Universalism: A Series of Short Essays

Starting tomorrow, I will begin a series of short essays presenting my argument for universalism. The argument is essentially my elaboration of Barth's doctrine of reconciliation, so I will quote liberally from Karl Barth's dogmatics and at some length. I have divided up the argument into paragraphs (§), and some paragraphs I have divided up into smaller posts for readability. I welcome comments along the way, although it is intended to be read in its entirety. This "argument" is not a systematic theology, but I will approach the subject in a systematic way by starting with a prolegomena, then discussing revelation, the doctrine of God, Christology, reconciliation and atonement, and eschatology.


Shane said…
What precisely do you mean by universalism? Is everybody going to heaven? Are there people who won't get to heaven, but who will be annihilated?--that's a sort of universalism. please say as exactly as possible what 'universal' means. I look forward to reading this.

Looking forward to this as well. To my understanding, Barth was often read as a universalist. Hunsinger argues against this reading, both in How to Read Karl Barth and in his essay "Hellfire and Damnation: 4 Ancient and Modern Views." Essentially, Barth's view inhabits the absurd space of grace and wrath that Scripture reflects. He tiptoes up to the cliff of universalism based on his reading of God's grace and Jesus Christ, yet cannot deny the existence of a THREAT of rejection based on other passages. Ever emphasizing the freedom of God, Barth elects holy silence, neither electing one way or the other, but (with Calvin) ever hoping that all will be saved.
I do read Barth as a universalist, because that's the only option his theology leaves open. Of course, what I do not present is any kind of purely rationalistic universalism which decrees what God must do; that simply runs against the entire theme of these posts: God alone decides what must take place. Humanity has nothing to do with the final outcome. However, what God will accomplish in the end has also been revealed in Jesus Christ. This is Barth's claim, and mine as well. I think Hunsinger is right to see the element of "reverent agnosticism," but no one should be ashamed of holding to universalism.