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Universal Reconciliation

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I've read and read on this viewpoint and now I'm like 99.9 (hahahah minus the .1 percent) converted.


I'll lay out the view point in as basic way as possible and let me know your thoughts.


I'll first encourage everyone to buy 2 books

1) Thomas Talbott "the Inescapable Love of God"

2) Gregory Mcdonald "The Evangelical Universalist"


I've read other materials mostly between Arminian and reformed views which leave me very unsettled and unsatisfied.

However the UR view becomes stronger in my mind as time moves and my bible reading increases.


the view is that God will somehow (via the work on the cross) reconcile all of mankind unto himself and that he already has done so.


There are a number of ways to start (philosphically or scriptually) I will start with Scripture.


1) tensions

There are a great many tensions in scripture that seem to somehow fly below the radar in our view or they inherit seeminly absurd renderings or interpretations.


For example


a) You are saved by Grace via Faith APART FROM WORKS. (paul in Eph 2)

B) we see that a man IS NOT JUSTIFIED BY FAITH ALONE but also by what he does (james in james 2)


usually people will conclude a few things from this...

James is ONLY saying that works are a manifestation of true faith and not a means unto salvation or justification, FOR WE ARE JUSTIFIED BY FAITH ALONE.


The obvious tension is between the rendering of




the next move is to say James is speaking of justification, Paul is speaking of salvation; 2 different concepts.


Not acceptable (even to Martin Luther), for James is on the very topic of salvation, for ver 14 and 15 the question is raised by james...

"can such faith save them" this is the same faith that does not justify alone according to James.


Now before everyone gets a bug up their cheecharonnees, I'm not endorsing salvation by works.


I'm simply showing that there is a tension that is embedded here. This lead me to opening up to different Ideas that may explain these things better.


Now there are ALOT of these tenstions all over the scripture, Predestination vs. Freewill

You can lose your salvation (heb 6) "it is impossible to bring them back to repentance"

You cannot lose your salvation (1 John 3:9) "he will not, he cannot continue to sin for he has been born of God"


Choose you this day

You did not choose me, I chose you


God loves the world,

God hates Esua (malachi)


God wants to save all men

Most go to hell for eternity


God chose Isreal

God shows no favoritism


and the list could go on and on...


Indeed some are solved with a bit of study but some are not solvable, under normal interpretation.


Heres how I explained it in sunday school:

if I read one verse and build a doctrine, most would argue that I should read the verses surrounding it to get it's context.

If I read a few verse before and after that one verse, most would argue that I should read the whole chapter to get it's context.

If I read the whole chapter, most would argue that I should read chapters surrounding it to get it's context.

If I read the whole book (single book) one would say read the all the books to get it's context.


And there is where we start.

Rather than constructing doctrines based on single isolated texts the UR constructs it from a WHOLE (at least as much as poss).



God creates his children

his children fall (sin)

God loses his children (out of eden they go)

God locks the gate and gaurds the tree of life.



God settles all things

those who are washed are his children

God gains his children back (back into eden)

People have access to tree of life.


Now of course people will read rev and say what about those who are cast into the lake of fire. We'll get to that.


Is there scriptures that "imply" or state in a salvation of all men. Yes.





Evern knee will bow, Every tounge confess (Isa, phil)


now obviously theres the tension

1) all things are reconciled unto him

2) most are damned to eternal chainsaw massacre


thus the paradox is raised of how to settle matters. Most people conclude that vs 1 is not "all things" but "some things" for all does not always mean "all". and every tounge confessing Jesus as Lord is a forced confession.




God wants all men to be saved and come to a knoweldge of the truth (Tim, peter)

God gets what he wants (the whole bible hahahah seriously)


another tension is raised

1) God wants all men to be saved

2) God is either satisfied or dissappointed that MOST are lost forever.


The people of the earth are regarded as nothing, God does as he pleases.


We would normally conclude that God indeed will greive as most are lost, but this is nowhere to be found in scripture in the end.

Rather a more brilliant and glorious ending is stated.


This raises the most debated question in the world of christianity,

Calvinism vs. Arminism.

they resolve the issue raised by Talbott and others


The issue:

1) God Loves all men

2) God can save all men

3) most suffer eternal torment in the lake of fire


The Calvinist:

The calvinist denies no. 1 and says God does not love all men but only the elect, those predestined for glory, those whose names are written in the book of life, those who belong to him of which none of them he loses.

In doing so they protect 2 things. Gods soverignty and his perfection. Unfortunatley his love is sacrificed for the doctrine.


The Armenian:

the Armenian denies no 2 and sayd God cannot save all men becuase he has fashioned "free" will upon mankind and therfore man kind controls his destiny as to whether he inherits God's kingdom.

In doing so they protect 2 things. God justice (God does not make men for hell but lets them choose), Mans responsibilty. In doing so they sacrifice 1 thing...God perfection.


No neither side concedes to these two objectsion.

The calvinist says God's love is discriminating so we are not sacrificing anything, it's always been that way; a remnant will be saved.

The Arm says God is perfect in that it was not his attempt to save everyone but rather a universal OFFER to everyone, but his perfection is intact as he does not try to save all men but he does offer to all men.


the obvious is true.

The calvinist meanin of "love" is lost.

The Arm of "wants all men to be saved" loses it's meaning as God does not attempt to save anyone even though they admit "God draws men to repentance".


What if God Can save all men and Col 1 is literal.

"he made peace when he died and shed his blood upon the cross and to reconcile unto himself all thing, whether it be things in heaven or things on earth."

The all things is earlier stated "all things were created by him, for him, and through him"


In the UR view GOD DID IT ALL upon the cross. Our coming to salvation is bades TOTALLY upon his mercy and compassion BUT UR maintains he wants to save all men, tries to save all men, accomplishes his attempt (goal) to bring every lost sheep to himself.


Heres one for you to chew on..



Isreal in bondage to egypt. (God has bound all men over to disobedience)

Moses (type of Christ) delivers Isreal from the bondage of Egypt (no one come to the father but by me-Jesus)

who is Egypt?


while most argue they are the sinful world, UR is arguing that Egypt is "sin". Isreal is "all men"/mankind who has sinned and been bound to sin by God (rom 11). For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.


thus at the death of the first born son and the slaughter of the lamb Isreal (all men bound to disobedience) are released from sin.


BUT Gods goal as stated in rom 11 is for one purpose...


So that he may have mercy on them all



Edited by auggybendoggy
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on to part 2...


If Jesus has the power to forgive sin then did he?


What does he mean when he prayed upon the cross "father forgive them, for they know not what they do"?

a few interpretations are held.

1) Jesus prayed for all sinners (all mankind), as it is for our sins of which he died (reaching beyond bounderies of time); you and I are responsible and he is praying for everyone


2) Jesus is praying for the elect. He knows that they are going to respond to him and thus is asking God to forgive the elect but not the reprobate (those destined for hell).


3) Jesus is praying for the immediate men who nailed him upon the cross since they are soldiers they don't understand that they are nailing a innocent man to death.


4) Jesus is praying for the ones responsible for his crucifixion. He is praying for the sanhedrin, Judas, Pilate, roman soldiers who are directly responsible for his death.


The UR argues that no 1 is true. It holds that we are all bound to disobedience which is why he went to the cross (see John 3:16).

it's also argued that God did indeed forgive them and will forgive the world via the peace his Son made on the cross (see col 1)

it is argued that Jesus has the power to forgive sin himself (being God)

it is thus concluded that Since Jesus reserves the power to forgive sin and he is REQUESTING his Father in heaven to forgive them (whoever them is) it is logical to conclude that Jesus himself forgave those whom he is praying for.


So God is going to do exactly as Jesus requested as Jesus himself forgave them.

For God was pleased having his fullness dwell in him and having made peace by shedding his blood on the cross, and through him to reconcile ALL THINGS, whether it be things in heaven or on earth.


The UR view handles Jesus in more dynamic ways. The atonement has been debated for years as to the mechanics of it.


Talbott argues that Jesus died not so God would overlook our sin, but to change us. He argues that it was not to aswage God's anger and thus the cross changed God, but rather that Jesus' death is to change us and make us holy. He argues we need to be reconciled to God not God reconciled unto us.


This view is further expanded by stating that the atonement is not only subjective but also objective as well.

This means that objectively he did it all and therfore all sin he died for are atoned for.


The subjective part is that Jesus is demonstrating the way for us; it's the path we must take to be reconciled unto God.


Thus it is not

You can enter the kingdom of heaven even if you don't take up your cross

you can enter the kingdom of heaven even if you don't die to yourself.

you can be my disciple even if you dont forgive others.

You can enter Gods kingdom even if you don't ressurect.


The atonement view thus means Jesus IS DEOMONSTRATING OUR PATH back to God.



1) No other sacrifice is needed, for he died for all sins once and for ALL.

2) unless you take up your cross (crucifixion) and follow you cannot be my disciple.


The view holds that God is reconciling ALL MEN unto himself (col 1) and that when the Father (Abraham) put the wood upon his son (the cross) and bound him (all men have been bound to disobedience) he laid him upon the altar.


Jesus finishes the work and becomes the ONLY way for us to get back to God.


For all who get back to God have the following:

1) created by God (gen 1)

2) bound to disobedience (rom 11)

3) take up their cross (gospels- crucifixion)

4) ressurect (we will not all sleep but first the dead will be raised see cor 15, 1 thess 2)

5) reconciliation (back to God) (roman 11 - so that he may have mercy on them all)


This is Jesus' pattern as well

1) First born son of God

2) numbered among the transgressors and is overcome by death (for a period)

3) crucified (took up his cross)

4) raised from the dead (overpower death)

5) ascension (act 1-) raptured to heaven (see rev 12, the child is SNATCHED up to his throne and rules with an iron sceptre)


Thus if we are to be reconciled back to God, it must be this pattern and his teaching is what gets us there.

Love God and love others (this will take you to a cross)

Imagine your own daughters or sons needing you to die for them....MOST WOULD DO IT IN A HEARTBEAT.

This is how we should be with all men. All men are God children (descendents of adam) created in his image.

Not spiritually at one time but each in his own time (the church, like Christ, are the first fruits)


So God really does love the world, even the most vile. Realizes they are sick and MOVES to reconcile them and prescribe an anditdote (Jesus) for their sin.


Other parts to follow...



Edited by auggybendoggy
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part 3...

Talbotts view in The Inescapable Love of God, is that Gods wrath is not the sympton of a Skitzophrenic God.

to explain the skitzophrenia I'll use the Evangelical universalist - chapter 1


"A hell of a problem"


Mcdonald opens up his book with this title and argues that in the traditional view of Justic and hell, there is an inherint problem for the traditionalist.


there is laid out a 3 premise argument (from talbotts book)

1) God wants to save all men

2) God can save all men

3) Most suffer eternal torment in hell away from God


As stated in post 1 the calvinist denys no 1

the armenian denys point 2

the UR denys point 3


The hell of a problem is that the two views have to abandon a natural understanding of certain meanings.



the Calv. denys point 1 because they sacrifice the Love of God for all men and cling to a discriminating love.

They claim (bruce ware in perspectives on election 5 views - calvinist) that God in one sense loves all men but not in a saving sense. His electing love is upon the elect and his generic love is upon the reprotbates (those he destined for Hell).



the Armenian denys point 2 and sacrifices the ability of God to bring everyone to their knees in repentance and thus they sacrifice God omnipotence.


These become problematic becuase it makes God look like he's got a problem he can't resolve.


1) God wants to save all men

2) God is Just and must punish all who do not repent


so in one hand God wants desperatley to save some and on the other God's justice is going to get them.

