Author Topic: That All Shall Be Saved  (Read 798 times)

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Offline Iconodule

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That All Shall Be Saved
« on: September 23, 2019, 09:53:31 AM »
Since several people have mentioned that they are reading, or about to read, David Bentley Hart's That All Shall Be Saved, I thought it would be worth its own thread. I myself just got it over the weekend and am a few pages in.
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Offline Agabus

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2019, 10:44:29 AM »
I will join in. As I said in the other thread, I have it but have not had a chance to open it yet. I will be remedying that soon, though.
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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2019, 02:58:57 PM »
For those wondering, here's his position on the most popular form of universalism in Orthodoxy today:

Quote
Before addressing any of these issues or figures, however, I want to make it absolutely clear  that I approach these meditations not as a seeker tentatively and timidly groping his way toward some anxious, uncertain, fragile hope. Unlike, say, the great Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988), I would not think it worth the trouble to argue, as he does that--given the paradoxes and seemingly irreconcilable pronouncements of scriptures on the final state of all things--Christians may be allowed to dare to hope for the salvation of all. In fact, I have very small patience for this kind of "hopeful universalism," as it is often called. As far as I am concerned, anyone who hopes for universal reconciliation of creatures with God must already believe that this would be the best possible ending to the Christian story; and such a person has then no excuse for imagining that God could bring any but the best possible ending to pass without thereby bring in some sense a failed creator. The position I want to attempt to argue, therefore, to see how well it holds together, is far more extreme: to wit, that, if Christianity is in any way true, Christians dare not doubt the salvation of all, and that any understanding of what God accomplished in Christ that does not include the assurance of a final apokatastasis in which all things created are redeemed and joined to God is ultimately entirely incoherent and unworthy of rational faith. This is an exorbitant and insolent claim, I realize, and I would not make it if I did not earnestly believe every alternative view of the matter to be ultimately unsustainable.

-- David Bentley Hart, That All Shall Be Saved, pp. 66-67
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Offline Brilko

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2019, 03:56:10 PM »
“As far as I am concerned, anyone who hopes for universal reconciliation of creatures with God must already believe that this would be the best possible ending to the Christian story; and such a person has then no excuse for imagining that God could bring any but the best possible ending to pass without thereby bring in some sense a failed creator.”

Or one might have enough humility to know that a mere mortal might not know what the best possible ending is.


Offline Iconodule

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2019, 09:47:17 AM »
“As far as I am concerned, anyone who hopes for universal reconciliation of creatures with God must already believe that this would be the best possible ending to the Christian story; and such a person has then no excuse for imagining that God could bring any but the best possible ending to pass without thereby bring in some sense a failed creator.”

Or one might have enough humility to know that a mere mortal might not know what the best possible ending is.

If a mere mortal can know what good is, then a mere mortal can distinguish between outcomes that are more or less compatible with the good. And if the response is, "Who are you to measure God by human standards of good?" then there is an unwarranted detachment of good as known in creatures and the One who is the Good in essence. As Hart says,
Quote
Submission to a morally unintelligible narrative of God's dealings with his creatures would be a kind of epistemic nihilism, reducing the act of fidelity to God to a brutishly obstinate infidelity to reason (whose substance, again, is God himself). Submission of that kind could not be sincere, because it would make "true faith" and "bad faith"- devotion to truth and betrayal of truth- one and the same thing.

I think it's also worth noting that the pro-eternal torment apologetics that invoke humility, the limits of human reason, also employ rationalizations that are extremely speculative- about "free will", about justice, about the soul and eternity, etc.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2019, 09:49:46 AM by Iconodule »
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Mencius said, “Instruction makes use of many techniques. When I do not deign to instruct someone, that too is a form of instruction.”

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Offline Ainnir

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2019, 10:26:09 AM »
Does he answer the question: then what's the point of cooperating with grace?  I'm curious to see how he nuances that.  Or does he relegate all the stubbornly saved to the category of eleventh hour workers?
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no idea, so there’s that.

Offline Iconodule

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2019, 10:42:19 AM »
Does he answer the question: then what's the point of cooperating with grace?  I'm curious to see how he nuances that.  Or does he relegate all the stubbornly saved to the category of eleventh hour workers?

