Why is Universal Salvation not Explicit?


#62

Ok but if you’re a Universalist which I have no clue if you are or not but if you are than why are you going to source materials that is against Universalism? The Traditionalists are going to interpret Scriptures based on their traditions and will reject anything coming from the Uni camp.


#63

maintenanceman wrote:
I tend to like the image of an unending sea of humanity coming to the realization of who God truly is. :smiley:

Beautiful thought :slight_smile:

Rev 5:13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying,

“To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”

I tend to look at this verse as the fulfillment of Phil 2:9-11

The “under the earth” quote which means the dead and exponentially increases the number of people and makes this universal was added unto the OT quote 3 separate times in the NT!


#64

This article “IMO” demonstrates well the weakness of the universalist position in explanation of <κόλασιν> kolasin as per Mt 25:46. That <κόλασις> kolasis CAN equate to remedial punishment i.e., chastisement DOES NOT negate its predominant use and understanding as per the author’s stated… “punishments often are drastic and deadly” i.e., fully retributive with NO hint of restoration.** While I disagree 100% with the author’s conclusions** as to postmortem implications/applications I think he’s on the money as to its (<κόλασις> kolasis) basic overall use.

My approach is to understand this passage as applying NOT to postmortem destinies (as per tradition, and thus the author’s conclusion) BUT rather, covenantal realities and said consequences as was facing Israel AT THAT TIME in terms of the forthcoming conflict with Rome that Jesus had JUST been prophesying about in chapters 23-24 i.e., historical context. SOME in punishment <κόλασιν> kolasin would duly die (Jn 8:24; Lk 13:3-5), while others would survive into (<εἰς> eis) the fullness of the coming new age i.e., the new covenant age — aka age-lasting life ζωὴν αἰώνιον.

IOW… Mt 25:46 is NOT speaking to or of postmortem existence in terms of either Hell or Heaven; NO, Jesus is speaking of covenant realities AS THEY THEN WERE, and thus the consequences of following either. Understood this way negates textual gymnastics.


#65

Yes, i go to ECT materials all the time to learn what they think & how to refute them. Many people posting on this forum refer to them or post them here asking how universalists answer them. As the saying goes, know your enemy.

I’ve believed in universalism for a few decades since reading Salvator Mundi. A few years before that i had a born again experience.


#66

Sometimes, a site provides good general answers - to Biblical questions. Like the Calvinist site Got Questions. It has a lot of “Google juice”. So if someone asks a Biblical question, I usually share their answer. But I am NOT a Calvinist. And I have NEVER been one. If nothing else, it provides a starting point for discussion.

Now if I wanted to be “truly happy”… I would embrace Arthur Schopenhauer in philosophy…And John Calvin in theology. :wink:


#67

A google type search re kolasis led, as it often does, to a thread on this site where Jason Pratt commented on the article re kolasis. The following is quoted from a couple posts there:

“The ForAnAnswer site is more ambiguous about the meaning of {kolasis} than they intend to be. “Punishment” and “correction” need not be mutually exclusive concepts; no one who appeals to the original pruning context of the usage in classical Greek thinks the baby goats are not being punished in Matt 25 (nor that punishment is not meant anywhere else {kolasis} or a cognate of it occurs in the NT or the LXX). The whole point to appealing to classical Greek usage is that they themselves were borrowing the meaning as a metaphor for a particular kind of punishment!”

“We know for a fact that there is at least one place directly in the NT canon where an agriculture metaphor for punishment identical to {kolasis} is used not only with hopeful intention but with a warning to people not being punished that they had better not despise the punishment of others lest they also be punished: Romans 11. God can graft branches into the vine, even if they are not natural to the vine, and graft branches out even if they are born natural to the vine; and if He grafts branches out He can graft them in again.”

