It’s time for a little truth in advertising. If eternal tormenters really believe--and presumably, approve--of their doctrine, then they should be upfront about it. Enough of the euphemisms, double-talk, and obfuscation; tell it like it is. I’m not asking them to give up their favorite slogans and catch-phrases, only to amend them in order to reflect what they really mean. I expect this will prove difficult; hence I will offer them some help in getting started. I will first present their standard spiel, then offer a revised truth-in-advertising version. I will call the first SS (standard spiel) and the second TIAV (Truth-In-Advertising-Version.) Yes, the second one will be a major turn-off for their listeners and may adversely affect donations, but hey, I didn’t say it would be easy. At any rate, here are my suggestions.
If there's anything Calvinist theology teaches us, it's that man's sin is infinite and that the Creator owes nothing to the creature. I suspect that both of these items would have come as news to Job.
If Universalism has a bible--aside from the bible--it would probably be Thomas Talbott’s The Inescapable Love of God. The book treats a wide variety of subjects in language that is concise, free of jargon and extremely readable.
Talbott starts out by discussing his own disenchantment at the vision of God he encountered as an undergraduate student. Both his instructors and the books he read seemed to portray a God devoid of love. He writes:
God created man in His own image. (Gen. 1:27; 9:6)
He is the Father of all men (Ps. 82:6; Is. 64:8; Mal. 2:10; Mt. 5:1, 6:9, 23:1,9; Acts 17:22, 28-29; Ep. 3:14-15, Heb. 12:9).
He wills that all be saved (1 Tim. 2:4).
He died for every man (Heb. 2:9).
He justified every man (Rom 5:18).
He makes many statements that anyone of normal understanding would take to imply Universal Salvation (Phil 2:10; Col 1:15-20; Rom. 5:18; 1 Cor. 15:22; Eph 1:8-10).
God never promised to send anyone to hell.
A threat cannot annul a promise; in the event of an apparent stalemate, the bible declares that the promise wins (Gal 3:17).
The bible records many instances of eternal punishment that were not eternal (Deut 23:3,6; Ezra 10:2,3,44; Neh 13:1, 23, 25, 30; Jer 48:47, 49:6; Isa. 19:21, 25; Jude 1:7; Ezek 16:53, 55).
To maintain a doctrine of eternal torment we must admit that God's ultimate plan runs contrary to His revealed character in Christ, our God-given reason and conscience, His own laws and His promises (Mt. 8:22; Luke 11:13, 15:4; James 3:17; 1 Tim. 5:21; Deut 23:22; Mal 2:16).
Quote of The Day
God's Promises are not at a discount, but rather at a premium. His "paper" is worth more than the face value, not less. Any explanation of a scripture that belittles it, that seems to fall far short of the language used, may be looked upon at once with suspicion, for the reality of God's truth is not below, but far above the power of human expression.