William Barclay affirms universalism


This link goes to an excerpt from William Barclay’s autobiography where he briefly outlines why he finally (i.e. very near the end of his life–thanks for the reminder Roofus!) chose universalism.

Barclay was Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at Glasgow University and the author of many Biblical commentaries and books, including a translation of the New Testament, “Barclay New Testament,” and “The Daily Study Bible Series.” My old Southern Baptist Church Sunday School teachers would just plotz… :mrgreen:


Thanks for the link, Jason. That would work pretty well as a basic summary of the UR position.



I would bet on a huge percentage of theologians and Biblical scholars holding to UR versus “lay Christians” in almost every denomination (probably not Reformed Baptists and the PCA, but everyone else). Don’t want to play a silly numbers war, but it would be interesting to go through my books and make a list of the various authors’ eschatological positions regarding UR (or, as I also expect, a lot of UR hopers) or lack thereof.


In 2004, the Lord told me not to study Unvieralist doctrines or subscribe to an Universalist forums for my information. He said that I must separate myself from the computer and internet and all other forms of study which is not Scripture and Historical Accounts. He told me in six months that I shall know the basics about why and answer any question concerning it. Six months later, I come out of my hole armed up with knowledge which has ever since been confirmed by people like William Barclay, and the many who I have met in this forum and others.

It is no coincidence that the same reasons William Barclay says in that small essay, are the same reasons the Lord told me. Because they are the sound and correct.


Yeah, when I first began to think this way I didn’t know there was anyone else who did. It seemed like it was simply a novel idea, and I immediately began to plow through scripture and figure out a way it might work. Because it started in my prayer life… after feeling the presence of God so strongly, I wanted that for EVERYONE… and not just because of me, but I felt like GOD wanted that for everyone!! It was coming straight from his heart right through me.

I started talking about it on a forum I frequented only to find a couple of others who actually agreed. And then I only had hints of how big of a movement it was. More and more I’ve been surprised by how widespread it is, but it makes sense considering the history of Universalism in the States.

I think I was going to say something else but forget. :neutral_face:


When you say he “finally chose”, do you know that his choice was late in his life, indeed, at the end?


Yes, I know. My old teachers would still plotz. :smiley:

Looking back over my initial post, I see I didn’t mention that, though. (It’s been a while, but I’m pretty sure I was posting in a hurry that day.) So I’ll add an edit. Thanks!


Oh, What I wrote was ambiguous- I was asking if you knew for sure that this was at the end of Barclay’s life? I wasn’t saying “did you know that…”? Language…!


Hm; well, now I’m wondering why I thought it was toward the end of his life! :laughing:

Paging around a bit this afternoon hasn’t helped me settle the timing there any, although considering his liberal theology (drastically moreso than my own, btw, in some regards, according to this rather balanced piece from The Christian Courier) that might have been sooner than the very latest stage of his life.

(Interestingly, late in his life he strenuously denied ever teaching the doctrine of the deity of Christ, which implies that someone earlier thought he was doing so.)

He and I would obviously have a lot more fundamental disagreements on theology (I affirm the full deity as well as the full humanity of Christ, as well as the virgin birth and the miraculous nature of the miracles). Still, disagreements on doctrines and rationales doesn’t preclude agreement on doctrines and rationales elsewhere.