The more I read and nose around — for what, fifteen years now? — the clearer it is that the locus of universalist theology is among the Evangelicals and in no way among the Unitarian Universalists, or even in the mainline. (Oddly enough, the conversation around Universalism is validating after years of being painted with the “nineteenth century” brush.) Liberals are either indifferent to the doctrine or are indifferent to Christianity. And then there’s the widespread misprision that Christianity’s aim is cozy self-actualization and that the Church’s eternal mission involves “serving the congregation.” So I’ve been pulled on this blog talking about Christian distinctives and parish administration.
I really need to dive back into Universalism. After all, there are so many Christians orbiting it and anxious about it. Lots of “no, not me” and lots of folk are playing fast and loose with the annihilation of the unbelievers and unrepentent as the kinder option. Universal salvation seem to be the exotic non-starter in theology that homosexuality is in social ethics: an association not lost on me.
No further comment but this — and no denuncitions either. Just a link to the most recent example I’ve seen, from the rather conscientious blogger, Graham Old, of Leaving Munster. (Follow his links.)
OK: one comment. Scot McKnight’s comment about finite sin and infinite punishment is the point Hosea Ballou made in the Treatise on Atonement two hundred years ago.
why do you think the locus is not in the mainline? i think if evangelicals are reading jurgen moltman, among others, they are engaged in high level thought about universal salvation. But if the mainline is reading Borg and Gomes and Crossan among others they are too.
We wait for the teacher, Scott, take ten minutes a day and write a book/adult ed piece on universalist christianity and why it holds promise for contemporary unitarian universalists and get it out there churches like mine in Davenport, iowa. We need your witness. Enlist some friends to submit a chapter, or a lesson plan and let’s go !
by the way, a lovely model for bringing the seminary into then parish is Wesley Seminary’s Wesley Ministry Partner project. They take books written by faculty, create some adult ed packets and provide them to congregations with lots of good resources. it is worth a look for you, i think you’d be impressed.