Apologetics - Universal Reconciliation > Arguments Against Universal Salvation

James White's objections need to be addressed

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myrddin:
Thanks, Sherman.  I appreciate all your points. 

Dr. White's point is that God doesn't desire to save everyone, so He doesn't have to.  Grace, to be grace, can't be forced.  God can do what He wants.  I understand the principle, but how this leads to a multitude of people burning for eternity (even if it is from their own seething anger at God and the Righteous) is a bit beyond me.

Dr. White does come off as arrogant and dismissive, but having listened to him for 4 years now, I'm able to filter that out to get to the stuff behind it, and it's usually very cogent and well thought out (e.g., on Trinitarian issues).  He's actually helped me become a better Universalist, because he defines what's at stake, even when he's wrong.

I had to do a double take on his comment on Colossians 1:20.  Doesn't "all things" include us humans?  And you bring up a good point that reconciliation implies that two formerly warring parties are now at peace with each other.  James White depicts the inhabitants of Hell as continually spitting out their hatred of God and the inhabitants of heaven, and their resentment forms the greater part of their torment.  I don't see how this is reconciliation.

Philippians 2:10.  I was unaware until recently of the open and joyful connotations of exomologeo.  Nice.  But in context of the OT passage (Is. 45:23) you cited, in v. 24 there is this statement "...all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed", so be careful--the Damnationists might still find a loophole here.

Regarding the assumption that people are made perfect when they die:  I think it's a valid concern.  Why is this assumed?  However, Dr. White follows the other common assumption (not found in Scripture) that there are no chances to repent after death; therefore, any punishment after death is only punitive, not correctional.  He gave a passing reference to Hebrews 9:27 ("And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"), as though judgment means no further chances and therefore bolsters eternal torment.  So, challenging the idea that people are made perfect upon death isn't much of a challenge, because there's plenty of room for correctional punishment (i.e., kolasis).  But Dr. White is attached to his tradition.

Rom. 5 *has* to present two humanities, otherwise Damnationism is false!  :winkgrin:  Well, everyone has a systematic theology:  some are just better and more coherent and better conforming to the data (i.e., God's revelation in the Scriptures) than others.  I think Romans 5 argues for Universalism, but one verse that may posit two humanities is v. 17:  "...much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ."  But the klinker for UR is v. 18, "Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." and I don't see how a possible delimiter (only slightly possibly seen in v. 17) can weigh in on such a bold clear statement in v. 18.

Yes, Dr. White is a Calvinist, and before I understood (with Tentmaker's help) that Gehenna isn't eternal, I became a Calvinist largely due to his influence.  He's a Compatibilist, which means God's sovereignty works *with* people's wills (or sometimes against).  I agree with him.  The key is that there is no "autonomous free will", i.e., a will that has some miraculous random element to it that allows one to decide differently if presented twice with the same option.  The will is solely a function of the nature, and the nature presents desires, from which the Willer chooses the strongest or most compelling.  And the Biblical data (Acts 4:27-28, Genesis 50:20, Isaiah 10:5-7, etc.) seems to favor this view.  Okay, another thread.  But I don't think Dr. White needs to make up his mind:  it is up to us to repent and believe, but those who end up repenting and believing are the ones God has decreed will do so.  The God who ordained the end also ordains the means (preachers, people who tell the good news, Bible writers, etc.).  And I don't think this is his way of having his cake and eating it too.

I didn't come at UR from the force of the universalistic passages.  Hell has always bugged me, from day 1 of being a Christian.  It didn't seem just and I kept trying to figure out ways to make it just.  Then it went on the back burner for a while.  But when I realized that aionios doesn't mean eternal (at least that's not the preferred meaning), the whole house of cards of ECT came falling down and I saw how flimsy the whole structure is.  I mean, is that all the verses you Damnationists have to bolster such a horrid idea??  What a joke!  In fact, I'm listening right now to one Sinclair Lewis (Scottish Reformed professor) about Hell, and I just keep shaking my head.  He won't even address the meaning of aionios!  These poor damnationists are struggling under such a massive burden of a horrible doctrine, and they're trying their best to put on a brave face.  I wish they could just let it go.

