The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Why Calvin and I believe Everyone is a Child of God

Here are some of the reasons I think the Bible implies everyone is a child of God. You might be surprised that apparently John Dickson, Brian Rosner, Graeme Goldsworthy, Greg Beale, and John Calvin agree with me. In my next post, I’ll explain why I think that should change the way we treat everyone!

…45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Do not even tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even Gentiles do the same?… Matthew 5:45 -47

Luke 10:25 - 27
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”

28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

I agree.


It’s good to know that John Calvin, does have some redeeming qualities :exclamation: :laughing:

I think that, as UR-ists, we already knew that. :stuck_out_tongue:

Jesus said to the Pharisees:

“You do the deeds of your father.” Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me…” (John 8:41,42 NKJV)

But the Pharisees did not love Jesus. So in saying “If God were your Father, you would love Me,” Jesus indicated that contrary to their assertion, God was not their father.

Both are true

… He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; 26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28** for in Him we live and move and exist**, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’ Acts 17

We are all His children in creation through the one man Adam

the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. Luke 3:38

As for you, you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2in which you used to walk when you conformed to the ways of this world and of the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit who is now at work in the sons of disobedience. 3We all lived among them at one time in the cravings of our flesh, indulging its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature children of wrath.…

As regards the kingdom of God, those who are adversaries are “sons of disobedience” and “children of wrath” and of their father “the adversary”

He is their philosophical father, the father of their dispositions and nature- “for the carnal minded is enmity against God” 1 Cor 3 therefore in Adam all die, for"to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace", “but the things of the spirit are foolishness to the natural(carnal) man”. Yet God loves them all.

The “children of the kingdom” referred to the Jews who rejected Christ in matthew 8:12

I say to you that many will come from the east and the west to share the banquet with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12But the sons of the kingdom will be cast into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

This term, “children” is used as a metaphorical insight from several perspectives within several different contexts.

To me, to argue one against the other is kind of futile. Taking metaphorical pictures of spiritual realities and trying to unify individual words within a concept that stretches across all uses of the word is like, anti-hermeneutics.

The “glorious freedom of the children of God” can only be experienced by faith in Jesus Christ. Eventually all God’s “children” through creation will also be His “children” in disposition and nature.

And God loves all His children(everyone He has created), but most of them are, at present, “children of wrath”, “sons of disobedience” and “sons of this age/world”. Most religionists are also, like the Pharisees, “children of their father, the devil” even tho they protest at length to the contrary and thump the Bible as they do…because religion is of the world unless it is “in the Spirit of Christ”.

So many foolish children. Especially those who do not realize that everyone should treat all children as God has treated us, forgiving us who were also all, by nature children of wrath, sons of disobedience.

Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. 12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 13which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit,** combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words**.

Thanks for the helpful feedback! God willing in my 4th post of my miniseries I’ll try to look at the complication that the Bible also talks about becoming children :astonished: I have a couple of ideas and now your feedback has reminded me of a third possibility of how both concepts could fit together.