Thus Gods conflict is within himself where his Love (wants to save everyone) but his justice (stops the love and judges the rebellious).


The calvinist resolves the matter by denying no 1 and says God has no conflict, he's just a discriminator and theres nothing we can do. Deal with it and praise God that he loves some.


In the UR view Gods wrath is used not because God wants to get rid of the baby, but ONLY the bathwater (sin).

Thus Gods wrath is upon all who are in rebellion and it is to humble them and bring them to repentance.

This results that God has mercy on all men and all things are reconciled unto him. His justice then is not to

stop love from achieving it's goal but to ENSURE LOVE ATTAINS IT"S GOAL.


The UR view thus holds that Hell is an extension of God's love. It's designed to be a refiners fire that drives people back to the cross and bring them to their knees.


So the conflict that the traditionalist holds is not so for the UR view. Since his justice and love are in unison on reconciling his lost children back unto himself.



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part 4:

Free will (libertarian)


When most people speak as "free will" or "the right to choose" it is usually spoken of as "libertarian free will" meaning the creature is able to choose between two or more options.


Talbott makes a (reformed) like analysis of our choices we make.


In the mind of the arm. God allows man to choose his ultimate eternal destiny by fashioning him with Free will.

God presents himself a sacrifice and mercifully offers salvation unto ANYONE who might choose him over sin.


Int he mind of the calv. God does not allow man to choose anything at all. God, by his own good pleasure and his own

counsel, before time destined (pre-destined) some (elect) unto eternal life with God and a great many unto everlasting destruction (reprobate). Man is destined to fullfill one of these two categories of which they were assigned by God and NOTHING ELSE.


Most peole side with the arm.


However Talbott raises some difficulties with free will and God allowing men to choose.


His reformed like position seems to make it's start by stating that NO MAN IS RATIONAL according to scripture.

What he means is that if any person is infected with sin then he is irrational and cannot see clearly.


Thus God does not allow men to freely choose a eternal destrcution that they are bent for, for they had no choice in

being a sinner but we're born that way.


A URist would point to scriptures like Rom 11:

For God has bound all men over to disobedience.


If a man should choose God, it is because he has become rational and understands that it is better to be blessed by God than to be burned alive.


The person then has a rational mind that he can now choose between God and sin.




If a man should choose sin it is ALWAYS becuase is is IRRATIONAL and does not know God's goodness NOR does he know the destruction of sin.


Now from my opinion, Talbott is correct, but I stand more as a determinist (calvinist) in the sense that I believe God does not allow men to choose. I agree with Talbott that we do not have the rational mind APART of God breathing life into us and then our blind eyes can see the truth. Now if we see the truth then truly we will ALWAYS choose God.




When Isreal was in the wilderness many were bitted by venemous serpents. God told Mo to put a brass serpent on his staff and raise it over all of Isreal and to tell them that if they were bitten they could look upon the serpent and not die.


If this news was clearly communicated throughout Isreal



Accordingly, if a man KNOWS he is a sinner and is dying (infected and irrational) and he knows the antidote for his sin (Christ)

he will look up to the Cross and be healed.


If the man does not look up to the cross it's either because of one of 3 things.

1) the news has not been communicated to him that he can be healed.

2) he does not realize he is going to die if he does not look upon the serpent raised up

3) he wants to die and is suicidal


in the case of 1) this is the most common reason we reject God which stems from no. 2

We don't believe in the antidote because we don't believe we have a problem (we are irrational)


in the case of no 2) this is ABSOLUTELY universal and mans death is universal

for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

just as the many dies under the 1 act of unrighteousness of the first adam...

Men beleive they are not sick and fail to look upon the serpent and thus die due to the venom in their vein

Their lack of belief means they are irrational


in the case of 3) he is irrational and believes that death is a better alternative to the everlasting love (God).


Now, when a man looks upon the serpent he is healed due to the fact, he is rational about the cure.

