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The Evangelical Universalist
The Biblical hope that Godís love will save us all
by Gregory MacDonald
Publisher:SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
I have long been convinced that if hell exists, then it must be empty. Until now that view has been grounded in my understanding and experience of the irresistible nature of God's love, rather than thought-through theology. Put simply, why would anyone face to face with the love of God in judgement reject such love for all eternity?
With the publication of The Evangelical Universalist (first published in 2006 and now available with useful Appendixes) my instinctive belief in universal redemption and reconciliation has found clear scriptural authority. From Creation to Revelation, Gregory MacDonald (a pseudonym for Robin Parry) maps out a Christian Universalist position whose Biblical basis is both convincing and consistent.
To believe that God not only can save everyone but also will save everyone, removes fear as a reason to believe and that is surely a good thing. It might be argued however that universalism is essentially hedonistic in that it removes all reasons to believe. Is that to take too cynical a view of human nature? Might universalism yet become a nail in the coffin of the church?
There are many shades of universalism as with any strand of theology and MacDonald's particular position might be termed orthodox or conservative in that it is certainly not pluralist in outlook and is fiercely Christocentric. Therein perhaps lies its strength. Evangelicalism in the west is changing dramatically at present and MacDonald's contribution to this is significant.
Reviewer: David Ford (02/04/13)