eaglesway:
Of course the scripture says that God DOES desire to save everyone, and has made provision for everyone :bgdance:

1 Tim 2:4 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time

1 John 2:1,2 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.


And the scriptures says that God causes ALL THINGS to work according to the counsel of His will,  and has made the mystery of the salvation of all known to any who seek the truth,   :boogie:

Eph 1: 7-11 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one ALL THINGS in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.  In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory

especially to us, who will participate in the full redemption of the whole creation :dsunny:

Ro 8:18-21 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Eph 2:4-7 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Because in the end, Every knee shall bow, Every enemy will be subjected, Everyone ever created will be reconciled, and God will be ALL IN ALL :egyptdance: :myahoo:

Phillipians 2:9,10 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

1 Corinthians 15:22-28 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.  For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27 For "He has put all things under His feet."But when He says "all things are put under Him," it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

Colossians 1:15-20 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For by Him ALL THINGS were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. ALL THINGS were created through Him and for Him. And He is before ALL THINGS, and in Him ALL THINGS consist.  And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in ALL THINGS He may have the preeminence.
For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell,  and by Him to reconcile ALL THINGS to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

Lest we doubt the Word of our Lord who said, "If I be lifted up I will draw ALL MEN unto me", all men drawn by his infinite love untill ALL are in God and God is in ALL." :boyheart: :girlheart: :cloud9: :HeartThrob:

Romans 11:32-36 For God has shut up ALL in disobedience so that He may show mercy to ALL.

 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR?  Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? For FROM HIM AND THROUGH HIM AND TO HIM ARE ALL THINGS. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.  :banana: :trampoline:

redhotmagma:

--- Quote from: eaglesway on November 30, 2011, 01:36:18 AM ---Of course the scripture says that God DOES desire to save everyone, and has made provision for everyone :bgdance:

1 Tim 2:4 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time

1 John 2:1,2 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.


And the scriptures says that God causes ALL THINGS to work according to the counsel of His will,  and has made the mystery of the salvation of all known to any who seek the truth,   :boogie:

Eph 1: 7-11 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one ALL THINGS in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.  In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory

especially to us, who will participate in the full redemption of the whole creation :dsunny:

Ro 8:18-21 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Eph 2:4-7 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Because in the end, Every knee shall bow, Every enemy will be subjected, Everyone ever created will be reconciled, and God will be ALL IN ALL :egyptdance: :myahoo:

Phillipians 2:9,10 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

1 Corinthians 15:22-28 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.  For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27 For "He has put all things under His feet."But when He says "all things are put under Him," it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

Colossians 1:15-20 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For by Him ALL THINGS were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. ALL THINGS were created through Him and for Him. And He is before ALL THINGS, and in Him ALL THINGS consist.  And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in ALL THINGS He may have the preeminence.
For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell,  and by Him to reconcile ALL THINGS to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

Lest we doubt the Word of our Lord who said, "If I be lifted up I will draw ALL MEN unto me", all men drawn by his infinite love untill ALL are in God and God is in ALL." :boyheart: :girlheart: :cloud9: :HeartThrob:

Romans 11:32-36 For God has shut up ALL in disobedience so that He may show mercy to ALL.

 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR?  Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? For FROM HIM AND THROUGH HIM AND TO HIM ARE ALL THINGS. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.  :banana: :trampoline:

--- End quote ---

 :dsunny: :egyptdance: :gthumbsup:

eaglesway:
:o)

WhiteWings:

--- Quote from: myrddin on November 29, 2011, 11:31:25 PM ---Regarding the assumption that people are made perfect when they die:  I think it's a valid concern.  Why is this assumed?
--- End quote ---
From indirect evidence.
If all will bow to Jesus and no sin will enter New Jerusalem then something must be done after death because it's obvious that far from everyone on this planet classifies as a good Christian.

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