Universalism: Its Distortions and Dangers

There has been in recent years a resurgence of universalism as a theological option among Christians. Perhaps it is the pluralism of our day, the rise of postmodernism with its debunking of truth, the speed of communication via the internet, the challenges of living Christianly in an increasingly polarized world, and general biblical illiteracy in the West that have contributed to the new appeal of universalism.

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The 21 Statements by Which to Identify Universalism in The Shack

All of the following statements, unless otherwise identified, come from the mouth of Papa (who fills the role of God in the novel and in the film).

  1. “The first aspect of God is never that of the absolute Master, the Almighty. It is that of the God who puts himself on our human level and limits himself” (from p. 88).This statement, to say the least, is over stated. God has revealed himself both as being Almighty, as transcendent, as beyond us in omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. Yet he also is One who desires a deep relationship with his people, as being immanent or close to them.

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8 Questions for the Fiction of Universalism

The Shack by William P. Young
The Last Word and the Word After That by Brian McLaren
Love Wins by Rob Bell

  1. What’s all the fuss about? This literature is just fiction isn’t it?Yet this fiction is decidedly theological fiction.  These writers explicitly affirm the theology of it. It seeks to advocate a particular, newer view of God, the Trinity, the meaning of sin, reconciliation, the judgment, hell and punishment, the church and other institutions (government, marriage, etc.).

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