He then is able to be healed and cured completely.


so it follows,


If God subjects us to irrational minds and we are bent for sin (born into sin) with a nature to rebel against God then how can we make a "free" choice to serve him. Indeed we are bound to our sin.


UR then makes it's move:

Christ did it ALL for you and for me. He died for our sins (not only for our sins but the sins of the whole world) and thus we who are irrational (every single man and woman) HE WILL BRING TO A PLACE THAT SEES THE DIFFERENCE OF GOOD AND EVIL (THE TREE OF LIFE).


Talbotts view is that EVERYONE who is rational will look to Jesus (look up to the serpent raised up above Isreal).

Just as Jesus notes that event and then says...

The Son of Man will be lifted up from the earth and I WILL DRAW ALL MEN UNTO MYSELF.


Meaning , all men will be saved... (Now many declare this means all types of men such as go ye unto all nations but talbott is arguing that due to the irrational nature we are born with, he seeks to bring every single person to a rational state so that the person may choose fairly and freely [the truth shall set you free]) and we will always choose God when we are rational.


19For as through the one man's disobedience (AM)the many (AN)were made sinners, even so through (AO)the obedience of the One (AP)the many will be made righteous.


the many (all men) died under Adam (the first adam)

the many (all men) will be made alive under Jesus (the second Adam)


This irrational issue Talbott raises is a difficulty for "free will" thinkers as they seek to justify why God send men to hell for

an eternity.


They assume that man has within himself the capability to know good from evil (we all do) AND BE ABLE TO CHOOSE GOOD

when we are dead.


I agree with the reformed here that:



The softening of the heart is Done by God (see rom 9) not us.


And therfore if a man is irrational (thinks sin is not all that bad) and rejects God, his heart is hard and he is irrational.

if the man is irrational then how can it be "fair", "just" or "capable" of making a right descision.


Now if God softens his heart and gives him sight that he sees Sin is TERRIBLE then will the man make a fair descision

betweent he goodness of God and the destruction of sin. And when a man sees this he will always choose God.



Edited by auggybendoggy
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Welcome back from your summer beach house dark : )

what is the difference of Biblical vs. Systematic.


If I understand the labels, I would argue biblical will be systematic (logical). Now if something is illogical like calvinism

God loves some men and God loves all men then I'll reject it.


I find Arm. illogical as it wants to affirm that God is trying to save ALL men (as he loves them all) but fails to do so.

When the word "failure" is used they then regress to "God is not trying to save men, but he offers salvation to all".

Now the his love for them is restrictive and he is not "trying" to save them at all. This is done to avoid "love fails"

when cor 13 clearly state LOVE NEVER FAILS. Also God is perfect, and if he attempts something that does not work out in the end, his perfection is tainted.


Thus I find no reason to follow either system.


Now if God is pleased to have reconciled ALL THINGS unto himself via his Son who made peace by dying on the cross then perhaps our understanding of the metaphors of hell should be re-thunk.


Anyhow, dark what is the difference between bib and sys theology. Can you define them so I might understand you better.



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I think you basically had them right on in definitions. I'll try to make it somewhat clear:


Biblical - the bible is the final authority on a supernatural subject (ie God, His character, etc). Logic, though important, isn't the final authority (ie, God can't calculate the square root of a sperm whale is a purely logical statement, since a sperm whale having a square root doenst even make sense...) :)


Systematic - A is true. B is true. C is true. But D is opposite of C, so D cannot be true, even if both C and D are found to be scripturally true (that is, they're both in the Bible). In systematic theology, logic trumps what the Bible says if it appears to contradict itself.


My first thought is this: though God works in a logical fashion, He is not like us. So for us to only think "logically" about him, in that God can never even appear to contradict Himself as far as we understand how He works, this "logic" seems to really limit God.

My second is this: if God is indeed a spiritual being higher than humanity (like a 3D object compared to a 2D) then the only way that we can know about Him is if He tells us. We'll never fully understand in our 2D form though, but we can still know what He's told us.