“A few months ago we had a (not very apt) Arminian anti-universalist on the board who, probably following the uncredited lead of some author he had found (as was his wont) without paying enough attention, wanted to argue for hopeless punishment at Matt 25 on the ground that {kolasis} had to be used exactly the same way whenever it is used in the NT. In the process of attempting this argument and citing its usage in 1 John, he ended up denying that its occurrence in 1 John was either punishment by God or hopeless if it was punishment from God (one of the other, he couldn’t land on which). Well, okay, if you insist {kolasis} has to be used the exact same way every time…! :laughing:

“I’m not hardcore about this. It’s safe to say {kolasis} means punishment of some kind; and it’s valid to note the remedial usage in classical Greek as being evidence that the meaning could be the same among NT authors. Or, not: they might have changed the meaning. Similarly, subsequent post-canonical usage (where this can be clearly specified by contextual evidence) is good evidence of how those particular Christians, and so some group of Christians, were using and understanding the word, and even the scriptural references where applicable; but they might be misinterpreting it, too. Similarly, when {timoria} is used in the NT, it happens in contexts that indicate the punishment isn’t hopeless!”

“It really comes down to immediate and local narrative and thematic contexts. There is evidence in the NT, and even here in Matt 25, that {kolasis} doesn’t necessarily have to mean a hopeless punishment (I would go so far as to argue that the narrative and thematic contexts lock solidly as a Synoptic warning against expecting hopeless punishment!); and there is direct contextual evidence in both NT and LXX koine Greek that {eonian} doesn’t have to mean never-ending, even in cases where two things described as {eonian} in immediate close context are contrasted, one being only temporary after all and the other (God) being truly never-ending.”

“(Which is completely aside from the question of how much of the old pre-Platonic meaning of “eonian” for “living” or “spiritual” the LXX and the NT are importing in combination with Plato’s concept of “eonian” not of life per se but as what he understood to be God–for which there is some significant evidence, especially in the NT. I have found it is quite contextually safe to translate “eonian” as meaning “Godly” or “uniquely from God” throughout the NT. The punishment is uniquely from God, so is the life, but there is an obvious difference in that we are invited to partake of eonian life from the Living God Who Himself is the resurrection and the life! I don’t have to press this more consistent interpretation of eonian here, but I sure do note it’s an option. :wink: )”

Re: Kolasis- punishment or torment?
Postby JasonPratt » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:16 am

“I guess I should add that I don’t regard either “punishment” or “torment” as being necessarily ongoing or not-ongoing. But if your friends want to appeal to the concept of torment, you can point out that the word for this in the NT is borrowed from a term for refining and testing gold. :smiley: A concept that definitely has connections, acknowledged by everyone on all sides of the aisle, to salvation of sinners by God from their sins (including in punitive situations) in the OT and NT.”

“I should also add that charges of linguistic fallacy only hold up if the context fails the interpretative usage. We only know when meanings have changed thanks to the context in the first place. A better rebuttal to the interpretation of {kolasis} as remedial punishment via horticultural metaphor, rather than merely charging linguistic fallacy, would be to observe that most occasions when related horticultural metaphors are used for divine punishment in the NT look more hopeless than not! (But then of course if even one such metaphor is not only hopeful but directly warns against expecting the punishment to be hopeless, that would be a strong interpretative evidence that the other instances aren’t meant to show a final result but only “picture” the story up to a point. So since Romans 11 pretty clearly exists, maybe it’s better for non-universalists to simply charge “linguistic fallacy” without going into details about how identification for or against linguistic fallacy actually works. :mrgreen: )”

“So for example, a charge of linguistic fallacy against interpreting the meaning of torment in Biblical Greek along its usage of refining and testing of precious metal, would be itself rebutted in proportion as there is an established Biblical usage of that concept in connection to punishment.”


#68

I’d say the reason it’s not explicit is because virtually nothing in scripture is. You’ve got to dig for stuff in there and read between the lines, as it were.


#69

Fortunately translation error is not the heavy weight evidence for the salvation of all. There are a dozen verses that speak clearly enough of the salvation of all that when viewed together- throw a monkey wrench into the integrity of scripture if they are not to be regarded as true.

