Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Doomed to be Saved: The Problem of Universalism Today

From J. I. Packer:
If all people are, in the title of a 19th Century tract, 'Doomed to be Saved', then it follows that the decisiveness of decisions made in this life, and the urgency of evangelism here in this life, are undermined.  Other ways of loving your neighbour here in this life may now be considered as perhaps more important than seeking to win him or her to Christ.  And it is no accident that keenness on the social gospel, so-called, and universalist theology have gone hand in hand. (p. 171) 
This is a doctrine of salvation through, and out of, the state which the New Testament refers to in one place as 'perdition', in another place as 'eternal destruction', and in another as 'eternal punishment'.  It is an unqualified and unlimited optimism of grace.  Sin is a reality, hell is a reality: but God's grace is going to triumph in the end. (p. 176)
Collected Shorter Writings Vol. 1

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