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The Logic of Universal Salvation

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  • The Logic of Universal Salvation

    I've posted this a few other places and offer by way of trying to coax honest, intelligent discussion that it has not to date been adequately refuted. I'd like solid, rational critiques please, no "shoot and run" opinions. If all you're capable of contributing is an opinion or expression of contempt with no reasonable argument, please don't post. Thanks.

    THE STORY
    Informed by God that He was going to Sodom to investigate and, if necessary, destroy the evil city, Abraham quickly struck up a conversation with his Creator. His nephew Lot and family lived there, and Abraham doubtless had concerns about his kin being destroyed with all others in the city. Thus he began his famous conversation with God on the road to Sodom in Gen 18 by Abraham's query in v. 23, “….’Wilt Thou indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?’”

    Beginning here and running to the end of this chapter, God establishes not only an inviolable principle concerning the perfection of His justice, but the first of His twofold framework [death, resurrection] of the process of salvation so fundamentally and harmoniously woven into both testaments of the Bible it’s hard to see how its significance has been overlooked. This principle is elaborated in vv. 24-25, where Abraham asks: "Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; wilt Thou indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from Thee to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from Thee! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?"

    The well known conversation then continues, ending with God’s promise to not destroy Sodom if even only a few righteous were found there.

    THE ARUGMENT
    It seems reasonable to claim that one supervising attribute of God governs all His others: perfection. We may properly assert that God is just, loving, merciful, faithful, etc., but if He is imperfect in any of these, He is not God as we understand Him to have revealed Himself in Scripture. Abraham, it seems, recognized this truth when he exclaimed, “Far be it from thee to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and wicked are treated alike….Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?” Abraham recognized that for God to destroy even an iota of good was an unthinkable offense, a wholly illogical and improper idea—a violation of His perfection. In the exchange, then, this spiritual rule is established:

    God will not destroy a whole in which any good exists.

    This principle sets the stage for understanding the allegorical structure God uses in Scripture for His plan of the salvation and restoration of all souls. God, the actual author of the Bible, structured His work in salvation in this “one and many” organization in multiple passages in both Testaments. The physical body is a single entity composed of an estimated 32 trillion cells functioning together as the whole person. God uses this reductive principle to convey in metaphor in Genesis 18 and throughout Scripture a division not of matter, but of value in essence or spirit. This “one and many” convention suggests what might be called "spiritual mechanics", i.e., the revelation of God's work within the value elements of individual souls.

    Thoughts?

  • #2
    The bible clearly talks about hell, salvation, condemnation and judgment. If salvation was universal then none of that is needed or makes a lick of sense. Universal salvation is just wishful thinking.

    Comment


    • #3
      The only thing universal about salvation is that Christ died to redeem all (1 John 2:2; Titus 2:11). So that everyone is placed in the book of life. And only those whose names are not removed (Revelation 3:5; 1 John 5:4, 5) will not perish (Revelation 20:15).
      . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

      . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

      Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
        The well known conversation then continues, ending with God’s promise to not destroy Sodom if even only a few righteous were found there.

        He did find Lot and his family righteous, removed them from the city, and then destroyed them all that remained.
        That's what
        - She

        Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
        - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

        I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
        Stephen R. Donaldson

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Sparko View Post
          The bible clearly talks about hell, salvation, condemnation and judgment. If salvation was universal then none of that is needed or makes a lick of sense. Universal salvation is just wishful thinking.
          I've posted this a few other places and offer by way of trying to coax honest, intelligent discussion that it has not to date been adequately refuted. I'd like solid, rational critiques please, no "shoot and run" opinions. If all you're capable of contributing is an opinion or expression of contempt with no reasonable argument, please don't post. Thanks.

          Comment


          • #6
            The only thing universal about salvation is that Christ died to redeem all (1 John 2:2; Titus 2:11). So that everyone is placed in the book of life. And only those whose names are not removed (Revelation 3:5; 1 John 5:4, 5) will not perish (Revelation 20:15).
            I'd like solid, rational critiques please, no "shoot and run" opinions. If all you're capable of contributing is an opinion or expression of contempt with no reasonable argument, please don't post. Thanks.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
              He did find Lot and his family righteous, removed them from the city, and then destroyed them all that remained.
              True. These points are various parts of the metaphor. Is there an argument forthcoming?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
                I'd like solid, rational critiques please, no "shoot and run" opinions. If all you're capable of contributing is an opinion or expression of contempt with no reasonable argument, please don't post. Thanks.
                wow, aren't we condescending?

                He gave you bible verses. That is pretty solid critique.

                If all you can do is respond with " I'd like solid, rational critiques please, no "shoot and run" opinions. If all you're capable of contributing is an opinion or expression of contempt with no reasonable argument, please don't post. Thanks. " Maybe it is you who is unable to provide rational defense of your position.

                Do you deny that the bible clearly talks about judgment? That it makes a distinction between saved and condemned? If everyone is saved, why talk about those topics in the bible? Why did Jesus talk so much about hell if it isn't a real problem?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
                  True. These points are various parts of the metaphor. Is there an argument forthcoming?
                  God punishes the wicked. He does not save them, nor does He punish His righteous with them. Therefore, universalism is bunk.
                  That's what
                  - She

                  Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
                  - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

                  I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
                  Stephen R. Donaldson

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    [QUOTE=Sparko;460454]wow, aren't we condescending?

                    He gave you bible verses. That is pretty solid critique.
                    Quoting Bible verses to support a favored doctrine is not a legitimate response to a logical argument. The argument I posted uses Scripture--as do most discussions of theology--to support a logical claim. Most discussion on theology boards never satisfy tensions because all folks do is present their interpretation or doctrine as "proof" that the other guy's doctrine is false. This is obviously circular and serve no purpose....if it did, doctrinal tensions would be resolved and we could all turn out the lights, theologically speaking, and go home.

                    If all you can do is respond with " I'd like solid, rational critiques please, no "shoot and run" opinions. If all you're capable of contributing is an opinion or expression of contempt with no reasonable argument, please don't post. Thanks. " Maybe it is you who is unable to provide rational defense of your position.
                    Did you not read or understand this question in the op or the argument that followed it? It ultimately shows that both the Annihilationist and traditional eternal hell doctrines are logically incoherent as both violate the perfection of God's justice, and only the salvation of all is able to resolve the problem.

                    I specifically asked for reasonable, rational critiques; I don't think asking for this exceeds what is proper for theological discussion.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                      God punishes the wicked. He does not save them, nor does He punish His righteous with them. Therefore, universalism is bunk.
                      "Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." (Jn 2:19)

                      Jesus destroys temples and rebuilds them in three days.

                      Do you see my point? I argue that the Gen 18 account is a metaphor woven into Scripture by God to preface a larger picture of salvation not found in a literal reading of Scripture. In order to understand how the allegorical modifies the context of the literal the metaphors that build the allegory have to be understood and either granted warrant for belief or sufficiently refuted to deny it. I agree that God punishes the wicked. Gen 18 identifies something bigger than this--God doesn't merely punish, He destroys Sodom and the Sodomites. He did not destroy the righteous with them. These facts are part of what comprises the metaphor.

                      To avoid confusion in case this thread goes anywhere, I use metaphor in two ways: 1) common or loose usage to indicate passages that are figurative language, and, 2), as distinct, unified parts of a larger, logical allegory or allegorical system. The second would be similar to linguistic structure, where words are parts of sentences (or sentences of paragraphs, etc.).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
                        I'd like solid, rational critiques please, no "shoot and run" opinions.
                        That you don't like the responses you're getting does not in any way mean they're not solid, rational critiques.

                        Jesus came to seek and to save those who were lost, and declared "Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son."
                        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
                          "Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." (Jn 2:19)

                          Jesus destroys temples and rebuilds them in three days.
                          Are you aware that you quoted Jesus as using temple - singular - then you morphed that into temples - plural?
                          "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
                            "Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." (Jn 2:19)
                            Referring to the resurrection.

                            Jesus destroys temples and rebuilds them in three days.
                            No. The Pharisees destroyed the temple (His body in context), and He raised what they unrighteously destroyed.

                            Do you see my point?
                            Yes. And your error.

                            I argue that the Gen 18 account is a metaphor woven into Scripture by God to preface a larger picture of salvation not found in a literal reading of Scripture.
                            Oh, it truly is. The righteous are saved and taken out of the wicked generation before it is destroyed.

                            In order to understand how the allegorical modifies the context of the literal the metaphors that build the allegory have to be understood and either granted warrant for belief or sufficiently refuted to deny it. I agree that God punishes the wicked. Gen 18 identifies something bigger than this--God doesn't merely punish, He destroys Sodom and the Sodomites. He did not destroy the righteous with them. These facts are part of what comprises the metaphor.
                            Correct. The wicked are destroyed and never heard from again. Their punishment is swift and final. Therefore, universalism is refuted.
                            Last edited by Bill the Cat; 07-18-2017, 03:07 PM.
                            That's what
                            - She

                            Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
                            - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

                            I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
                            Stephen R. Donaldson

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
                              Quoting Bible verses to support a favored doctrine is not a legitimate response to a logical argument. The argument I posted uses Scripture--as do most discussions of theology--to support a logical claim. Most discussion on theology boards never satisfy tensions because all folks do is present their interpretation or doctrine as "proof" that the other guy's doctrine is false. This is obviously circular and serve no purpose....if it did, doctrinal tensions would be resolved and we could all turn out the lights, theologically speaking, and go home
                              However in this case you were given verses that clearly and completely destroy your argument. If not explain why not.
                              Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

                              Comment

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