The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Who is Gregory MacDonald?

Thursday, July 16, 2009
Will I reveal my real identity? Yes.

When? Not in the immediate future but certainly in the medium term future.

But to quash some rumours

  1. I am not Donald Carson.
  2. I am not Greg Boyd.
  3. You have almost certainly not heard of me, so don’t get too excited! (This means that I am also not the Cookie Monster)
  4. I am not hiding my identity to protect my job.
  5. I am (mostly) not hiding my identity to protect my reputation (although I would be lying if I said that this was never a factor in my thoughts).
  6. I am not hiding my identity because I am scared of facing my critics.
  7. I am not hiding my identity because I cannot recall my real name.

I am hiding my identity for two reasons
(a) to protect my employer from hassle
(b) to protect the ministry of other books that I have written which God is using to bless Christians that would - sadly - not look at them if they thought I was a heretic (which I am not).

Exatly how and when I will reveal my identity remains a mystery. Mostly that is because I am still considering how best to do it. To be honest most of me wants to say, ‘Gregory MacDonald is really [Jon Bon Jovi?]’ but whenever I get close to doing that God seems to foil my plans so I suspect that he has other plans re: timing.

I must also confess that there is a naughty little boy in me who likes to play with a pseudonym. I am much more interesting when you don’t know who I am. But fun and games can only last for a season.

More later

Rick Warren (whoops!)

Michael William Smith said…
Thank you brother for the new posts! One of the advantages, I think, of a pseudonym is that it is easier to deflect praise and glory back to the King of Kings as you have shown! Thank you again brother, whoever you are, for allowing the Lord Jesus Christ to work through you for our benefit and showing us the “big picture” of the Triune God’s Love for us in Jesus Christ! Can’t wait for “All Will Be Well”. Blessings to you brother!

July 21, 2009 9:47 AM

:laughing: :laughing: I was going to say, “OMG she’s actually that famous women’s motivational speaker connected to LifeWay whose name I somehow always seem to forget!!!”

But that was almost as funny. :mrgreen:

Michael W. Smith??? Dude - you have fans in high places :mrgreen:

That post is the funniest thing I’ve seen today - thanks Gregory :slight_smile:

I knew it was neither Carson nor Boyd. Never mind Carson. But I knew you were Boyd 'cause Greg and I have both sat on his back porch each with our copy of your book all marked up chatting about issues. If he wrote the book, that’s pretty freaky.

Tom :open_mouth:

So you know Greg Boyd? How did you meet him? How does he feel about EU? I spoke to him about it once and he seemed to be open to looking at it.

Hey Roofus,

I meant to say I knew GM “wasn’t” Boyd. Right.

I met Greg online back when he was doing a lot of online chatting through a discussion group he started. That got busy and so did he. Then when I moved to Minneapolis to teach, we started hanging out. He got a hold of EU before me. Told me about it. We started getting together once or twice a year to spend an evening on his back porch chatting about theology. He advised my MTh thesis at Wales, so that threw us together. Actually I’ll be on his back porch, um, Monday night the 17th of August for the whole evening. Cigars is a traditional part of our time. Not sure that helps or hurts our thinking through the issues! I end up not remembering a lot because of it.

He’s deceptively brilliant. I mean, he doesn’t talk or write about half the stuff he COULD right on. Very versatile mind, and extremely well-read. His doctoral diss. on Hartshorne is the best kept secret around. But he doesn’t push it. Got out of Princeton and then back into ministry and that took center stage.

He loved EU by the way. Thought it was the best thing he’d seen in a LONG time. He “hopes” UR is true, but doesn’t rule out annihilationism.


Knowing Gregory Boyd == awesomeness. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :exclamation:

In order of importance, it goes something like this…

1 Knowing Jesus.
2 Knowing my wife
3 Knowing my children
4 Being a universalist
5 Knowing Greg Boyd.

Hope that doesn’t hurt his feelings! :laughing:


:laughing: Rick Warren…

I wouldn’t have believed for an instant that you are Rick Warren. :mrgreen:

You guys and all so kind.

Thanks for all your funny thoughts

My wife asked an obvious question concerning (b). If GM is worried his other books will not be as widely accepted by the Christian community then why would he reveal his identity?

I assume you intend to take that risk?

All very interesting GM:

Loved (and love) your book, but have been, and remain, intrigued by your perceived need for anonymity. Various thoughts have crossed my mind; he’s a narcissist who craves the attention (that theory fades though; because if narcissistic, one would WANT to use his real name – it seems; an anonymous narcissist seems an oxymoron huh?!) or maybe he’s just a manipulator – who likes the attention, and likes to be the center of the show. But that doesn’t really resonate with my instincts.

I do worry though that there is a sort of fear that underlies this dynamic; fear that to come clean with ones beliefs will, more than likely, cause pain and harm to others. If one can’t handle adverse consequences of his own beliefs for himself, that’s cowardice; if one chooses not to embrace consequences for the sake of spared pain and anguish of another, well, that’s something else. Bravery maybe, or courage; a subverting of ones self for the benefit of another. That’s admirable.

And yet, the very fact that one cannot hold and express his real and true inner beliefs openly is, in fact, rather sad – isn’t it? Sad in that it is a measure of the human condition of immaturity – wherein what one believes seems a threat to another. One thinks here of the homosexual who protects those he cares about by choosing to remain hidden – and under the radar; true feelings and loves must not disturb the tranquil facade maintained by others. That’s got to be a certain sort of prison in itself I think.

But this whole dynamic speaks to me of something else as well; the dawning appreciation of just how important it is to let another work out the intricacies of THEIR life for themselves; between they and God. Experience tells me that is very hard to do; I actually feel quite qualified to tell you exactly how YOU should live YOUR life. (And of course that advice bears a striking resemblance to how I have chosen to live MY life! Imagine that… :smiley: :laughing: )

Which all fits quite nicely into the daily realities each of us face as we embrace Universal Reconciliation in our own lives and live in this world where we try to be faithful witnesses to the truths we believe God has revealed to us – yet at the same time remain mindful that our very convictions may tend to feel downright intimidating (to say nothing of threatening) to those around us that we love. Is it possible to hold our beliefs in such a way as to actually make someone else’s journey harder? Yes I think it is; and I grieve when I find I’ve done this. To hold one’s beliefs with bravado and willingness to offend and seem the bully is, surely, not the way of our Christ. And I freely confess I’ve failed many times in this regard.

All of which leads to the very simple conclusion that we must leave the matters of personal conviction (in all matters; including when to reveals one’s identity) to the person himself; we must respect the other’s connection with the Spirit as we desire them to trust our connection as well….

I continue to be amazed at how hard that ethic is to actually live.

I hope, GM, that all you find from this forum is the kind of support that affirms your own connection with the Spirit of God. That’s certainly what I find here anyway.

Back from another holiday (JeffA; holiday = vacation!) and wondering in what sense “heaven” will actually be like one long holiday…



Thanks. My name is Robin Parry and I live in Worcester, England (as some on this site already know - I think).

With Kind Regards,


How fitting!
As in: Robin A. Parry, commissioning editor of Paternoster Press? Credited on the covers of Universal Salvation, the Current Debate? :mrgreen:

Rob’s real web-journal (not that the one for his EU book wasn’t real, but I mean non pseudonymous :wink: ) can be found here: