In other words, Christ draws all men to himself and he died for every single person, offering them the gift of eternal life. But each person still has a choice, and some people will tragically refuse to accept Christ’s mercy and salvation. That is why the Church prays for the soul of anyone who has perished: because God is “not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).
If Hart’s universalism is true, then those who reject the gospel would cease to be “the lost” Jesus came to save (Luke 19:10) and become instead “the delayed,” who just have to wait a little longer for the heavenly rewards they rejected in life.
Sure, it’s up to a person to choose to believe in Christ to be saved. Yet, can any of our free will, if it does exist, go against the will of the LORD, who desires all people to be saved? Who desires all the people of all the nations to worship Him?
Rev. 15:4 "ALL nations shall come and worship You, for your judgments have been made manifested."
Look, the lost are still the lost. We were all the lost at one point, yet we were still referred to as the lost.
Luke 15:24 he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.
Look at this person! He was lost and then… was found! Now, did they go back and change the title to “the delayed”? The title is still “lost” here in translation. What it really means is that all people are lost area already delayed.
The evangelist who foolishly thinks universalism will make it easier to preach the gospel will see that without the “bad news” the “good news” isn’t taken seriously. On this view, Christianity becomes a faith that seeks to merely make “heaven on earth,” and by that point it’s nothing more than secular humanism playing dress-up on Sundays.
Contrary to Hart’s assertion, it is not the presence of hell that makes Christianity a “morally obtuse and logically incoherent faith”— it is its absence.
As a Christian Universalist evangelist, I’ve seen for myself that there are people who specifically become believers in Christ because I preach Universal Reconciliation. Like my friend can.of.soup on Discord, who became interested in what I was teaching on a Discord server because they saw that it was different from mainstream Christianity. The damage that infernalist Christianity has done to the world has resulted in many people not wanting to even talk about Christianity, because it slanders the nature of God. What sort of loving God tortures people in hell?
And how ironic, that this article posits that there must be “bad news”. Do they even know the meaning of the Gospel? Does not the Gospel refer to the good news? The good news is all good! Because it is the salvation of Christ! Now, does Christ have “bad” inside of Him, or is He only good? The Gospel is the good news of Christ! It is good because it is Christ!
Psalm 145:9 ESV The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.
That last point about “secular humanism” well, obviously, Christian Universalism is not secular humanism because it’s well... Christian. Not really an argument and more like name calling I’d say, since there’s no evidence to back it up.
Here’s what I replied to that post. For the sake of this article, I’ve added more commentary on to it.
Oh yeah, David Bentley Hart, I've listened to him on Christian Universalist videos, he's quite popular among Christian Universalists.
Oooooo ok , unfortunatley my friend we can already see a contradiction in your response because it mentions that in the third century, Origin argued for apokataasis, the uniting of all things, and then suddenly Richard Bauckham denies this and mentions that until the ninteteenth century almost all Christian theologians taught ECT.
Specifically, here's an entire ebook that you can read that debunks this notion that Christian Universalism did not exist until recently: http://www.mercyuponall.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Prevailing.pdf
from pdf page 183
Previous to A.D. 200 three different opinions were held among Christians–endless punishment, annihilation, and universal salvation; but, so far as the literature of the times shows, the subject was never one of controversy, and the last-named doctrine prevailed most ...
For a hundred and fifty years, A.D. 250 to 400, though Origen and his heresies on many points are frequently at- tacked and condemned, there is scarcely a whisper on record against his Universalism. On the other hand, to be called an Origenist was a high honor, from 260 to 290.
1 Corinthians 15:21 , you say, shows that only those in Christ shall be saved. We can see by extension that all people shall be in Christ. This is also an extension to your argument where you state that "This is talking about the salvation of all believers". All people shall become believers in Christ and thus all people shall be saved.
1 Corinthians 15:23 NIV But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.
Funnily enough, this concept is explained in the next verse following 1 Cor 15:22. In the beginning, there were people who were first fruits, but later, other people believed and were saved. Just because there are certain believers that are saved now does not mean that other believers following will be discluded. Otherwise, what about us, people who were born after Christ resurrected thousands of years later? If we're only including the first fruits as part of salvation then we end up discluded, which does not make sense. Therefore, all shall eventually believe, yes, even those post-mortem.
Psalm 16:10 BSBFor You will not abandon my soul to Sheol, nor will You let Your Holy One see decay.
Each person has a choice to believe in Christ, but, we see that it is also God's desire to have all people saved. We know that this choice is not something that expires, or becomes void just because of a random circumstance that is one's death.
In terms of the Catholic Church, it's ironic that "Catholic" means "Universal" however we know that the Roman Catholic Church also promotes the sacrements, works salvation, even though they are not biblical. So, personally, I believe in the view that the protestant reformation takes, where we should get all of our evidence from biblical scripture alone.
In terms of Christian Universalism being "secular humanism" well... this example kinda falls flat when you realize the following definition
1. of or relating to worldly as opposed to sacred things
Yet, we see that Christian Universalism indeed holds up what is most sacred, what is most divine, specifically the will of the LORD, His desire to have all people be saved, thus it is proven true as the most accurate depiction of the LORD God's desire, for people to live!
Ezekiel 18:32 ESV For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.”
God bless Johann my friend.