Alex: I would definitely recommend Ravi Holy's Damned Nonsense essay that I read tonight as one of the top three.
I've now read it & agree it's excellent (& a well referenced dissertation for his BA (Hons) degree)!
So I became friends on FaceBook & he kindly gave me permission to use it - it was a Word document so I've saved it as a PDF:
In his Introduction, Ravi Holy wrote:My main aim in this paper is to show that universalism (the doctrine that all people will eventually be saved through the work of Christ) is an acceptable view for orthodox Christians – including evangelicals – to hold. Having done this, I will explore why, if it is an acceptable view, it is often regarded as a heresy or, at least, dismissed as being fatally-flawed on biblical grounds. In asking this second question, I am following the evangelical universalist philosopher Thomas Talbott who suggests that ‘something other than biblical exegesis lies behind the fierce opposition to universalism that we find in the tradition’.
While I am a ‘convinced universalist’ myself, I will not attempt to prove universalism as such. I will simply argue that all of the alternatives to it are, at the very least, as flawed as universalism itself is alleged to be, if not considerably more so. This does, of course, constitute a case for universalism, if not a complete one. In order to support my claim, I will highlight the weaknesses of these other positions which are summarised in the diagram below: