Universal Salvation?: The Current Debate

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Mar 25, 2004 - Religion - 291 pages
5 Reviews
Foreword by Gabriel Fackre Will God one day save all people through Christ s atoning work? That is the question at the heart of the debate in this volume — a debate sure to challenge readers, whatever their current perspective. Featuring evangelical writers of exceptional insight and sensitivity, Universal Salvation? offers a conversation worth everyone s attention. The volume opens with a rigorous three-part defense of Christian universalism by philosopher Thomas Talbott, who argues that Scripture teaches the ultimate salvation of all people, including those in hell. Gabriel Fackre in his foreword calls Talbott s work the most thoughtfully wrought argument for universalism to date from within the contemporary evangelical community. The rest of the book gathers incisive responses to Talbott by Christian scholars from different disciplines, who evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of Talbott s arguments, take his thought in new directions, or explain why they think he is mistaken. Talbott then responds to his critics. The aim of this volume is not to persuade people that universalism is true but to open up a fairer debate on a controversial subject of continuing importance to theologians and nontheologians alike. By exploring universal salvation from biblical, philosophical, theological, and historical perspectives, the book helps readers think through the issues more carefully than has been possible with resources previously available.
 

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A gem of a book, truly invaluable as to the many views regarding hell and whether it is indeed eternal.
A broad range of topics are covered, and while the language used is very scholarly I have to
admit, it adds to the genuine feel of the book, overall we get a sense that there was a lot of effort, thought and research behind all the views presented.
Personally I applaud Talbott for challenging this eternal hell theology. There is not enough questioning in this modern era regarding if hell is eternal or not and Talbott presents a clear, logical case on how the nature of God would not allow his creatures to be damned forever.
Being of no great intellectual quality myself, I have to admit it took me awhile to chew through, but I do believe it is valuable regardless if one has the patience. Truly, the reward is great if one can read with an open mind, and perhaps an open heart.
 

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Very good read. I enjoyed the format of the book as a debate on the subject of universal salvation. While still not convinced of the concept (I felt Talbott, in particular, seemed to make some assumptions in his argument that were not fully explained), it did cause me to think about the different sides of the debate, including my own, and has inspired me to reflect on and explore further the various positions on this subject. It, at the very least, allowed me to understand the biblical underpinings of the various views and the reasoning behind different views.  

Contents

V
3
VI
15
VII
32
VIII
53
IX
55
X
77
XI
103
XII
105
XV
145
XVI
169
XVII
189
XVIII
191
XIX
219
XX
245
XXI
247
XXII
274

XIII
125
XIV
143

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Page 3 - For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God - not the result of works, so that no one may boast.

About the author (2004)

Robin A. Parry is Acquisitions Editor at Wipf and Stock. His books include Old Testament Story and Christian Ethics, Universal Salvation? The Current Debate, and Worshipping Trinity: Coming Back to the Heart of Worship. For the latest thoughts from Parry, visit his blog, Theological Scribbles.

Professor of contemporary religion at Chester College, Chester, England.

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