So in essence, it seems like we place highest authority on 2 different things: I place highest authority on the scriptures, and you place it on logic as we understand it. I definitely dont see my understanding of logic when I compare it to the grand scheme of the universe to be able to guide me to know who God is outside of what He's told us in the Bible. Hence, we have different views! :)


I'm sure we could always start another topic entitled "inerrancy of the scriptures" or something when I get back in September. Camp is about to start, and I've been gone for 2 weeks of camp prep time (I'm head of maintenance). The new staff are coming this next week and I get to train them... But I get to go to the city this weekend! Hurray for highspeed! :D

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Dark, ROCK ON!!! Camp Maint? hahahah you'll meet some college counselor chick and you'll be married before you know it hahahaha hah aha hah!!!!


I can appreciate your position, although I'm sure your well aware I will argue that scripture comes first but we ALL must do with what we can do.


I'm completley disastisfied with christians saying, Well God is God so if he wants to sin and say it is not sin then it can be so.

or If God hates esau then it must be so.


Scriptures OFTEN say 2 things of which you seem to find a NON reason to ignore one.

1) God will cast men into eternal lake of fire to be sepretated from him forever.

2) God was pleased to have reconciled unto himself through his son ALL THINGS whether it be in heaven or on earth.


So will God reconcile (to bring back into perfection before God - literally) ALL THINGS

or will God reconcile some things (depending on what they choose, though their born blind for someone elses sin).


I believe fully that this destroys anyones ability to IN TRUTH, say "God is Love". For if you believe he is also hate and that he may hate the very man you speak to, like Esau, (perhaps he's predestined unto eternal torment) then you cannot FULLY believe he is love. You may say that scripture says he is love but it also shows he is violent.

So you will believe he is love and hate.

He is patient and impatiend

he is kind and brutal

he is forgiving and judgemental

he is humble he is prideful

he is giving he takes only for himself (his own pleasure)


I find this to be a leak of Taoism in our ideaology.


When I say God is love and loves all men, Calvinists say "Gods ways are higher than ours so he can MAKE THEM FOR HELL and still love them fully" MAKES NO SENSE.


Paul indeed puts a GREAT importance on "sound doctrine" to timothy. Therfore I feel logic does play a part in understanding scripture. Indeed I would not say it's a "normal" logic (like reading tom sawyer). Rather it's a spirit given logic from God to open our minds to the scriptures (like Jesus does to the disciples at the end of Luke, it implies their minds were closed to the scriptures).


So simply saying, Reconciliation doctrine is wrong simply becuase the bible says God will commit a eternal massacre on his creation is to say "I don't care to think there might be another way of viewing these scriptures (metaphors) concerning God's wrath".


So I find it totally valid to say if One loves God fully it's because he is in his mind FULLY convinced that he is loved perfectly (it casts out all fear). And if he is fully convinced it is becuase he sees and understands who God is.

If he cannot understand God (3d) in his world (2d) then it should be noted to find God in the 2d world.


Thats why Jesus' coming is wonderful, NO ONE HAS EVER SEEN GOD....




until Jesus Came.


For if you see Jesus you see God (the Father).


So now the 2D people can BEGIN to understand the 3D God.


And if they cannot understand him and cannot with full conviction say "God loves me" then they cannot Love him in return and if one does not love God then they do not obey his teaching and they remain in their wickedness.


I find this completley reasonable and as Mcdonald wrote,

If something looks dark to you STAY AWAY.


I find the statement "you cant understand God so follow me" to be Dark and I'll take that path that looks like light.

God loves all men (I dont find dark)

God can save all men (I dont find dark)

Every knee shall bow and confesss, pledge alegience literally (I dont find dark)

He did it all to save me from my deadness (I dont find dark)

God is perfect in love (I dont find dark)



and if someone says to me scripture really says

God loves some men (I find dark) clavinist

God cant save all men (I find dark) arminian

Every knee will bow and confess him as lord W/O the Holy Spirit (I find dark)

His loving you DEPENDS on if you love him (I find dark)

God is perfect in love BUT justice is in opposition to love (I find dark)

Love - God fails to same most he wants to save (I find dark)


I am convinced Talbott is correct and thouth not every detail is worked out, I find the conclusion and the means to be sound.


