it is well overdue ,please forgive me for remaining slightly anonymous:!: and I shall attempt to keep
it brief [I loath long posts] starting with my father - he started life as a carpenter ,went to bible collage
attained an extremely high mark for his Greek , he entered the ministry and not long after that was crucified by the elders [this is not to dissimilar to my later experience with Christianity] [I'm not being irreverent,he really was a builder !]
I'm not quiet sure where he stands on this issue, when he preached there was usually dead silence even after 5 minutes
of finishing the sermon , I can't remember him ever preaching on ''hell'' , I recently sent him a copy of Mr Talbotts precious book and its taking him quiet some time to send it back to me ?
either way he shall find me challenging if he disagrees , after twenty odd books on this very eye-opening topic couped with my stubbornly persistent personality my mind is well made up !
I was not entirely comfortable with my close association with ''Christianity'' [later on in life] either
when I made a ''decision'' regarding GOD I experienced a vast range of things including beliefs that made me want to run in the opposite direction, things that I found to be distinctively unbiblical and yet very few others seemed to have the same concerns . I was always focused on a range of issues that however important in their own right pale into insignificance compared to this issue !
I never gave ''hell'' a second thought always took it as a given [I was wrong]
the main issue partly related to u.r. is the one I focused on , the one Mr Talbott has so adequately resolved for me - free-will v sovereignty ! calvinism horrified me so I naturally drifted in the opposite direction looking at all the theories in-between [all the while sculpting my carefully crafted GOD] through to the end of [as I refer to it] the spectrum , libertarian free-will theism !
[but just off to the side of the spectrum sitting by itself is the dot of universalism ! where few there be that find it]
so it came as at least some relief when I read his words of ''they [libertarian free-will theists] are essentially correct'' BOY, I thought to myself I can at least scrape some of my dignity off the floor
Christianity endlessly frustrated me and the lunacy of some of it caused me to give into that half right argument of ''GOD will sort us all out in the end'' and so I gave up and simply got on with life failing to realise that even though I had of my own free-will wondered off ,GOD in his sovereignty planned to out-manoeuvred me ! I was in some respects the ultimate exclusivist until it was just me and my carefully crafted GOD !,it was then that my crisis of faith really heated up ! and GOD focused my attention in the direction he wanted me to focus on in the first place .
when the penny dropped so to speak I of my own free-will happily bowed my knee for how could I not after being shown just how magnificent he really is , how perfectly just he really is and will be , for I now understand the notion of nothing being able to separate me from the love of GOD that is in Christ Jesus or more to the point that of having faith of a little child you see I believe he can and will do it, even Satan will be redeemed ! because Abraham believed GOD it was credited to him as ......! so thank-you all my fellow universalists for standing up for the ultimate truth !
please feel free to ask me any questions, I don't bite honestly ! if you would like to know anything else about me all you need to do is see my review of Talbotts book on amazon ,this should help you to see why I remain cynical towards ''Christianity'' look for reviewer SJD and please do me the favour of clicking yes to a helpful review
GOD bless and Merry Christmas !