The Evangelical Universalist Struck Dumb!

Author of The Evangelical Universalist, editor of "All Shall Be Well" and coeditor of Universal Salvation?: The Current Debate Yes, use his real name for The Purpose That Shall Not Be Named. Yes, you can call him by his pseudonym, too (in posts, not for The Purpose). He's very easygoing. {g}

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The Evangelical Universalist Struck Dumb!

Postby Gregory MacDonald » Fri Sep 05, 2008 5:35 pm

Friday, August 1, 2008
Dear Bloggerites,

Sorry that I have not been blogging recently. The simple fact is that I have something of a problem - Namely that I cannot think of anything to blog about.

Why is this? Well, by its very nature this is a single-issue blog dealing only with matters to do with universalism. I decided at the start not to repeat material from the book and therein lies my problem. You see most of my thoughts about universalism are already published in the book. If I am not going to repeat those then what am I to talk about? I don't actually have a lot left to say about universalism.

My fear is that I will just end up space-filling and not writing anything of value.

So I have decided that, unless I have a sudden rush of new thoughts on universalism (which is not likely as I do not have any time to do any new research), I will leave this blog open for another month for people to discuss and then I shall delete it.

Anyone is most welcome to contact me by email if they wish to chat about universalist issues.

Pax

Gregory MacDonald
Posted by Gregory MacDonald at 10:38 AM
21 comments:
Bobby said...
Gregory,
Please don't delete this blog! You have attracted some incredibly interesting and capable bloggers, that of course includes you! Just open up the blog to any of the numerous questions that come into the minds of people who believe in Christian Universalism. I have learned so much here and can't bear to think of loosing this resource! Please, Please, Please! See, I'm looking more Trinitarian!

August 1, 2008 12:27 PM


Gregory MacDonald said...
Bobby

OK - but I won't be able to do new posts very often. So long as people are OK with that.

August 1, 2008 12:31 PM


Don Hendricks said...
With your book, the success of the Shack, and so many upheavals in evagelicalism, could this be the time when the world will reconsider this doctrine and the implications of it. How will we change the declaration of the evangel, do missions and ministry, preach and teach. Your dissappearance from the web will not aid this possible reformation.

Don

August 1, 2008 7:57 PM


Victor Christus said...
I concur that even though you may not be very active with your posts, your voice for the truth of universalism is so needed to keep the conversation alive and breathing!

By the way, how do we email you directly as you mentioned in your last post? I can't seem to find it.

August 1, 2008 10:04 PM


Bobby said...
Gregory,
Thanks for reconsidering! Perhaps we could send you questions (by email) for your consideration...you could post the ones you consider worthy of more discussion? Hope this will help.

August 1, 2008 10:26 PM


Rachel said...
I think you should leave the blog up and running...(albiet slowly), maybe with some guest posts or something. The exchange over at Jason Clark's blog a few months ago was quite fun.

August 2, 2008 2:13 AM


Denver said...
I agree with everyone else. Where else are we going to find legitimate intellectual discussion of universalism. Everything else I find is either unitarian or just plain full of hole-y "exegesis". I also would like to know how we can email you.

August 2, 2008 6:59 AM


Denver said...
Ok, I have a question, but don't know where to put it, so I'm putting it here. Sorry! I was thinking about John 3:16 the other day and I wondered, if universalism is true, what is meant by the threat of "perish[ing]"?

Is this like the idea of perishing as in losing all that is valuable? If so, aren't we reading symbolism into something that wasn't meant to be symbolic?

August 2, 2008 7:10 AM


Gregory MacDonald said...
You are all very kind (and persuasive). I will also keep posting periodically.

My email is gregory.macdonald@yahoo.com

Please bear in mind that I only have limited time in which to deal with blog and email matters. Running a brain surgery takes up most of my time (ah! blown my cover! :-))

Denver - in the book I argue that Hell/destruction/perishing/wrath/etc is eschatological punishment as most Christians think. It is the opposite of salvation/life/kingdom/new creation/etc.

But I believe that thanks to God's redemptive work in Christ it is not a permanent state but one from which those in it can (and will, eventually) be saved.

August 2, 2008 9:48 AM


Denver said...
I know everyone else has made this point, but I just wanted to reiterate what an oasis this blog is for those of us who are wrestling with universalism. Your book was a watershed experience for me. I am trying to study and process the concepts and dialogue is so crucial for me in coming to terms with my new perspecitve. Yet, because of the stigma that is (wrongly) associated with believing in universalism, I am uncomfortable discussing it with any of my Christian friends. The few times I tried it, I was barraged by condescending questions or just sort of smirked at.

Having the ability to explore with someone who has done their 'homework,' like yourself, and others on this blog is a very encouraging thing.

I'm sure I speak on behalf of everyone else who has posted when I say, thank you for taking the time reply to our thoughts and comments.

August 2, 2008 10:23 PM


Anonymous said...
I also tend to think it´s a bad idea to delete the blog. I don´t see why you should avoid what you have been covering in the book. We have all forgotten most of it anyway, as we do with most of the stuff we read! Isn´t this blog the opportunity to repeat your arguments at a slower pace, one argument at the time, and go deeper than in the book?
/Jonas Lundström

August 3, 2008 6:06 PM


Jason Pratt said...
Den,

To Gregory's answer, I would add that we're already 'perishing'. In Christ we have hope that we shall not always be perishing, but that someday we shall have finished our dying and so can fully live.

