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Author Topic: universal salvation  (Read 2890 times) Average Rating: 0
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djrak
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« on: July 15, 2005, 03:44:01 PM »

hey, i'm having a discussion with a UR guy on another forum and this is what he posted, what do you think/suggest? Undecided

the condemnation of the unbelievers only lasts for the ages. When Christ abolishes death, the last enemy done away with, the ages will end. At the consummation of the ages, Christ will subject Himself to the Father, having already perfected all other things, including stubborn men's wills so that God may be all in all.

God uses judgment, condemnation, fire etc.. I can't say it any better than it has been said here:

GOD HAS A GOAL*
by Adolph E. Knoch

GOD HAS A GOAL. He intends to become All in all His creatures (1 Cor.15 Twentyeight). He will accomplish this by way of reconciling all His enemies by the blood of Christ's cross, by justifying, vivifying, and saving all mankind at the consummation (Col.1:20; Rom.5:18; 1 Cor.15:22; 1 Tim 2:4; 4:10).

But before this there is a long and painful preparatory process, a weary way which leads His creatures to this consummation, much of which is as dark and distressing as the goal is bright and filled with blessing.

Almost all of us are short-sighted. We see a part of the way but we do not see the end. We confuse the going with the goal. Our translations are partly to blame, for they fail to clearly mark the fleeting nature of the process, as it is in the original. And if an honest attempt is made to carry this across in a concordant version, it clashes with our conventions and our hard hearts.

God grant that we may faithfully witness, in our renderings, when God reveals a fact, and when it is only a temporary process, for this He has clearly indicated in the original.

Judgment is God's strange work. He uses it on the way. Men make it the end. No matter how an unbeliever is dealt with, whether he dies as a result of sin, or by the direct intervention of God, whether he be cast into outer darkness or into Gehenna, this is not his end.

All who do not belong to Christ will be roused from the dead and judged before the great white throne. There they are not forgiven, or saved, but judged. But this is not their end. All these will be cast into the lake of fire, to suffer the second death. Even this is not their end. God does not reach His goal in any of His disciplinary measures. These only prepare His creatures for it. Let us not confuse the going with the goal.

Very little is said to us about God's goal until Paul completes the orbit of God's Word with his later revelations. Hints there have always been by which hearts in tune with God have been filled with high hopes. But it is not until the meridian sun of God's grace has come from behind the clouds of sin and law, to reveal the deepest recesses of God's immanent love to the most undeserving of the race, it is not until the truth for the present was made known that God tore aside the veil of the future completely, and gave us a clear and unclouded view of His ultimate. Once we revel in this we will never go back to previous revelation on this theme, for like the curtain of the tabernacle, it seems to hide, rather than reveal the full blaze of the Shekinah glory.

The usual way is to view the goal in the darkness of the way. We go back to passages which deal with judgments and allow them to throw their dark shadows across the consummation. We should believe that God will justify all mankind (Romans Five Eighteen), and view the previous judgments in the light of this final achievement. We bring up passages which tell of death, to darken God's declaration that it (death) will be abolished. We should believe that God will make death inoperative at the last, and view the previous passages in this glorious light.

We turn to texts which prove that unbelievers will be lost or destroyed, and, with these passages, dim the great declaration that God wills the salvation of all. We should illumine them with the later and higher revelation. We find God's enemies in the fiery lake at what seems to be the close of revelation, and misuse this fact to deny God's declaration that all will be reconciled (Col.1:20). We should not take one to destroy the other, but believe both, for reconciliation follows estrangement, and it alone accords with God's final goal.

How perverse and blind have we often been! When God says all, we have said some. When God speaks of a very small fraction of mankind, such as the living nations who stand before Christ to be judged according to their treatment of Israel--a mere handful as compared with all mankind--then we extend their sentence to all! Faith has almost fled from the earth. What calls itself faith is mostly a masquerade, for it refuses God's Word for the traditions of men, yet insists that it is genuine.Let us allow the light of the latest revelation to illumine the earlier, partial unfolding, and let us not use the earlier to eclipse the latest, the highest, and the only complete unveiling of God's mind and heart.

Why should we be Jonahs, sitting under our withered gourd, furious because God does not fulfill the word which we have proclaimed. What about the truthfulness of God's Word? Must it not be upheld? Would it not make God a liar if He repented and did not overturn Nineveh in forty days? The idea that God has a heart as well as a mouth, and had compassion on the creatures He had made was heresy in Jonah's eyes. Are we not far worse than Jonah? He actually had to take back God's express declaration. We need only retract our own false inferences from it, dictated by a heart altogether out of harmony with His loving goal, which our dim eyes have failed to discern, even though it is written in letters of gold across the horizon of the far off future, and is clearly visible to every heart which has been humbled by His grace, and which beats in unison with His love. God grant that we are no Jonahs!

[*Originally an untitled Editorial in January 1935 Unsearchable Riches]

these guys obviously interpret Revelations in a wrong way? I'm not an expert especially when it comes to the book of Revelations, any thoughts?
« Last Edit: July 15, 2005, 03:46:24 PM by djrak » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2005, 12:26:27 AM »

anyone? Embarrassed
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2005, 03:46:43 AM »

The problem with universalism is not their view of God, for this is a virtue the Universalists have that is lacking in the theology of the Reformers or even the Latins. The problem with Universalism is that for their end to be realized, God must usurp the Free Will of Humanity. If we cannot choose between heaven or hell, we are condemned to heaven, rather than liberated from hell, without any freedom in the matter. The image of God in man is effaced, free will becomes meaningless, for man no longer has a Choice.

That all things return to the One, I do not object to; to insist this return must be heaven is to ignore the freedom of man, some may prefer to be appart from the One, and His presence only brings suffering without joy.
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2005, 04:07:05 AM »

The problem with universalism is not their view of God, for this is a virtue the Universalists have that is lacking in the theology of the Reformers or even the Latins. The problem with Universalism is that for their end to be realized, God must usurp the Free Will of Humanity. If we cannot choose between heaven or hell, we are condemned to heaven, rather than liberated from hell, without any freedom in the matter. The image of God in man is effaced, free will becomes meaningless, for man no longer has a Choice.

That all things return to the One, I do not object to; to insist this return must be heaven is to ignore the freedom of man, some may prefer to be appart from the One, and His presence only brings suffering without joy.
they agree with you to some extent but believe that after all who are not in Christ are tormennted, God will bring them back to Him in heaven, after the 1000 years mentioned in Revelations. kind of like the purgatory of the catholics but for non-believers.
i personally think this is absurd since Jesus himself said it in the parable of the 10 virgins and talents in matthew 25 that the door will not be openned. and i think when it's all over time will cease to exist and there will no more be any time to go back and repent. You might say everything is possible for God, But God is also just,, and you might answr but His justice is above ours and He is mercyful....it's a never ending thing.
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2005, 12:12:33 PM »

anyone? Embarrassed


Universal salvation has become really big with post modern evangelicals.  ÃƒÆ’‚  I guess in rethinking the assumptions and foundationalism etc, this was bound to come up.


I sort of see this as being "So open minded that your brain falls out".


although it interesting some quotes from some saints.  ÃƒÆ’‚  Most notably St. Isaac the Syrian, can sound a little like universal salvation.    And certainly historic big "O"rthodoxy, is more "generous" than many Protestant soteriolgies, like Calvinism etc.
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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2005, 12:26:47 PM »

Sometimes I think the issue with some folks is that they confuse Universal Resurrection with Universal Salvation. We all will be returned to our bodies to face Christ; however, as we know some of us will be told to depart from Him.

From my past discussions on Universal Salvation it is as if some people focus so hard on the return to their bodies that they believe that's all there is for them. However, if you do not understand salvation as a process of theosis, what else is there?
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« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2005, 06:12:48 PM »

they agree with you to some extent but believe that after all who are not in Christ are tormennted, God will bring them back to Him in heaven, after the 1000 years mentioned in Revelations. kind of like the purgatory of the catholics but for non-believers.

Then free will is extended for another 1000 years, but in the end we are condemned to heaven without a choice. If you only give someone one choice, you're not giving them any choice. If man is to be free, there has to be the opportunity for him to turn away from God as well as towards God. If man is to be free, and in the Image and Likeness of God for all of Eternity, this Opportunity must remain for all eternity...thus there must always be the opportunity to turn from God, there must always be Hell. And from Theological experience, it would seem that some will take the Option of Hell over Heaven, and will, because of their pride and hatred, maintain this orientation for all of eternity, Satan bein a primary Example.
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« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2005, 10:46:32 PM »

â€Â  Irini nem ehmot â€Â

Didn't Master Origen hint at universal salvation and St. Gregory of Nyssa expand on it (or was it St. Gregory Nazianzus?)?
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« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2005, 11:34:41 PM »

â€Â  Irini nem ehmot â€Â

Didn't Master Origen hint at universal salvation and St. Gregory of Nyssa expand on it (or was it St. Gregory Nazianzus?)?

Though St. Gregory the Theologian hinted towards it, it was St. Gregory fo Nyssa that embraced and expanded upon it.
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« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2005, 12:30:09 AM »

Ah.  Thank you for the clarification.

