The Suicide of Christian Theology?
I believe a universalistic approach to Christianity is flawed. For a myriad of reasons. Biblical, Jesus-centered, rational, historical, traditional and so on. But one thing represents above all else the problem (or, if you prefer different language, the threat) of Universalism, is that it potential represents the suicide of Christian theology.
Think about it.
Just for a moment.
Christianity, whether you like it or not, is like a marvelous library, where the truth is both obvious and hidden, simple and legion, and hundreds of people study all day long to learn it. It is found in relationship yet deepened through commitment. It is not enough to say ‘God is Love’, or ‘God is Holy’, or ‘God is Just’, or ‘God is Sovereign’ – all of these are true, because they all describe but part of the magnificence of God.
Universalism, then, is a doctrine, which if held and believed by the church in its fullness (and whilst it has been present throughout Church History, it is unfair to say that it has been part of orthodoxy, or even that it has been seen as valid), threatens the very vitality of the church. If we accept universalism (simply put, the notion that everyone is saved by Jesus, or just generally that everyone is saved) – then everything else – doctrine, missions, morals etc. – are effectively pointless.
For if everyone is saved, what is the point of mission? Why should we bother to go out into the world and preach the good news to everyone – if the good news is reduced to ‘what happens anyway’? Mission started the Church, mission sustains the church, for the Church is a missionary organization. Without mission, we must ignore many of Jesus’ direct commands, the witness of the apostles, and humbly condemn as pointless the endeavors of countless saints throughout the years all over the world…
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