(Still, one way or another we do have to finish our dying. Thus, as I think Gregory said elsewhere, and I agree--this was an ancient teaching among the orthodox--God doesn't simply save us from death, but shares our death with us so that our deaths may be like His: into life. I discuss the metaphysical side of this concept, and its relation to the death of sin (in several sense of that phrase {g}), as well as why the Son would be involved in death, over at the Cadre starting around here, and throughout the next several entries.)

JRP

August 4, 2008 6:15 AM


Auggybendoggy said...
Here Here! Gregory,
You must keep it open! You do not have a choice (I'm a determinist) heehee.

Please don't close. It is so true about there being a reasonable site open for us to dialouge.

Tentmaker to me is a bit over the top as most (the way I read them) are full blown "no one goes to hell because Jesus paid the price" Universalists.

I want more of an arena where Chrisitan Universalism can discuss the issues (hard questions) so we can work through it.

Denver asked one of the great questions similar to "what benefits a man to gain his life but to lose his soul"? fs UR is true then what's the big deal of losing his soul.

Auggy

August 10, 2008 10:23 AM


James Goetz said...
Auggybendoggy, I agree with you about Tentmaker. A forum moderated by Evangelical Universalists would be nice. I wish I had the time and finances to lead such a forum.

Blessings,

August 16, 2008 11:20 AM


Auggybendoggy said...
James,
Yes I am hungry for such a community. I'm not dissappointed with tent. I realize that there are many different points of views. But I do think Talbott and Mcdonald have a EXTREMELY strong case in light of scripture and reason.

I did one forum once and it was not terribly easy.

If I did open a UR forum do you think it would be appropriate to state ONLY Christian universalists?
Many full blown U who don't believe in hell at all or Pantelism will argue they are christain universalists.

give me some feedback and I'll contremplate starting a forum dedicated to a more biblical stance on Universalism.

Aug

August 16, 2008 11:29 AM


Auggybendoggy said...
James,
Yes I am hungry for such a community. I'm not dissappointed with tent. I realize that there are many different points of views. But I do think Talbott and Mcdonald have a EXTREMELY strong case in light of scripture and reason.

I did one forum once and it was not terribly easy.

If I did open a UR forum do you think it would be appropriate to state ONLY Christian universalists?
Many full blown U who don't believe in hell at all or Pantelism will argue they are christain universalists.

give me some feedback and I'll contremplate starting a forum dedicated to a more biblical stance on Universalism.

Aug

August 16, 2008 11:30 AM


Auggybendoggy said...
real quick,
lets also say If I did a forum I would want a locked forum.

I would like a place where we who are (for the most part) in agreement with TT and GM, could state ideas and have TT and GM give is some learned feedback.

w/o throwing it out there to the public and having 40,000,000 posters USING CAPS TO SAY WE'RE ALL GOING TO HELL.

Aug

August 16, 2008 11:33 AM


James Goetz said...
Auggybendoggy,

I would like to see a forum with a commitment to the following:

1) Jesus Christ is the only incarnation of God
2) The teaching of the Trinity according to the Nicene Creed accurately interprets the Christian Bible
3) Christ is the only way to salvation
4) All the teachings in the original manuscripts of the Bible are the canonical written Word of God
5) Christ commands His followers to fulfill the Great Commission
6) Christ will gloriously return to earth
7) Christ redeems people from hell

Seven points, what do you think?

I'm not sure how to handle the moderation because I need to examine problems that moderators have in other forums. I suppose that we could initially limit participants that agree or are sympathetic with the above doctrinal statements. And I don't have the time or resources to do biblical commentary research as I would like, according to my coursework in biblical studies, but I could participate the best that I can given my time and resources.

We should consult Gregory about the statement of faith. Who is Talbott?

August 16, 2008 1:52 PM


James Goetz said...
Well, I need to revise 4. Take two, "The original manuscripts of the Bible are the canonical written Word of God and all of the teachings in the Bible are true."

August 16, 2008 3:09 PM


Auggybendoggy said...
James,
if you have not read Thomas Talbotts book "The Inescapable Love of God" then do.

I find it even more persuasive than GM's book however their different mechanics involved.

TEU is more of a exegesis approach to scripture when Talbotts is a philisophical approach.

As for the Forum perhaps I'll purchase it and we'll go from there.

I'll Email GM and ask him his thoughts on it.

Aug

August 16, 2008 4:33 PM


Denver said...
Gregory,
I know this is off the vein of where this section is going, but I had a question for Gregory. I know your book is focused on scriptural evidence for Universalism, but I'm curious, as a developing universalist myself, about your personal transformation. Your autobiographical sketch in TEU stops at your 'conversion' to universalism. How have you changed since believing in universalism? How has your relationship with God changed (especially since before your shift you found yourself unable to worship God)? How has it affected your daily life?

August 17, 2008 3:17 PM
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Re: The Evangelical Universalist Struck Dumb!

Postby Stream » Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:43 pm

GM,
I ordered you book today, I have read many commentaries online about it, but had never read it. Tentmaker has been my primary source of UR reading, will try to comment as I read.

Thanks for writing EU, I am wait with anticipation.
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