Religion paper - Damir Kaliyev Professor Schwarz REL 301 Apr 2nd 2016 In favor of universal reconciliation Soteriology is the branch of theology that

Religion paper - Damir Kaliyev Professor Schwarz REL 301...

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Damir KaliyevProfessor SchwarzREL 301Apr 2nd 2016In favor of universal reconciliationSoteriology is the branch of theology that studies religious doctrines of salvation.Within Christianity three soteriological approaches are recognized: the Calvinist and Arminian positions,which are held by significant pluralities of Christians,and the universalist approach or the approach of universal reconciliation,which is currently advocated only by a minority but is steadily growing in popularity.In this paper I will arguehow universal reconciliation is a valid soteriological position to stake out logically,biblically,theologically and morally.Now what is universal reconciliation/universalism? It is the belief that all human souls,in one way or another,will be reconciled with God in heaven.It states that because divine love and mercy is so great,no sinner will be left unsaved.Universalism has been argued for from the earliest days of the Church.The influential 2nd-century church father Origen,a student of Clement of Alexandria,was such a strong proponent that he believed even the devil would be reconciled to God.Unfortunately,his writings were deemed heretical at the Synod of Constantinople convened in 543 because of his support of Universalism and several other unorthodox ideas,like the preexistence of the soul (the soul is created prior to conception) and subordinationism (the Holy Spirit and God the Son are not equal,but subordinate to God the Father).After Origen,another universalist proponent
of antiquity was the 4th-century Gregory of Nyssa. Gregory argued that when Paul says thatGod will be "all in all" (1 Cor.15:28),this means that though some may need to wait a long time of purification,eventually "no being will remain outside the number of the saved" and that "no being created by God will fall outside the Kingdom of God".Since the earliest centuries,many other Christians have been draw to universalism due to its radical vision of the love of God.The mystic Julian of Norwich in her Revelations of the Divine Loveis an example.In more recent eras,Christian writers such as George McDonald and C.S.Lewis wrote pieces sympathetic to universalism (his bookThe Great Divorce).Thomas Talbott,an evangelical scholar,published a book in 2003 titled Universal Salvation?: The Current Debate.In it he posited three propositions,all of which are biblicallysupported yet one cannot consider true at the same time: 1.God is totally sovereign over human destinies.2.God is entirely loving and wills that all people be reconciled to Him in relationship.3.Most people will experience endless,conscious torment in Hell.These threestatements provide an easy way to explain the differences between Calvinism,Arminianismand Universalism.

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