"The Really Good News About God" is a popular edition paperback that presents a lay-person's introduction to Christian Universalism, rather than a theological or philosophical argument for that position.
This page discusses some of the thinking behind the views presented in Chapter One and also addresses several genuine questions that are often raised when topics such as these are debated.
Hopefully, this will put some meat on the bones in Chapter One and stimulate healthy, respectful discussion by those who choose to dig a bit deeper.
For those who wish to dig a lot deeper, other books and websites are listed in the Recommended References link towards the bottom of the Topic Menu on the left.
|Justice||Wrath||Frequently Asked Questions|
One of my dear Christian friends does not agree with my hypothesis (as he calls it) of universal reconciliation.
His main reason?
He disagrees with my basic concept of God's unconditional love for his creation.
Nowhere, he says, does the Bible say that God's love is unconditional.
He feels that God's love has conditions attached to it - conditions like our attitude to God, our willingness to repent of our sins, etc.
I guess he is correct in the sense that the Bible does not have the phrase 'unconditional love' in its text.
But neither does it have the word 'sovereignty' or 'universal' or 'evangelical' or several other English words that we use to express a Biblical concept or theological idea.
It is the concept or idea that is important and that needs to be based on Scripture, not whether an English word that English-speaking people use to describe that concept is in the Bible.
My evidence for God's 'unconditional' love? Just a few brief references.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. [Rom 5 : 8]
For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, ... [2 Cor 5 : 14]
When we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. [Rom 5 : 6]
Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." [Luke 23 : 34]
Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification for all people. [Rom 5 : 18]
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children 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.
[Matt 5 : 44, 45]
I use the term 'unconditional' to mean constant, dependable, (which are probably unbiblical words also) just like the sun is constant and doesn't depend on conditions outside of itself to determine whether it radiates heat and light or not.
Sometimes we see or feel the sun differently because of overcast conditions or we are indoors, but the sun is still the same, doing the same thing all the time.
Its performance (character) remains constant - it is in this sense that I would say it is unconditional, even though how we experience it is dependant on certain conditions.
In a similar way, how things experience the sun is dependant on their personal condition.
For example, sun shining on clay and ice-cream produces very different effects.
The condition of the recipient determines the outcome, in the same way, as my friend points out, that people in different conditions experience blessing or discipline or hardship under exposure to the love of God.
In summary I believe God's love is unconditional (constant, perfect, reliable) even though it produces different effects due to the different conditions on which it falls.
For me, God's love is always perfect, operating for our good, whether in blessing or hardship, as it works all things towards God's predetermined glorious end.
This section contains the questions I have most frequently been asked on the broad topic of God's Unfailing Love, and my usual answers to these.
As you read, please remember that some questions may not have precise answers. There are so many things we creatures do not know about our Creator and how he operates, even though we often have many clues in the Scriptures.
However, if you have some better answers than I have presented here, please offer them through the last item, Ask Your Question, on the Topics menu on the left. I will really appreciate being able to add to my understanding through your input.
You can also ask a question of your own by selecting the same item, Ask Your Question, on the left. If your question gets asked frequently enough, your question and my answer will be added to this page.