Universalism: not heresy

I’ve long ago rejected the tittering proclamation that Universalism is a heresy — said like this was a good thing. And also the self-serving etymology; that since heresy is derived from the Greek word meaning to choose that this it’s necessarily, again, a good thing. The implication of the word is clearly and honestly one of a false choice meant to mislead others. I won’t joke about that, or align myself with it. I’m a Universalist — particularly a Universalist Christian — and I’m no heretic.

I’ve also been pleased that the universalist theology angle of Evangelical minister Rob Bell — and whether or not universalism is honestly heresy — has been carefully and theologically considered in the Quaker end of the blogosphere. See, in particular, this blog post by Quaker minister and blogger Micah Bales. I’d like to think I had an influence, as we lunched yesterday and Bell and kin came up.

Quakers, as you might know, have their own version of Universalism which isn’t unlike the more general, non-Christian meaning found in Unitarian Universalism today, and which I don’t uphold. A meaning and understanding of Universalism that makes me wonder if most Unitarian Universalists really see a fellow-traveller in Rob Bell, or just an opportunity to get some press.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

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