I have written a series of stories on this blog about a discussion between two cousins on the topic of Christian universalism. I am preparing to write the fifth installment of that series now and have been impressed over the last week how much comfort this belief brings me in my life. Briefly, the doctrine of Christian universalism is the belief supported by the majority of the first Christians that, in the end, all are reconciled to God’s love. I struggled for so many years to feel accepted by God. Now, you can get to a point where you feel like God accepts you without believing in universalism. However, there’s something that remains tainted in your mind when you believe that this same God who accepts YOU, is going to reject forever many of those you love and care about. I could never quite get a strong enough love for God until I accepted that He saves all eventually. In short, I’m comforted only to the extent that I believe God’s love extends to all people and that He will never give up on anyone or throw anyone away. I could not love a God who would do that. And, I could not feel loved completely by a God who loves me because I just happened to believe the right thing or live the right kind of life. I am comforted by the love of a God who truly is for all people and loves each one the same, including me. I have written about this before, but I just thought I would post right now how this is impacting me as I continue to study. Have a good weekend!
Rob Bell, author of Velvet Elvis, has produced a masterful treatment of the subject of hell and heaven from the perspective of God’s unfathomable and limitless love. I read this book in one day! Bell hits on all the main issues that Christians struggle with in the debate over heaven and hell. How could God create billions of people only to save a relatively small handful of them? Bell’s thesis is that God’s love wins in the end. While he stopped short of endorsing universalism, keeping the door open for one to reject God’s love forever, the book was the best down-to-earth explanation of the universalist arguments that I have seen in print so far. Most books on the subject tend to treat the subject from a scholarly theological perspective, but Rob Bell is a master of explaining things almost in a story-like manner. Continue reading