Ephesians 1:9-11
Colossians 1:15-20
1 John 2:2
Romans 11:32-36
Romans 8:18-22
1 Corinthians 15:23-28
John 12:32
1 Tim 2:4
Revelation 21:5
Phil 2:9-11

These verses provide context for the salvation of all and only after reading them together(along with many others that only become clear in context) and seeing the obvious conclusion did I begin to look into the language issues, along with the history of how the doctrine of eternal torment came into predominance, to determine the resolution between the two opposing interpretations of God’s plan.


#70

Excellent post there, Eaglesway.

Further to Daniel 12:2-3, i propose the following:

Jesus Himself spoke of aionios life in the aion to come (Lk.18:30; Mk.10:30), thus limiting it, whereas Scripture speaks of multiple aions/eons/ages to come (Eph.2:7, Rev.11:15, etc). In Ephesians 1 & 2 Paul the former Pharisee spoke of both the coming age (Eph.1:21) and multiple future ages (2:7).

It is immortality that gives believers endless life, not obtaining life aionion in a future aion/age, e.g. the millennial age kingdom of Christ that last 1000 years.

From a review of a book by Ilaria Ramelli, namely The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis: A Critical Assessment from the New Testament to Eriugena (Brill, 2013. 890 pp):

"…in a passage in Origen in which he speaks of “life after aionios life” (160). As a native speaker of Greek he does not see a contradiction in such phrasing; that is because aionios life does not mean “unending, eternal life,” but rather “life of the next age.”
journalofanalytictheology.com/ja … 30418a/271

Similarly, in support of the above, Daniel 12:2-3, in which i also see universal salvation:

The context supports the view that both the life & the punishment referred to in v.2 are of finite duration (OLAM), while v.3 speaks of those who will be for OLAM “and further”.

2 From those sleeping in the soil of the ground many shall awake, these to eonian life
and these to reproach for eonian repulsion." 3 The intelligent shall warn as the warning
of the atmosphere, and those justifying many are as the stars for the eon and further."
(Dan.12:2-3, CLV)

The Hebrew word for eonian (v.2) & eon (v.3) above is OLAM which is used of limited durations in the OT. In verse 3 of Daniel 12 are the words “OLAM and further” showing an example of its finite duration in the very next words after Daniel 12:2. Thus, in context, the OLAM occurences in v.2 should both be understood as being of finite duration.

The early church accepted the following Greek OT translation of the Hebrew OT of Daniel 12:3:

καὶ οἱ συνιέντες ἐκλάμψουσιν ὡς ἡ λαμπρότης τοῦ στερεώματος καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν δικαίων τῶν πολλῶν ὡς οἱ ἀστέρες εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας καὶ ἔτι[and further]

Notice the words at the end saying KAI ETI, meaning “and further” or “and still” or “and yet” & other synonyms.

eti: “still, yet…Definition: (a) of time: still, yet, even now, (b) of degree: even, further, more, in addition.” Strong’s Greek: 2089. ἔτι (eti) – still, yet

εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας καὶ ἔτι means “into the ages and further” as a translation of the Hebrew L’OLAM WA ED[5703, AD]

So this early church Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures agrees with the above translation (& those below) using the words “and further” & similarly.

3 and·the·ones-being-intelligent they-shall- warn as·warning-of the·atmosphere
and·ones-leading-to-righteousness-of the·many-ones as·the·stars for·eon and·futurity (Daniel 12:3, Hebrew-English Interlinear)
scripture4all.org/OnlineInte … /dan12.pdf

2 and, many of the sleepers in the dusty ground, shall awake,—these, [shall be] to age-abiding life, but, those, to reproach, and age-abiding abhorrence; 3 and, they who make wise, shall shine like the shining of the expanse,—and, they who bring the many to righteousness, like the stars to times age-abiding and beyond. (Daniel 12:2-3, Rotherham)

2 And the multitude of those sleeping in the dust of the ground do awake, some to life age-during, and some to reproaches—to abhorrence age-during.
3 And those teaching do shine as the brightness of the expanse, and those justifying the multitude as stars to the age and for ever*. (Dan. 12:2-3, YLT)

Daniel 12:2-3 was the only Biblical reference to “life OLAM” Jesus listeners had to understand His meaning in John 3:16 & elsewhere.

