Posted: Sun Dec 27, 2015 5:52 pm
by Daniel (Da Pilgrim)

If you don't mind, I would like to copy and paste your comment on my blog about the love of God tending towards restorative justice rather than punitive. It was so well put that I wanted to share it with others. I will of course give you the credit.

Hi again Robert, it has been a long time coming for my reply. I just don't have the time for blogging these days, but I would like to share a bit regarding your question -
"Will God truly save everyone, even if they either xhoose to resist or for some reason find themselves unable to believe and repent?? I find many it seems who hold to UR would say no, nbut then that is not really UR. If there is no hell and God's love is unescapable like Tom Talbotts book title says, how then can anyone be eternally lost?? I am curious as well, why God allowed so many verses within the Bible to give the notion of eternal separation from Him as genuinely a real fate if it is not."

I am not sure what viewpoints you have read before but I can share at least the different ways that I think it can be seen.

Personally I believe in the real possibility of a type of hell existing as talked about in the Bible. I just don't think that people will be there forever.
There are at least two ways of seeing "eternally lost" from a Universalist perspective.

1. "Eternally lost" could be seen as a literal English interpretation that would say people are eternally lost as long as they are in rebellion against God. So this way of looking at it would mean that eternal separation is a conditional state of being that can be changed. For example, we can ask "did Adam and Eve have eternal life before the fall?" I personally would say that they did, but it was conditional. So, likewise Eternal death is a condition as well.
2. "Eternally lost" could be just a faulty English translation of aion and should be more accurately translated as an indefinite period of time. So by this reading, people would be lost indefinitely rather than forever, which is still a rather terrifying thought but at holds hope for the future.

Even though I believe in Universalism as the truth, the Bible still seems to focus on the terrible fate that awaits those who continue to rebel against God and the beautiful redemption of those who do not. This narrative appears to be a focus of scripture and is one that we cannot ignore and need to value. Though we do have hope for the future!

P.S. Personally I find that a deterministic framework fits extremely well with Universalism even if it is not necessary. It's not very popular amongst people generally speaking which I think is unfortunate, because it deserves more exploration :D