Prayers please.
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« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2005, 06:02:05 AM »

I sort of see this as being "So open minded that your brain falls out".
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« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2005, 08:11:31 AM »

Having read Revelation far too many times to be healthy, I have to seriously disagree with that article. It pretty much contradicts 85% of what Revelation says about the end of the world, the last judgement, and the rising from the dead.  I noted one particularly disturbing part in there that says: "All who do not belong to Christ will be roused from the dead and judged before the great white throne. There they are not forgiven, or saved, but judged. But this is not their end." During a liturgy on the day of a funeral or during a memorial liturgy, there is an epistle reading which essentially talks about this in a nice concise paragraph. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Note particularly the part that states that the dead in Christ will rise first (not just the unjust, but all the dead). And it continues that we who are alive... caught up together to meet the Lord.... So not only will the dead be brought up, but also the living. Once this occurs, the account states: We shall always be with the Lord. The just will stay and the unjust will go, but there is no second chance after that.

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« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2005, 05:48:09 AM »

damn, 11 pages deep in this discusion and it doesb=nt seem to get anywhere, these people are really brainwashed  :'(
i guess i have to give up Undecided
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« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2005, 12:14:34 PM »

The points here seem well made, all of them Consonant with the Patristic witness, It's just that the Patristic witness is not consonant with itself on this matter. There are some who believe in a Literal Hell, others who don't; Some who believe in a Universal Salvation, others who believe in a VERY Limited Salvation; Some who believe in self-condemnation others who believe in a Judgemental God; Some who believe in Salvation after Death, others who don't. It is a complex and philosophical question that I'm guessing most here don't want to take the time to properly engage (Though I have spent alot of time reading on the Subject, from Plato of St. Isaac the Syrian, I'm not very confident engaging the topic).
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« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2005, 04:20:59 AM »

My Driving instructor told me two very important rules.

1. When in doubt pause.
2. Do not do what others do, do what you know is right.

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« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2011, 11:23:55 AM »

OP...
I agree with the article, inasmuch that, God DOES have a purpose and he is jealous for his creation... but let me put a little spin on something here. If the soul of an un repentant heart which is still at enmity with God is so fully loved by God would that not cause a burning hotter than hell itself? think of a time when someone you truly dislike does something for you you despise it/them even more (by nature at least) The problem i think is that as a protestant i was taught Hell is the absence of God and everything good, I never agreed with that but thats protestant (and maybe western?) thought. However the truth is that hell is an unrepentant heart who utterly hates God being loved by God with the fullness of his presence...

2 Thess 1:9 "These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,"

KJ and NKJ are the only translations that have properly translated this verse I will explain why. The word "from" there is Greek word apo. it is used 671 times in the new testament, only once is it translated as "away" in most translations (this verse) all other times its translated as: from (412), of (40), by (24), on (12), From (11), with (10), etc..
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« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2011, 11:30:14 AM »

The points here seem well made, all of them Consonant with the Patristic witness, It's just that the Patristic witness is not consonant with itself on this matter. There are some who believe in a Literal Hell, others who don't; Some who believe in a Universal Salvation, others who believe in a VERY Limited Salvation; Some who believe in self-condemnation others who believe in a Judgemental God; Some who believe in Salvation after Death, others who don't. It is a complex and philosophical question that I'm guessing most here don't want to take the time to properly engage (Though I have spent alot of time reading on the Subject, from Plato of St. Isaac the Syrian, I'm not very confident engaging the topic).
now i haven't studied the fathers who believed in universal salvation, but i have heard of it. I was under the impression they never actually taught it as concrete but rather that we should be like moses praying for God to have mercy in hopes that he will... am i wrong?
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« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2011, 12:00:05 PM »

i haven't studied the fathers who believed in universal salvation, but i have heard of it. I was under the impression they never actually taught it as concrete but rather that we should be like moses praying for God to have mercy in hopes that he will... am i wrong?

You are right and your heart is in the right place.   The best way this has ever been stated is by Saint Maximus the Confessor:

One should pray that Apokatastasis (Universal Salvation) is true, but one would be foolish to teach it.
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« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2013, 12:25:29 PM »

they agree with you to some extent but believe that after all who are not in Christ are tormennted, God will bring them back to Him in heaven, after the 1000 years mentioned in Revelations. kind of like the purgatory of the catholics but for non-believers.