Verse 3 speaks of those who bring “many” to righteousness. The “many” of verse 2, i.e. universal salvation.

One of the strongest passages against UR, is actually one of the strongest in favor of it.

tentmaker.org/books/hope_beyond_hell.pdf


#71

Actually I think it is explicit, if you want to read explitic teachings about hell on the other hand read the Quran. Men have twisted the bible for centuries and still do.


#72

Why is Universal Salvation not Explicit?

Many would say it does. On both sides of various issues.

God is a God Who hides Himself. Atheists say, “if He’s real, why doesn’t He just show Himself” (e.g. like He did to doubting Thomas who stubbornly refused to believe in Christ’s resurrection, or serial killer/Inquisitionist Saul on the road to Damascus). They say, “then i’d believe”. So why do you think He hides? Is He too shy to go public?


#73

I do not agree with you, sir, or your limited atonement dogma wherein God loves some but hates most whom He sadistically torments for eternity. That characterization may make Him appear even worse than Allah of Islam.

There is no such thing in the Bible as Love Omnipotent sadistically burning or tormenting His created offspring in fire for endless ages. Though that is much like the god of Islam. I am happy that my Lord & God as Scripture reveals Him is Love, righteous, just, good, merciful and fair.

If you want to pretend the Scriptures make God like the Allah of Islam so you can be in agreement with the Tradition of the church division, er denomination, that you belong to, not lose all your friends, not be persecuted for Christ’s sake, or to make yourself feel superior to others, you’ll regret it later & miss out on the blessings of the truth that sets people free.

“The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell”


#74

ECT is certainly NOT the only view of hell - in this day and age:

Here’s an interesting article, I came across:

Six (or sixteen) views on hell

Just a footnote here. The article position entitled Purgatory now, hell later by C.S. Lewis, is similar to second chance theology (where hell is now Hades), presented at:

Salvation for the Dead -Hades is not Hell -A Biblical Second Chance Theology for Dead People in Hades

And the article doesn’t include the exile view, as advocated in The Skeletons in God’s Closet: The Mercy of Hell, the Surprise of Judgment, the Hope of Holy War

The hell article also pointed to the Eastern Orthodox Wiki article at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_views_on_hell#Eastern_Orthodox_concept_of_hell, where I agree with their assessment:

This is the view of heaven and hell - I side with. Now if you add to it, the article at Purgatorial Conditionalist … There is a probable post mortem opportunity, for all to be purified. But for those who resist, I think God’s intense love - will eventually annihilate them.


#75

Origen, are you aware that the word “Allah” is the Arabic word for “God”? When an Arab-speaking person becomes a Christian, he continues to address God as “Allah” in his language.

It’s not that the “Allah of Islam” is a different God. It’s just that Islam and Christianity differ in the ways they understand God’s character.

Even within Christianity there are contrasting views concerning God’s character. The apostle John wrote “God is LOVE” twice in First John. But many Christians say, “Yes, God is love, but he is also just” by which some of them mean that He also provides penalties for sinners, and some even include everlasting torment. However, if God’s very essence is LOVE, He does not penalize people, but He may, our of His great LOVE, provide remediation—correction—for the benefit of the sinner. And this correction may be unpleasant or even painful, but it will be corrective and that is God’s loving purpose in administering it.

And by the way, I believe that “kolasis” always refers to remediation. As has been stated it originally was used in reference to trimming trees to correct their growth. Later it was used in connection with loving parents correcting their children.


