Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Guest Post - part 2 of 2

Guest post by Gregory MacDonald, author of The Evangelical Universalist. Part 2 of 2.

“Having laid the foundations ch. 5 takes the book of Revelation as a case study. On the one hand it shows the fruitfulness of the hermeneutic explained in chs 2-4 and on the other it allows us to discuss the two most ferocious hell texts in the Bible. I argue that Revelation invites a universalist reading of those hell texts according to which those in the lake of fire can exit and enter the New Jerusalem. That sets up the discussion of hell passages across the NT in ch 6.

Having dealt with the biblical material I have a final chapter in which I consider additional arguments in favor of universalism (e.g., it helps with theodicy, it has pastoral benefits) and tackle additional arguments against it (e.g., it undermines the seriousness of sin, or evangelism). I conclude with a discussion of whether my view is heretical even if it is mistaken (which, by the way, I don't think it is).

What I hope the book will do is

- present a version of universalism that is deeply orthodox and could even have a claim to be evangelical (true to the gospel and reverent towards God's self-disclosure attested to in Scripture).
- create space for a more intelligent discussion of the issues
- perhaps even persuade some people that the grounds for hope are more solid that they may have ever dared to think.

Gregory MacDonald”

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