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Universal Salvation: A Whistle-Stop Introduction (Hope and Hell Conference)

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Tony introduces Rev Dr Robin Parry by explaining what Gospel Conversations is all about—expanding our view of God and that means inquiring into mystery. The best way to inquire is to map out the landscape of a debate—and that is exactly what Robin does in this marvellous talk. He gives us a birds-eye view of the long debate over universalism. But he goes further—and he gives us a map to navigate the territory. He defines what universalism is and is not. He explains the different pathways that have led many orthodox Christians to consider it seriously—Bible, experience, and ‘gospel logic’. This takes a lot of confusion and heat out of the debate and gives us a clear view of the topic. But it also hints at a bigger view of God, and a broader view of Christian thinking. Robin gives us the gift of years of learning and thought in one hour.

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Universal Salvation: A Whistle-Stop Introduction (Hope and Hell Conference)

  1. 1. 1. Universal Salvation A Whistle-stop Introduction GOSPEL CONVERSATIONS (July 2019)
  2. 2. Whatis Christian universalism?  The belief that in the end all people will participate in the salvation achieved for them by Christ
  3. 3. Christian universalismis not...  The belief that all roads lead to God  The belief that there is no postmortem punishment  The belief that the Bible is wrong  The belief that sin isn’t a big deal  The belief that it doesn’t matter how we live  The belief that God is loving but not just  The belief that we don’t need to evangelize
  4. 4. Routesinto universalism Scripture Experience Tradition (inc. doctrine)
  5. 5. Routesinto universalism: Scripture  For most Christian universalists, the Bible played a key role in their journey towards belief in universal restoration  E.g., Elhanan Winchester
  6. 6. Routesinto universalism: tradition  For most Christian universalists, reflection on traditional Christian beliefs was an important reason they embraced a belief in universal restoration  Discovering past orthodox Christian universalists is also important for some
  7. 7. Routesinto universalism: experience  For some people, a particular experience was a key reason they embraced a belief in universal restoration  E.g., George de Benneville
  8. 8. Thediversityof universalisms  Universal salvation is a minimalist thesis consistent with a range of views on theological issues
  9. 9. Thecurrent debate:Bible  The teaching of specific texts  How to hold together the diverse theologies of Scripture
  10. 10. Thecurrent debate: patristics  The teaching of specific church fathers  The origins of apokatastasis  The anathemas in the appendix of the Fifth Ecumenical Council:
  11. 11. Thecurrent debate: theology/ philosophy  The nature of divine justice  Freewill and divine sovereignty  Divine love and its implications  Atonement  Election
  12. 12. Conclusion

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