Then free will is extended for another 1000 years, but in the end we are condemned to heaven without a choice. If you only give someone one choice, you're not giving them any choice. If man is to be free, there has to be the opportunity for him to turn away from God as well as towards God. If man is to be free, and in the Image and Likeness of God for all of Eternity, this Opportunity must remain for all eternity...thus there must always be the opportunity to turn from God, there must always be Hell. And from Theological experience, it would seem that some will take the Option of Hell over Heaven, and will, because of their pride and hatred, maintain this orientation for all of eternity, Satan bein a primary Example.

since when is heaven a condemnation? I would rather be in heaven against my will, than hell because of my will.
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« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2013, 12:33:00 PM »

The points here seem well made, all of them Consonant with the Patristic witness, It's just that the Patristic witness is not consonant with itself on this matter. There are some who believe in a Literal Hell, others who don't; Some who believe in a Universal Salvation, others who believe in a VERY Limited Salvation; Some who believe in self-condemnation others who believe in a Judgemental God; Some who believe in Salvation after Death, others who don't. It is a complex and philosophical question that I'm guessing most here don't want to take the time to properly engage (Though I have spent alot of time reading on the Subject, from Plato of St. Isaac the Syrian, I'm not very confident engaging the topic).

Which of all ths is the truth though.?
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« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2013, 12:50:26 PM »

they agree with you to some extent but believe that after all who are not in Christ are tormennted, God will bring them back to Him in heaven, after the 1000 years mentioned in Revelations. kind of like the purgatory of the catholics but for non-believers.

Then free will is extended for another 1000 years, but in the end we are condemned to heaven without a choice. If you only give someone one choice, you're not giving them any choice. If man is to be free, there has to be the opportunity for him to turn away from God as well as towards God. If man is to be free, and in the Image and Likeness of God for all of Eternity, this Opportunity must remain for all eternity...thus there must always be the opportunity to turn from God, there must always be Hell. And from Theological experience, it would seem that some will take the Option of Hell over Heaven, and will, because of their pride and hatred, maintain this orientation for all of eternity, Satan bein a primary Example.

since when is heaven a condemnation? I would rather be in heaven against my will, than hell because of my will.
Smiley  even so tweety, the point being made is in the importance of our will being free, for us to remain human. we are not entering into some kind of  a house or a palace per se lol , we are entering into the very life of the Holy Trinity through Grace. there can only be the giving of oneself out of Love not out of coercion.

besides let me ask you.. can you force someone to love you? and if that someone was to do what you will against their will , will you be content if you truly love them? if you love them you will let them choose freely and go where they will even if it pains you deeply to do so even if it means they chose a life filled with pain and suffering in going away from you. even this is infinitely simplified  and does not address the complexity that's inherent in the subject .
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« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2013, 02:45:02 PM »

they agree with you to some extent but believe that after all who are not in Christ are tormennted, God will bring them back to Him in heaven, after the 1000 years mentioned in Revelations. kind of like the purgatory of the catholics but for non-believers.

Then free will is extended for another 1000 years, but in the end we are condemned to heaven without a choice. If you only give someone one choice, you're not giving them any choice. If man is to be free, there has to be the opportunity for him to turn away from God as well as towards God. If man is to be free, and in the Image and Likeness of God for all of Eternity, this Opportunity must remain for all eternity...thus there must always be the opportunity to turn from God, there must always be Hell. And from Theological experience, it would seem that some will take the Option of Hell over Heaven, and will, because of their pride and hatred, maintain this orientation for all of eternity, Satan bein a primary Example.

since when is heaven a condemnation? I would rather be in heaven against my will, than hell because of my will.

How could that even happen?
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« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2013, 03:56:00 PM »

Can someone remain in hell against his/her will?
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« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2013, 04:14:27 PM »

Can someone remain in hell against his/her will?

I suppose the answer to that depends on whether or not we have free will after death.

Isn't it, ultimately, one's will that gets them to hell?
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« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2013, 07:19:26 PM »

Can someone remain in hell against his/her will?

after death whether heaven or hell is against your will anyway.
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« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2013, 08:47:05 PM »

Quote
O Lord, Lover of men, is this bed to be my coffin, or wilt Thou enlighten my wretched soul with another day? Here the coffin lies before me, and here death confronts me. I fear, O Lord, Thy Judgment and the endless torments, yet I cease not to do evil. My Lord God, I continually anger Thee, and Thy immaculate Mother, and all the Heavenly Powers, and my holy Guardian Angel. I know, O Lord, that I am unworthy of Thy love, but deserve condemnation and every torment. But, whether I want it or not, save me, O Lord. For to save a good man is no great thing, and to have mercy on the pure is nothing wonderful, for they are worthy of Thy mercy. But show the wonder of Thy mercy on me, a sinner. In this reveal Thy love for men, lest my wickedness prevail over Thy unutterable goodness and mercy. And order my life as Thou wilt.

