In the first four parts of this series, I defended Universalism against some of the charges made by Fisk Harris in his book Calvinism: Contrary to God’s Word and Man’s Moral Nature. Hopefully, I have proven that all of his charges against Universalism are groundless. Having done that, I will now proceed to explore his alternative--Arminianism.
Fisk ascribes the following view of God’s sovereignty to both Universalists and Calvinists, and suggests that it means they both regard God as the author of sin:
D. Fisk Harris writes:
For he who affirms that God can not secure the highest final good without using evil as its temporary means, limits his power just as truly as he who affirms that he can not secure the highest good without permitting evil as its necessary concomitant The fact that the means are temporary, while the concomitant is eternal, does not change the fact that, in both cases, God has been proved unable to secure good without any admixture of evil: hence, according to the epicurean premise, he is not omnipotent; hence, there is no God.
In part one of “Answering the Charges” I explore Fisk Harris’s charge that Universalism and Atheism are identical. In this article I am not so much answering a charge against Universalism as agreeing with one of his charges against Calvinism. He writes:
The last chapter of D. Fisk Harris’s book Calvinism: Contrary to God’s Word and Man’s Moral Nature is titled “Calvinism an Ally of Universalism.” Quoting Dr. Fitch, he says:
Calvinist love to plead mystery. And rightly so. If their theology is correct, then God is indeed mysterious and the bible is the greatest mystery ever written, for it contains the story of a God who comes to destroy the devil—and yet preserves him forever; to put an end to sin—and yet keeps it alive eternally; to set creation free—and yet keeps it forever in chains; to save the world—and yet saves only a fraction; to draw all men—and yet draws only a few; to make all things new—and yet makes only some things new. It is the story of a God who commands us to love our enemies, yet hates His own; to forgive always, yet retains His wrath forever; to care for our children, yet abandons His. If Calvinism is true, then clearly the bible is a mystery.
In Richard Oerton's brilliant book The Nonsense of Free Will, he writes:
“I set out to write an anti-philosophical book; a “come on, get real, cut the crap and just look at this” sort of book; very nearly a “this isn't philosophy, this is common sense” sort of book. My intention, above all, was to bring the subject down to earth, in the hope that people who may know nothing of philosophy, but are open to reason and willing to think for themselves, will see the nonsensicality of what we call free will.” (Preface, P xii)
Theodicy may be defined as: The exercise of justifying God in the face of evil. Easier defined than done! So, how do you justify God in the face of evil? What are some of the possibilities? Well, I've given this subject a lot of thought and I pretty much know the choices by heart. As far as I'm concerned, there are really only three of them. There's the Arminian way, the Calvinist way, and the Universalist way.
The following excerpt is from a post that appears on the website Christian Universalism.
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.