I'm about 50 pages in; he will probably address the question directly later on, but he's already made the point that, without grace, we are experiencing hell, right now. Torment underlies the illusory good we pursue by sin, and intensifies and entrenches the more we attach ourselves to this sin. So the question is, do I want to get out of hell now, or later?
“Steel isn't strong, boy, flesh is stronger! That is strength, boy! That is power! What is steel compared to the hand that wields it?  Contemplate this on the tree of woe.” - Elder Thulsa Doom of the Mountain of Power

Mencius said, “Instruction makes use of many techniques. When I do not deign to instruct someone, that too is a form of instruction.”

Come look at my lame blog

Offline Gloria Tibi Trinitas

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2019, 12:19:29 PM »
Does he answer the question: then what's the point of cooperating with grace?  I'm curious to see how he nuances that.  Or does he relegate all the stubbornly saved to the category of eleventh hour workers?

I'm about 50 pages in; he will probably address the question directly later on, but he's already made the point that, without grace, we are experiencing hell, right now. Torment underlies the illusory good we pursue by sin, and intensifies and entrenches the more we attach ourselves to this sin. So the question is, do I want to get out of hell now, or later?

What if those who go to hell never want to get out?

Offline Iconodule

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2019, 12:39:00 PM »
Does he answer the question: then what's the point of cooperating with grace?  I'm curious to see how he nuances that.  Or does he relegate all the stubbornly saved to the category of eleventh hour workers?

I'm about 50 pages in; he will probably address the question directly later on, but he's already made the point that, without grace, we are experiencing hell, right now. Torment underlies the illusory good we pursue by sin, and intensifies and entrenches the more we attach ourselves to this sin. So the question is, do I want to get out of hell now, or later?

What if those who go to hell never want to get out?

The doors of hell are locked from within, right? This argument is considered too. I would strongly suggest getting a hold of the book and reading it yourself.
“Steel isn't strong, boy, flesh is stronger! That is strength, boy! That is power! What is steel compared to the hand that wields it?  Contemplate this on the tree of woe.” - Elder Thulsa Doom of the Mountain of Power

Mencius said, “Instruction makes use of many techniques. When I do not deign to instruct someone, that too is a form of instruction.”

Come look at my lame blog

Offline hecma925

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2019, 01:37:46 PM »
How does anyone know if the doors are locked from the inside?
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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2019, 01:46:30 PM »
FWIW, an audiobook version seems to be available for ~15€ from Google Play Store. Suprisingly low price for such a new book. Link below.

https://play.google.com/store/audiobooks/details/David_Bentley_Hart_That_All_Shall_Be_Saved?id=AQAAAECsHExc8M&hl=en

Offline Iconodule

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2019, 12:53:35 PM »
Hart makes a pretty striking argument that, in "infernalist" theology, salvation hinges on the sacrifice of the damned more than that of Christ. Assuming even one soul is eternally damned,

…no matter how we understand the fate of that single wretched soul in relation to  God's intentions, no account of the divine decision to create out of nothingness can make its propriety morally intelligible.

This is obvious, of course, in predestinarian systems, since from their bleak perspective, manifestly, that poor, ridiculous, but tragically conscious puppet who has been consigned to the abyss exists for no other purpose than the ghastly spectacle of divine sovereignty. But, then, for the redeemed, each of whom might just as well have been denied efficacious grace had God so pleased, who is that wretch who endures God’s final wrath, forever and ever, other than their surrogate, their redeemer, the one who suffers in their stead—their Christ? … Compared to that unspeakable offering, that interminable and abominable oblation of infinite misery, what would the cross of Christ be? How would it be diminished for us? And to what? A bad afternoon? A temporary indisposition of the infinite? And what would the mystery of God becoming man in order to effect a merely partial rescue of created order be, as compared to the far deeper mystery of a worthless man becoming the suffering god upon whose perpetual holocaust the entire order of creation finally depends?


Hart then goes on to argue that the same horrible conclusion also follows from non-predestinarian models of eternal damnation.
“Steel isn't strong, boy, flesh is stronger! That is strength, boy! That is power! What is steel compared to the hand that wields it?  Contemplate this on the tree of woe.” - Elder Thulsa Doom of the Mountain of Power

Mencius said, “Instruction makes use of many techniques. When I do not deign to instruct someone, that too is a form of instruction.”

Come look at my lame blog

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2019, 04:56:52 PM »
Does he answer the question: then what's the point of cooperating with grace?  I'm curious to see how he nuances that.  Or does he relegate all the stubbornly saved to the category of eleventh hour workers?

I think it's pretty much like Iconodule said. For Hart all of humanity is to be saved and always was meant to be (going back to the Genesis 1-2 text), it's just a matter of when for each of us--and what the condition of our soul will be as we progress/experience whatever.