So yes I agree with you dark, Logic to me is not an enemy of knowing God but rather when God opens our eyes to the truth of his word, it fits logically and WILL ALWAYS CONCLUDE GOD IS GOOD.



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It seems to make sense, but only if your definition of "good" is right. I define true good as anything that God says is good. For example, you say that "he is giving he takes only for himself", I agree with that statement. He totally gives beyond what we deserve, as you would agree, yet He also says that He will share his glory with NO OTHER! God's interest in our glorification through perfection is a reflection of His plan to bring glory to Himself, not leaving it at our own glorification. I'm not totally convinced by the calvanist thought of limited atonement, but sometimes it makes sense to me. But I really dont think that it matters if there is limitted atonement or not, since God will have his way no matter how I think it's going to go! BTW, I use the word "love" when I use it as a verb and not an adjective for a feeling.


God loves some men (I find dark) clavinist - I am not sure what I think of this

God cant save all men (I find dark) arminian - Can't in that it is actually against His nature, is how I would word it...

Every knee will bow and confess him as lord W/O the Holy Spirit (I find dark) - Why? I can realize that the officer who arrested me has authority, and I can go to jail, and I can be stubborn the whole time I do it.

His loving you DEPENDS on if you love him (I find dark) - So do I, and it's totally wrong. The scriptures make it clear that He loved us first.

God is perfect in love BUT justice is in opposition to love (I find dark) - I totally disagree with this too, since both love and justice are a part of God.

Love - God fails to save most he wants to save (I find dark) - me too, to a certain degree...

Notice you say "I find dark" instead of "these clearly contradict what the scriptures (as a whole, not single verses) say".

"I am convinced Talbott is correct and thouth not every detail is worked out, I find the conclusion and the means to be sound." <- But that is only true if your definition of "good" is 100% correct. Basically what you're saying is "I cant imagine a loving God to do this, so it just cant be so", thus understanding/logic > scripture. (I feel like I need to reinforce that I do NOT think that logic is an enemy of scripture, but it still cannot be placed above what the Bible says as a whole, even if it APPEARS to be contradictory to us)


I find it interesting that your whole premise is taken (basically) from a chapter in Romans, whereas the actual doctrine of Hell is taken from the scriptures as a whole. Yet in looking at Romans itself, IF it was the only book we have, then it also states that God will send some to eternal hell (which I doubt I have to reference for you). You ask me to look at it as a metaphor (hell) yet when the passage of saving "all men" in its context is referring to Israel, then it's clear that you have come to the scripture with a pre-conceived notion of understanding what it means, instead of searching the text for meaning. If there is a metaphor to be had at all, you could just as easily say that the Isreal that the passage refers to is actually all Christians, for we are Abraham's children. Jesus himself said not everyone is abraham's child, only they that do God's will, so it would make sense.


I have 5 questions:


1 - If God is reconciling ALL THINGS to Himself in the way that you are speaking, then why did He say He was going to destroy the world with fire?


2 - If God is all "loving" and not "judgmental" as you say (condemning), then why did he wipe out humanity in the flood and only save a remnant that was faithful to Him?


3 - Why did God let the Israelites wander until anyone with a stubborn heart died off before entering Canaan?


4 - If what you say is true, then the wages of sin is actually not death in a spiritual sense at all (though Paul often uses this phrase). So why did Jesus warn that God can destroy both the body AND THE SOUL in Hell?


5 - In the story of Lazerus and Abraham with the rich young guy, why does Abraham say that there is a great chasm fixed so that no one can ever cross it? (whether you take this literally or as a metaphor it doesnt matter at all)


I just wanted to conclude by saying that I am loved perfectly by God, and do believe that. God is still 100% good, even though I dont understand EXACTLY how it all works together.

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