I haven’t touched the subject of Christian Universalism in a while, but I came across some interesting thoughts a couple of weeks ago, which I have been meaning to post. Once again, even if we don’t believe that scripture supports a Christian Universalist perspective, it is fair to say that hoping for and desiring universal salvation is Biblical. To that end, I continue to read hopefully on the subject.
The Evangelical Universalist links to a post written specifically in response to N.T. Wright’s views on hell, particularly as discussed in Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church (as I recall, Wright dedicated maybe 3 pages to the subject of hell). The writer (Dan) has this to say, which does not require a knowledge of Wright or his works:
. . . given Wright’s emphasis upon the biblical narrative, I’m a little surprised that he doesn’t think (or at least doesn’t say) that the salvation of all might be just the sort of “surprise” that fits rather well within the trajectory of that narrative. Despite the Old Testament material that shows us that the Gentiles would be also be welcomed into the Kingdom of God, the offer of the inclusion still came as a surprise to many in the days of Jesus and Paul. Of course, in retrospect, we 21st-century Christians can see how that inclusion fits the story rather well. I can’t help but wonder if a similar surprise awaits us. Given the hints that exist within the Scriptures, we might also see the inclusion of all people in the consummation of the Kingdom.
. . . I can’t help but think of the scenario in Jn 8.1-11 involving the woman caught in adultery. I wonder, if at the moment of judgment, once we have been fully confronted with both our own sinfulness, our own complicity in the broader structures of sin, and the ways in which those who sinned against us have been sinned against, if what will result is similar to what happens to the woman. In 1 Cor 6.2, Paul tells us that the saints will judge the world. I wonder if this means that God will say “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone.” I wonder then, if we are unable to throw stones, if God will also say to those being judged, “then neither do I condemn you. Come now and leave your life of sin.” (Link)
Interesting thought, no?