Quote
Certainly nothing in the genuine thought of Origen suggests that our conduct in this life does not matter; he certainly believed in and dreaded the torments of that refining and restoring fire that he believed awaits practically all of us. Frankly, anyone who thinks that what we do in this life can be "serious" only insofar as it figures into some sublimely fatuous game of chance, whose final stakes are absolutely all or nothing, suffers from a tragically diminutive moral imagination. It was precisely the absence of the banality of an eternal hell in Origen's thought that allowed him to believe that all of life and all of creation have a meaning, one immeasurably richer and more ravishing than some tawdry final division between the winners and losers of the game of history: the fullness of reality that will be achieved when all being is perfectly united to God, and God is all in all. For Origen 1 Corinthians 15 was the great key to the whole of the Christian mystery.

-- David Bentley Hart, That All Shall Be Saved, p. 161

Hart also sees it as an inevitability that all souls will seek grace eventually anyway, of their own accord (because they'll be drawn to it by the prompting of God).

Quote
He [Gregory of Nyssa] accepted, naturally, the definition of evil as a purely privative reality, with no substance or nature of its own, since God alone is the source of all being and "in him there is no darkness at all." He believed also that finite natures are necessarily dynamic realities, constituted as much by change as by formal stability, and that a finite rational being exists only in its act of moral and ontological desire for Good, ever in motion. And he believed, of course, that God alone is the infinite plentitude of being and goodness that every soul seeks, by union with whom the soul is transformed into an eternally expanding vessel of divinity, an infinite capacity for love and knowledge transfigured forever--again, as Paul says--"from glory to glory" (2 Corinthians 3:18). For Gregory, therefore, no rational will could ever be fixed forever in the embrace of evil, since evil has nothing with which to hold on to that soul. In On the Making of Humanity, Gregory likened evil in creation to the shadow cast by the earth (which, according to the cosmology of the time, was how night was understood): a diminishing cone of darkness dying away weakly in a universe of light. Sooner or later, the rational will must exhaust even its furthest reaches.

-- David Bentley Hart, That All Shall Be Saved, pp. 165-166
« Last Edit: September 27, 2019, 05:04:51 PM by Asteriktos »
Alexa, what religion should I be a part of?

Offline Ainnir

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2019, 06:33:47 PM »
I see.  I’ll stay tuned as an observer.   :)
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no idea, so there’s that.

Offline isxodnik

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2019, 06:38:35 PM »
Or one might have enough humility to know that a mere mortal might not know what the best possible ending is.
+100500

If a mere mortal can know what good is, then a mere mortal can distinguish between outcomes that are more or less compatible with the good. And if the response is, "Who are you to measure God by human standards of good?" then there is an unwarranted detachment of good as known in creatures and the One who is the Good in essence.
Anthropocentrism. You measure the all-perfect and infinite God as a limited and sinful man. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts."

Need to be blind not to see in the Holy Scripture direct words of God about the eternal nature of the afterlife situation of people.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2019, 06:59:49 PM by isxodnik »
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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2019, 06:07:26 AM »
And yet the Son of God, Who is Truth, has said "And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting." (Mat 25:46). If, therefore, the one comes to an end, how does it not follow that the other also does?

Further, Jesus Christ Our Lord also tells us some sins are worthy of everlasting punishment, and have no forgiveness, neither in this life nor in the life to come. That human reason, which is finite and limited, is incapable and unworthy without Grace of contemplating and comprehending the Absolute, Eternal and Infinite God and His ways, is not an argument against what appears a divinely revealed Truth, Matthew 12 "Therefore I say to you: Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but the blasphemy of the Spirit shall not be forgiven. 32And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him neither in this world, nor in the world to come."
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Offline Ainnir

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2019, 08:22:13 AM »
Guys, we are not debating here.  This is the Reviews section and the purpose of the thread is clear.  If you want to ask clarifying questions here, feel free, but not as a platform from which to argue back.  Any more and I will start handing out points.  The Free For All forum is a great place to start a thread if you feel like debating about the ideas raised here.  Thanks.  --Ainnir
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Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2019, 07:46:06 PM »
For those wondering, here's his position on the most popular form of universalism in Orthodoxy today:

