Universalism

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huckelberry
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Universalism

Post by huckelberry »

Everybody saved in the end... but what about those truly committed bad guys? Is their evil basically an internal confusion and misunderstanding which can be eliminated?

Two people come to mind for me who have strongly influenced my basic understanding of Christianity who at least leaned toward universalism. Jurgen Moltman, German theologian is a favorite of mine. The Crucified God and Theology of Hope made a strong impression on me though it was quite a few years ago when I read them. I was troubled when in further books he committed himself to a universalist view. It is possible that I was more troubled thinking the move would limit his influence.

Another individual is George MacDonald 19th century English writer of fiction and some relgious essays. He was referred to by CS Lewis as Lewis spiritual mentor and advisor. That would be in particular for the use of fantasy stories to convey relgious understandings.I am not aware of MacDonald being fully committed to universalism but the story LIlith strongly suggests it. More clearly it pictures a reforming purgatory after death which can finally eliminate or correct the distortions in people which cause evil actions.

I suppose the simplest criticism of universalism is that it blunts softens the criticism and rejection of evil. It is perhaps the idea of purgatory which maintains threat towards evil while leaving a pending hope. It is a catholic comment I have heard that a person can hope that hell will eventually be empty while still recognizing the danger it is.

I have gone along for many years thinking in terms of broad positive influence Christianity might have. I have thought about how the atonement can reach beyond a tightly limited group with correct beliefs. I have seen hopes that it could be bridges of understanding between different cultures peoples and beliefs. Yet in recent years all I see is a strong resurgence of attitudes in the opposite direction. Christianity can be understood as the special possession of special people. Seen that way it can be a source of mistrust and anger, even extending hatred and war.
huckelberry
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Re: Universalism

Post by huckelberry »

I am not a universalist in my beliefs but my beliefs may be closer to that in some ways than to narrow fundamentalist views.

I posted this thinking about what is happening in the American movement to the right in Evangelical culture. I remain deeply shocked by the degree of support given to Trump. It honestly has forced me to try to grapple further with the question of how or in what ways religious faith corrupts thought. I was thinking a bit about Eric Metaxas. He presents as educated thoughtful person.(BA Yale) He is a successful writer who has written biography of Luther, Wilberforce and Bonhoffer which have been popular and received positive notice. He is also a strong Trump supporter.

I started a list in my mind of likely corrupting influences within religious faith. It can give people a lot of answers which are supposed to be very reliable because the Bible is supposed to be infallible.(an absurdity) It can give people the sense of being in an in group better or more favored than all those people outside. The pleasure of having the answers plus thinking maintaining faith in those answers is mandatory encourages disregard of evidence or situations which may contradict. This could gather together into trusting that delusional feeling of power blind belief can generate and rejecting science and other ideas.

I have some suspicion that leaders who wish to gather power use these weakness to manipulate followers into become fanatics. I see some people riding the Trump train to expand their own power. I see some evangelical leaders as simple heretics promising wealth and success and being like Trump.

I didn't think Eric Metaxas fit though I have not really read or followed him. I looked up a you tune interview with a person who shared his views so Metaxas could speak freely. He spoke of Bonhoffer as a hero standing up against the takeover of churches and German culture in the 1930s, by evil,Nazi, influence. Metaxas thought we were in a similar situation, neo Marxists are like satan taking over. 1960 youth movement rejected elder wisdom, and now the transsexual and gay etc ....... .

I remembered a discussion from Jordan Peterson where he spoke of the importance of greater disgust reaction in people of conservative and authoritarian views. He was looking in particular at HItler and the Nazi anti Jewish propagada which focused upon creating disgust about Jews.

So I add another way in which religion can corrupt thinking. It can manipulate the disgust reaction people have. The OT commands, distinguish clean from unclean. For Metaxsa it appears unclean is those lefty influences and homosexuals etc.Trump in contrast looks like the good clean American standing strong.

I find i see unclean and clean differently.
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Moksha
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Re: Universalism

Post by Moksha »

huckelberry wrote:
Tue May 03, 2022 7:06 pm
For Metaxsa it appears unclean is those lefty influences and homosexuals etc. Trump in contrast looks like the good clean American standing strong.

I find i see unclean and clean differently.
The hatred of the LDS Brethren towards the LGBTQ community has certainly been transferred to its orthodox members.
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msnobody
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Re: Universalism

Post by msnobody »

Christianity can be understood as the special possession of special people.
I suppose it could in light of Deuteronomy 7:6-8
indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. Prov. 2:3-5
huckelberry
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Re: Universalism

Post by huckelberry »

msnobody wrote:
Fri May 06, 2022 2:43 am
Christianity can be understood as the special possession of special people.
I suppose it could in light of Deuteronomy 7:6-8
This scripture is talking about Jews not Christians. what does it have to do with you or me?

