Happily Ever After (Part 04) – The Biblical Argument for Universalism: New Testament

The story of Jared and Tyler Duncan’s conversation about universalism continues.  This time, they will be taking a look at what the New Testament has to say about the doctrine. Continue reading

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Our Loving God (Part 05) – Humble Glory

If you have come from a spiritually abusive background, you most often suffer with a view of God that is distant, harsh, and arrogant.  God was often depicted as this self-obsessed ego maniac who is hell-bent on forcing everybody to acknowledge how great He is.  We’ve been examining 1 Corinthians 13 to see what the characteristics of our loving God must be.  Already in this series, you’ve probably challenged some of the ways in which you’ve viewed God.  Here we do so again, because, contrary to the fundamentalist portrayal of God as arrogant and capricious, the Apostle Paul writes that love is not proud, does not boast, and that it does not insist on its own rights.  It’s not about oneself.  Yet, for those of us who were exposed to a spiritually vitriolic environment, it may be difficult to look at a verse like Isaiah 48:11, which reads, “How can I let myself be defamed?   I will not yield my glory to another,” and conclude anything but that God is a narcissist.  How do we understand the concept of God being loving and yet someone who, at the same time, seems to be obsessed with His own glory?  You’ll hear many Christians say, “It’s all about God, not you.”  Is this really true? Continue reading

“Happily Ever Ever” (Part 01) – My Journey Out of Hell

I want you to be dead honest with me (and yourself) about something.  Does it bother you, at any level, that, according to traditional conservative theology, probably somewhere around 90-95% of people ever born on this planet are going to end up in Hell?  I mean, even a little bit?  If you really can be honest, you would have to admit that it does.  If it doesn’t, then either you don’t really believe it deep down, or you are a very cold-hearted person.  Think about it.  If you meet 100 people in the course of the day, 95 of them are supposed to spend eternity (that’s forever and ever and ever…) in a place devoid of all hope, all love, all grace, and which is the very definition of personal suffering.  How could such an idea not bother you?!?  Continue reading

Our Loving God (Part 04) – He Who is Patient and Kind

True love.  It’s what we all long for deep in the recesses of our being.  It is why we are stirred by stories of great sacrifice by persons for one another and inspirational forgiveness by those who are wronged.  We desire, whether we are consciously aware of it or not, to be loved with a love that knows no limits. Continue reading