#76

Yes he is a different God:

apologeticsindex.org/670-isl … s-same-god
gotquestions.org/difference … Islam.html


#77

I believe it all boils down, to how we use language. Or - in technical terms - the philosophy of languages. What EXACTLY do we mean, when we say folks of different religions - worship the same God?

Let’s take Christianity - for example. The God presented by Eastern Orthodoxy…the Charismatics…and TV evangelist Joel Osteen…is VERY palatable to me. But the God of Calvinism - sends shivers down my spin. It’s more frightening, then all the TV Zombie shows (i.e. AMC’s The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead).

Now the God of Sikhism, the Bahá’í Faith and indigenous Native Americans - is very cool to me. I can participate in an authentic, Native American ceremony. I can also visit a Sikh temple or a Bahá’í gathering - at a local home. And feel quite comfortable - as a Christian.

But I have BIG problems, getting a handle on Islam and Mormonism - for example. The deeper you probe into them - the stranger they get. Take Islam, for example. I can be friends, with a moderate, well-educated Muslim. But I really can’t visit a mosque…Unless it’s an open mosque day or I secure permission in advance. I’m just not Muslim.

And they really have, a lot of baggage. For example:

A brand of fatalism, that is Calvinism on steroids.
A system of laws, that should have remained - in the seventh century.
The role model of Mohammad. Who was very peaceful, in his Mecca phase. But a ruthless military commander, in his Medina phase.
A view that Arabic is the ideal language, that God wishes to communicate in. Which goes against what the linguistic scholars teach.
Etc.

In the Catholic article at Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God,these questions are raised:

And who is the author? Does he or she have any credibility? Let’s see. :smiley:

Let’s look at a second author.

And we can view the article at Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?.

And the same author, has an article - discussing two closer religions at Do Christians and Jews Worship the Same God?

And I can ask the same questions. Is the God of Christian orthodox creeds and holy scripture, the same God that some worship here…Who DON"T believe in free will…Who DON"T believe in the trinity…Who think everything is settled around 70 AD…Who believe that universalism, is a FORCED choice…Who believe that the tribulation, will bring about the zombie apocalypse…And God probably created, a flat earth in Genesis… The devil is perhaps, as powerful as God. Etc.?


#78

I’m not aware of that. Paul referred to Satan as “god” in 2 Cor.4:4. Jesus said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan”. Do you think those who address Allah are addressing the real God or a Satanic god?

Yes, they differ in character. They also differ in regards to doctrines such as salvation & Who is the Savior. Allah cannot save you. Jesus can. Neither Allah or his prophet died for you. Jesus did. Following Allah & rejecting Jesus leads to destruction, just as if one were a devil worshiper. There is no salvation in the name of Allah.

Acts 4:11 He is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ 12 Salvation exists in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.

IMO Benny Hinn expresses a godly feeling on this subject:

youtube.com/watch?v=azqoBksweZA

Judging by the horrific things Love Omnipotent allows in this world, i wouldn’t rule out the punishment to come being equally or more horrible. For example, Jesus references to weeping & gnashing of teeth.

As for kolasis words often change their meaning over centuries. So Plato’s use of kolasis as correction does not necessarily apply to the time when the NT was written. Likewise Plato is thought to have coined the word aionios & used it of timeless eternity, a definition that is foreign to the Bible.


#79

Origen, why do you call God “Love Omnipotent”? Why don’t you just call him “God” or “the Lord”?


#80

Like the Scriptures, i speak of Him in many ways.


#81

Again, holding different positions as to God’s character does not imply that the two groups are worshipping two different Gods.

Let’s bring it down to the human level. Many Republicans believe Mr. Trump to be intelligent, wise, making wonderful decisions for the good of the country, while many democrats consider him to be stupid, making inane comments, and making foolish decisions which are tearing apart the country. Are the Republicans and Democrats talking about two different presidents? Or do they refer to the same person?