-- St. John of Damascus

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« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2013, 01:12:16 AM »

For what it is worth, here is Prof. Jean-Claude Larchet's treatment of the question in one of the later chapters of his book 'Life after Death according to the Orthodox Tradition' (with minor typographical errors corrected & sans scriptural, patristic and other references, as I regret I cannot bear even thinking of transcribing all of the footnotes!) Hopefully, it helps.:

"THE QUESTION OF THE APOCATASTASIS. The foregoing objection and response allude to a subject debated long and hard in the Church: the apocatastasis.
     The theory of the apocatastasis (that is to say the universal restoration to a primal state) was chiefly defended by Origen and by the so-called 'Origenist' current. It was also upheld by St. Gregory of Nyssa, but under a more temperate and ambiguous form to such a point that his position could be interpreted in an orthodox sense by some ancient and modern authors. It has likewise tempted, under various forms and in different eras, certain Christian thinkers to whom the idea if an eternal hell seems incompatible with God's sovereign goodness.
     
     According to this theory, hell is not eternal; all those confined there, including the devil and the demons, will be ultimately saved and glorified.
     
     This theory has remained however quite marginal. It has given rise to critiques by numerous Fathers, before and after having been officially condemned by the Church, along with all the other Origenist errors, during the Fifth Ecumenical Council (Constantinople II) in 553.
     
     With the exception of Origen and his disciples, all the Fathers teach the eternity of the pains of hell and the eternity of the condition of those who will suffer them.
     
     One of the chief objections voiced to the assertion of hell's eternity is that the latter is incompatible with the existence of a good and merciful God. However, the origin of hell is not, as we have seen, God's will, but the will of the devil, the demons and certain people. Hell, like evil, is not a positive ontological reality; it has only a privative existence; it exists for those subject to it only as the absence of the benefits of the Kingdom, only because of a rejection of God. By this very fact it has not been created by God. As for its eternity, it follows from the possibility of the devil's, the demons' and men's free choice to persist in evil and reject right to the end God's eternal and uncreated grace. Bessarion of Nicæa affirms: "The justice of eternal punishment becomes apparent above all in the irrevocable disposition of the unruly will of sinners, for to the will's eternal perversion is due an eternal punishment."
   
      This argument from angelic and human freedom, upon which the goodness of God refuses to impose itself because He respects it right to the end in its choices and their consequences, the worst included, has been brought to the fore by several Fathers, St. Maximus for one, and logically follows moreover from the previously explained notion of hell.
     
     Two objections remain: 1) how can it be asserted that hell will exist as a continuation of Hades, whereas nothing is final concerning the future of those abiding there before the Last Judgment? 2) how can we, a priori, consider the choice of those found in hell to be final?
     
     As to the second objection, it must be recalled that a person no longer has the possibility of repenting or modifying his choice not only after the Last Judgment, but after the moment of his death, and that, between the moment of death and the Last Judgment, it is only the prayers of the Church, the saints, and the other faithful who are able to obtain from God a change in his condition. That surely limits the freedom of a person, but we know in advance that out freedom will be limited in this way and must make our choices accordingly. The warnings of the Fathers are, moreover, aimed at this, and this is also one of the teachings of the Gospel parable of poor Lazarus and the wicked rich man.
     
     To the first objection we reply that the affirmation of the eternity of hell rests on the teaching of Christ Himself. This teaching rests on the foreknowledge He has, insofar as God, about what the future life will be.
     
     The rejection of the theory of the apocatastasis does not prevent the Church and its members from praying that all might be saved. But there is a twofold difference between this attitude and adherence to the theory of apocatastasis. On the one hand, the latter affirms the certainty of universal salvation, while the former only desires it, wishes it, hopes for it, without having any certainty that this will be realized. On the other hand, in the present situation – and this being until the Last Judgment – the condition of no one abiding in Hades can be seen as absolutely final. Therefore it is perfectly legitimate to hope for the salvation of all and to pray to God for this to be realized."

Of course, this chapter really needs to be digested within the full context of the book (with scriptural and patristic citations intact) since it provides much necessary background on Patristic anthropology and teachings concerning the intermediate state between death and the Last Judgment, as well as teaching on what heaven and hell actually are (i.e.: states of being- relative to God and his grace, as well as in relation to one's neighbors and to one's self made in the Image of God- as opposed to literal places.)

But from the sounds of it, your interlocutor would not be convinced by the testimony of the Fathers and their exegesis of scriptures and would perhaps demand evidence from scripture alone?
Logged

Where Christianity disappears, greed, envy, and lust invent a thousand ideologies to justify themselves.~ Nicolás Gómez Dávila

Abba Anthony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"
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