Presenter Information

Michael McClymondFollow

Event Type

Papers Read

Start Date

14-5-2018 9:45 AM

End Date

14-5-2018 10:30 AM

Description

“Universalism: The Christian Debate on Salvation for All”

Michael McClymond

Abstract: Will all people eventually be saved? Will all evil finally turn to good, or does some evil remain fully and stubbornly opposed to God and God's goodness? Will even the devil be redeemed? Christian authors and laypersons have debated these questions regarding universal salvation (i.e., universalism) since the time of Origen in the early third century. During the last twenty years or so years there has been a remarkable upsurge of universalism in every major branch of World Christianity—Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Protestantism, Evangelicalism, and Pentecostalism. This conference presentation provides an author’s brief overview of his comprehensive new work, The Devil’s Redemption: A New History and Interpretation of Christian Universalism, 2 vols. (Baker Academic, 2018), 1360 pp., surveying the history of Christian universalism from the second to the twenty-first century, and offering an interpretation of how and why universalist belief arose. The author explores what the church has taught about universalism and offers a critique of universalism from a biblical, philosophical, and theological standpoint. He takes seriously the arguments in defense of Christian universalism and shows how biblical exegesis, church tradition, rational argumentation, and personal experience enter into these arguments. He shows the interconnection of the issue of universalism with all that the Christian faith has to say about God's love and justice; human nature; sin; freedom; Jesus's life, death on the cross, resurrection, and ascension; the Holy Spirit; the nature of the church; and the second coming of Christ. He demonstrates that universalism relies on a nonliteral interpretation of Scripture and a substantial rejection of church tradition, freely borrowing from other sources such as gnostic and esoteric thought, as well as paranormal experiences. One of the most important conclusions from this argument is that the effort to extend grace to everyone undermines the principle of grace for anyone.

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May 14th, 9:45 AM May 14th, 10:30 AM

Study 1: “Universalism: The Christian Debate on Salvation for All”

“Universalism: The Christian Debate on Salvation for All”

Michael McClymond

Abstract: Will all people eventually be saved? Will all evil finally turn to good, or does some evil remain fully and stubbornly opposed to God and God's goodness? Will even the devil be redeemed? Christian authors and laypersons have debated these questions regarding universal salvation (i.e., universalism) since the time of Origen in the early third century. During the last twenty years or so years there has been a remarkable upsurge of universalism in every major branch of World Christianity—Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Protestantism, Evangelicalism, and Pentecostalism. This conference presentation provides an author’s brief overview of his comprehensive new work, The Devil’s Redemption: A New History and Interpretation of Christian Universalism, 2 vols. (Baker Academic, 2018), 1360 pp., surveying the history of Christian universalism from the second to the twenty-first century, and offering an interpretation of how and why universalist belief arose. The author explores what the church has taught about universalism and offers a critique of universalism from a biblical, philosophical, and theological standpoint. He takes seriously the arguments in defense of Christian universalism and shows how biblical exegesis, church tradition, rational argumentation, and personal experience enter into these arguments. He shows the interconnection of the issue of universalism with all that the Christian faith has to say about God's love and justice; human nature; sin; freedom; Jesus's life, death on the cross, resurrection, and ascension; the Holy Spirit; the nature of the church; and the second coming of Christ. He demonstrates that universalism relies on a nonliteral interpretation of Scripture and a substantial rejection of church tradition, freely borrowing from other sources such as gnostic and esoteric thought, as well as paranormal experiences. One of the most important conclusions from this argument is that the effort to extend grace to everyone undermines the principle of grace for anyone.