Another way of responding , Msnobody, what do you really think yourself? It might not be a simple black and white..
msnobody
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Re: Universalism

Post by msnobody »

huckelberry wrote:
Fri May 06, 2022 4:31 am
msnobody wrote:
Fri May 06, 2022 2:43 am

I suppose it could in light of Deuteronomy 7:6-8
This scripture is talking about Jews not Christians. what does it have to do with you or me?

Another way of responding , Msnobody, what do you really think yourself? It might not be a simple black and white..
I’ll probably regret posting this and have to repent. Since you ask, I don’t know what it has to do with you as I don’t know what your religious/spiritual beliefs are. It is difficult to tell in the posts of yours that I read. Please forgive me for saying that if it is found offensive and enlighten me in another thread or PM.

I am very aware of the context of these verses. Perhaps I assumed too much by thinking others who haven proven to be well versed with regard to the Bible would know how this would apply to True Israel, including those who are the grafted-in ones. It would be the grafted in ones that The Lord God redeemed out of spiritual bondage/slavery to sin as compared to the Jews who were redeemed out I’d slavery to Pharaoh/Egypt. I can dumb it down further or throw in some fifty dollar words if need be.
indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. Prov. 2:3-5
huckelberry
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Re: Universalism

Post by huckelberry »

msnobody wrote:
Fri May 06, 2022 1:19 pm
huckelberry wrote:
Fri May 06, 2022 4:31 am


This scripture is talking about Jews not Christians. what does it have to do with you or me?

Another way of responding , Msnobody, what do you really think yourself? It might not be a simple black and white..
I’ll probably regret posting this and have to repent. Since you ask, I don’t know what it has to do with you as I don’t know what your religious/spiritual beliefs are. It is difficult to tell in the posts of yours that I read. Please forgive me for saying that if it is found offensive and enlighten me in another thread or PM.

I am very aware of the context of these verses. Perhaps I assumed too much by thinking others who haven proven to be well versed with regard to the Bible would know how this would apply to True Israel, including those who are the grafted-in ones. It would be the grafted in ones that The Lord God redeemed out of spiritual bondage/slavery to sin as compared to the Jews who were redeemed out I’d slavery to Pharaoh/Egypt. I can dumb it down further or throw in some fifty dollar words if need be.
Msnobody, I hope you do not find you have reason to regret posting that.

I am a Christian, I believe Nicene creed, I believe the only salvation is based upon the atonement of Jesus Christ. I am familiar with 11 chapter of Romans which you reference.

I think people can create a narrowness quite unlike the narrowness that God intends.
Philo Sofee
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Re: Universalism

Post by Philo Sofee »

Moksha wrote:
Fri May 06, 2022 2:25 am
huckelberry wrote:
Tue May 03, 2022 7:06 pm
For Metaxsa it appears unclean is those lefty influences and homosexuals etc. Trump in contrast looks like the good clean American standing strong.

I find i see unclean and clean differently.
The hatred of the LDS Brethren towards the LGBTQ community has certainly been transferred to its orthodox members.
Or at least to its most spiritually dead members, a more accurate description.
huckelberry
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Re: Universalism

Post by huckelberry »

msnobody wrote:
Fri May 06, 2022 2:43 am
Christianity can be understood as the special possession of special people.
I suppose it could in light of Deuteronomy 7:6-8
Msnobody, it is entirely possible to think of this characterization of Christianity in a positive light instead of the rather ironic way in which I presented it.

your quote:For you are a people holy to the Lord your God the Lord Your God has chosen you to be a people for his possession.

It is possible to understand the chosen as to create a light to the world and to draw all nations to God. The New Testament is clear about that. The idea is presented in the Jewish writing as well. Not so much in Deuteronomy which focuses upon separateness for purity. There is a change in the idea of mission in Christianity. Deuteronomy seven starts out commanding the destruction, killing, of encountered outsiders.
KevinSim
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Re: Universalism

Post by KevinSim »

huckelberry wrote:
Fri Apr 29, 2022 7:53 pm
Everybody saved in the end... but what about those truly committed bad guys?
I don't believe in Universalism, but it does solve the problem of why a good God would let anyone suffer constant extreme agony for the rest of eternity. With Universalism nobody actually does suffer that agony forever.
Last edited by KevinSim on Mon May 09, 2022 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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