12 thoughts on “Three posts aborted, I leave you with this:

  1. Linea

    Seems to me most people would like to make up their own theology – choosing what “works” for them, what makes them feel good.

  2. Marc

    Well, yes.

    I had a written a whole post around this quote, but ditched it because . . . I don’t know.

    You want to know the sober truth, and you may be convinced you have it right now. BUT. . . a desire to know the sober truth requires a willingness to change (beliefs, behaviour). Otherwise, it’s no longer the truth you’re interested in.

    I don’t think MacDonald is suggesting that he has it unquestionably, but he is convinced that he does. He later says he would change his mind about X if given convincing evidence (which could be quite subjective—what convinces you might not convince me, or I might refuse to be convinced).

    This statement is written in response to some sharp criticism. MacDonald, author of The Evangelical Universalist, was accused of making up theology to make him feel good.

  3. Marc

    Linea: that’s what I said in the discarded post on the quote. Choosing what makes us feel good is cheating ourselves, in some respects.

  4. Andre

    Having read Gregory’s excellent logical expositions at the front of The Evangelical Universalist – I am inclined to believe that opposition to the possibility of universal salvation in Christ is not motivated by scripture (the big picture scriptures are boldly universal) but by that age old desire to feel “privileged”.

  5. Marc

    Well said, Andre. (I’m assuming you’re THE Andre)

    Did you read the rest of the book? What did you think?

    I found the logical exposition at the beginning of the book quite compelling, but I have yet to read the scriptural argument that makes up the rest of the book (nothing against that part of the argument, I was just distracted by another book and perhaps a little overwhelmed at the prospect of blogging through the scriptural arguments).

  6. Don Hendricks

    I think McDonald’s confession of the desire for truth is essential to find truth, but not a gaurantee of finding truth, as many have sincerely erred on one theological truth or the other. So you become convinced of a truth like universal reconciliation and you put it out there for evaluation and discussion, realizing you are giving a minority report, which his anonimity admits. Its all part of the truth becoming part of our belief system or rejecting it.

  7. Andre

    I haven’t read the whole book. I stopped reading prior to a chapter on Israel. I had no questions about Israel. I felt he had actually explored all of my questions and given me much to (re)consider.

    I have done a fair bit of considering since then and am more and more persuaded, not just of the validity of his logic, but of the larger implication that the theology I grew up is built on several erroneous interpretations of the Greek. And we’re talking grievously erroneous because this is ultimately a character of God issue. We’ve been working through a total paradigm shift and honestly – the Bible is making a lot more sense.

    I’ll try and read the rest of the book.

  8. Linea

    Sometimes sticking to the old traditional beliefs is also what makes us feel good. It seems to me that God does not leave us to become complacent – the Spirit leads us towards new truths. Maybe it is because God is so much more complex than our intellects can fathom. The “sober truth” or maybe the “whole truth” might be too much for us. And I think that putting out new ideas for others to interact with is one of the ways that we come to new stances on the truth as we have come to know it. We back up what we know as truth as best we can theologically but can we ever know it all for certain? So we remain receptive to the Spirit and to others who work through these things knowing we will never know it all but doing our best to remain faithful to the scripture and to the traditions handed down to us.

  9. Marc

    Linea: Also well said.

    I’ve been thinking about this sober truth business. I believe we can know the sober truth, but I also believe that we can’t know (for certain) that we know it. Does that make sense? In other words, if we know the sober truth, we know it unwittingly.

    But we have no choice but to commit to what we are convinced of and be flexible enough to change and adapt as we recognize errors and misconceptions.

  10. Toni

    “I am inclined to believe that opposition to the possibility of universal salvation in Christ is not motivated by scripture (the big picture scriptures are boldly universal) but by that age old desire to feel “privileged”.”


    It’s interesting how many of us ARE determined to try to get hold of the truth (sober or otherwise) from God’s perspective, but often don’t agree on substantial issues. I’m wondering if one of the issues that the human brain can’t cope with tension and apparently opposing views (I seem to remember posting somewhere about God not being centrist, but actually encompassing both left AND right). Hence some genuine christians focus the fundamental wrongness of homosexuality while others embrace homosexuals out of love for fellow man and disregard the issue of their behaviour.

    What I’m really saying is that while there is one truth, it may be wider than most of us can encompass, and that is the reason we are so earnest and so right with our different viewpoints.

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