Author Topic: History of Universalism  (Read 924 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Guest
History of Universalism
« on: May 24, 2010, 05:28:17 AM »
I'd like to use this thread to outline the findings of my studies in the history of universalism.

On the Tentmaker article, Tracing Universalist Thought Through History, the influential mystic, Jacob Boheme is incorrectly listed as having been a universalist. The Christian Universalist Association website claims the same thing.

However, in fact, his version of spiritual eternal torment was the whole linchpin of his theosophic musings. Though he does allow that seeing the joy of the elect might be a comfort to the damned.

Johann Arndt is another influential writer listed on Tentmaker as having been universalist. In reading his writings, I can't find anything to support this conclusion, and he actually seems to have been a believer in eternal torment. Like Boheme, his Hell seems to have been spiritual.    

On the flip side, many of the Pietists, mostly of the radical wing, were universalist, and I don't see this emphasized as much as it could be. Bengal, Phillip Jacob Spener, Ernst Christian Hochman von Hohenua, Alexander Mack, etc, all were closeted universalists.

Alexander Mack and the German Baptist Brethren, when they emigrated, were the first organized church in America to be universalistic. However, they mainly held this belief in private. In 1795, a GBB preacher in the Carolinas began openly preaching Hosea Ballou's version of ultra-universalism (no punishment and chastisement after death). This perturbed the Brethren, and they kicked out all the congregations who subscribed to ultra-universalism (1,000-2,000 members) and forbade the open declaration of universalism.

It is still permissible to hold a belief in the "restitution of all things" privately in some of the groups descending from the GBB, though not the groups influenced by fundamentalism and evangelicalism.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 06:06:35 AM by Johann »

Offline eaglesway

  • < Moderator >
  • *
  • Posts: 5569
  • Gender: Male
  • Grace & Peace be multiplied unto you, in Jesus
    • Hell is a
Re: History of Universalism
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2010, 08:05:57 AM »
    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
(Eph 1:3-11)

I think "ultra universalism" is a better message that "ultra judgmentalism" ;o).  I believe in judgment and chastisement after death, but I judge the open declaration of the aionios gospel of Jesus Christ to be of the utmost importance.
The Logos is complete, but it is not completely understood.