvation. But today, this view is no longer prevalent within Christian communities.

In this momentous book, David Bentley Hart makes the case that nearly two millennia of dogmatic tradition have misled readers on the crucial matter of universal salvation. On the basis of the earliest Christian writings, theological tradition, scripture, and logic, Hart argues that if God is the good creator of all, he is the savior of all, without fail. And if he is not the savior of all, the Kingdom is only a dream, and creation something considerably worse than a nightmare. But it is not so. There is no such thing as eternal damnation; all will be saved. With great rhetorical power, wit, and emotional range, Hart offers a new perspective on one of Christianity’s most important themes.

David Bentley Hart is an Eastern Orthodox scholar of religion, and a philosopher, writer, and cultural commentator. His books include The Experience of God and The New Testament.

Norm - please keep us posted on your thoughts about the book. I agree that his vocabulary can be challenging!

I’m reading Blackjack for Blood! Really good and I was thinking maybe the blood part has something to do with Christ!

I am now reading ‘Seven Pillars Of Wisdom’ by T.E. Lawrence. The intro does say not much for pillars of wisdom, but it is a good read… The Arabic war during WW1. Interesting reading.

Norm. are you fluent in the Greek?

I’m not even fluent in English! :weary:

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I recently read “Religion and Morality” by Avi Sagi and Daniel Statman.

Sagi and Statman do a thorough job refuting divine command morality (DCM). DCM’s fatal flaw is arbitrariness. If the immorality of torturing someone for fun has nothing to do with the physical pain it causes or the debasement of the victim, but everything to do with God happening to decide that it’s wrong, then morality is arbitrary. The authors point out that appealing to God’s love as a means of rescuing DCM doesn’t work; if love is what matters, why do we need God to determine torture for fun is wrong for it to be wrong? If love is what matters, why not appeal directly to love? DCM that ties the morality of divine commands to God’s love essentially makes God an unnecessary middleman on questions of morality. That aspect of the book was good.

Now for the bad. Sagi and Statman seem to be moral realists. On p 36 they write there is no possible world where torturing people for fun is not immoral. They recapitulate on p 55 and add murder as an inconceivably not immoral action. Okay, but how do they know this? Sagi and Statman do not provide a robust metaethical theory of their own. Perhaps their metaethical theory suffer an arbitrariness problem just like DCM.

So after reading Max’s book, why was it “like watching a boxer wobble his opponent over and over again but never able to land a big knockout punch”

I finished John Gottman’s “Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.” No wonder it’s sold millions! It relies on studies of what satisfying lasting marriages actually do, and offers practical ways to pursue such qualities.

My wife and I enjoyed its suggestions, and it resonates with much of what we have blessedly stumbled upon. Highly recommended.