Quote
Before addressing any of these issues or figures, however, I want to make it absolutely clear  that I approach these meditations not as a seeker tentatively and timidly groping his way toward some anxious, uncertain, fragile hope. Unlike, say, the great Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988), I would not think it worth the trouble to argue, as he does that--given the paradoxes and seemingly irreconcilable pronouncements of scriptures on the final state of all things--Christians may be allowed to dare to hope for the salvation of all. In fact, I have very small patience for this kind of "hopeful universalism," as it is often called. As far as I am concerned, anyone who hopes for universal reconciliation of creatures with God must already believe that this would be the best possible ending to the Christian story; and such a person has then no excuse for imagining that God could bring any but the best possible ending to pass without thereby bring in some sense a failed creator. The position I want to attempt to argue, therefore, to see how well it holds together, is far more extreme: to wit, that, if Christianity is in any way true, Christians dare not doubt the salvation of all, and that any understanding of what God accomplished in Christ that does not include the assurance of a final apokatastasis in which all things created are redeemed and joined to God is ultimately entirely incoherent and unworthy of rational faith. This is an exorbitant and insolent claim, I realize, and I would not make it if I did not earnestly believe every alternative view of the matter to be ultimately unsustainable.

-- David Bentley Hart, That All Shall Be Saved, pp. 66-67

I respect the boldness and bluntness of his faith in this matter. However, when striving to discern the ultimate fate of human souls I think deep humility is required. I understand his point, and I am personally inclined to agree; but I find too many passages of scripture (and words from Our Lord himself) that prevent me from sharing the dogmatic universalism of DBH. I hope to get the book soon, and I actually hope that it will persuade me to become a dogmatic rather than a hopeful universalist.

The other point I would make after having read the introduction to the book is that even if DBH wishes not to be humble in his dogmatic declaration, it would still behoove him to at least show some humility in how he writes about the subject, if for no other reason that such humility would have more persuasive power. It seems he's more interested in preaching to the choir than converting folks to his position.

I'll offer more thoughts as I get further into it.

Here's a salient excerpt from the book:
https://www.christiancentury.org/article/critical-essay/final-judgment-really-final?fbclid=IwAR2hw8ctglMJk7W1EIRjUd4e7Y8gnnKU-HcWTjMnPz04mK5ahrlsDBnvgqM

Selam
« Last Edit: September 28, 2019, 07:47:18 PM by Gebre Menfes Kidus »
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Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2019, 07:52:07 PM »

Further, Jesus Christ Our Lord also tells us some sins are worthy of everlasting punishment, and have no forgiveness, neither in this life nor in the life to come. That human reason, which is finite and limited, is incapable and unworthy without Grace of contemplating and comprehending the Absolute, Eternal and Infinite God and His ways, is not an argument against what appears a divinely revealed Truth, Matthew 12 "Therefore I say to you: Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but the blasphemy of the Spirit shall not be forgiven. 32And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him neither in this world, nor in the world to come."

Good question. It could be that what Our Lord meant is that those who continue to reject the Holy Spirit in death shall not be forgiven as long as they continue to reject the Holy Spirit, but that eventually the love of God and the persuasion of the Holy Spirit will ultimately lead all hearts to repentance and salvation. I'm not sure if this is what DBH is arguing, but it's another way of interpreting this verse.

Selam
"Whether it’s the guillotine, the hangman’s noose, or reciprocal endeavors of militaristic horror, radical evil will never be recompensed with radical punishment. The only answer, the only remedy, and the only truly effective response to radical evil is radical love."
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2019, 08:12:38 PM »
I find his haughty, acerbic, pretentious style so hilariously bombastic that it is really a form of unfeigned humility.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2019, 08:12:59 PM by Iconodule »
“Steel isn't strong, boy, flesh is stronger! That is strength, boy! That is power! What is steel compared to the hand that wields it?  Contemplate this on the tree of woe.” - Elder Thulsa Doom of the Mountain of Power

Mencius said, “Instruction makes use of many techniques. When I do not deign to instruct someone, that too is a form of instruction.”

Come look at my lame blog

Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2019, 09:51:07 PM »
I find his haughty, acerbic, pretentious style so hilariously bombastic that it is really a form of unfeigned humility.

LOL. Yep. He's a brilliant dude who desperately lacks any sense of self-awareness.

Selam
« Last Edit: September 28, 2019, 09:51:21 PM by Gebre Menfes Kidus »
"Whether it’s the guillotine, the hangman’s noose, or reciprocal endeavors of militaristic horror, radical evil will never be recompensed with radical punishment. The only answer, the only remedy, and the only truly effective response to radical evil is radical love."
+ Gebre Menfes Kidus +
http://bookstore.authorhouse.com/Products/SKU-000984270/Rebel-Song.aspx

Offline Brilko

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2019, 11:08:01 PM »
I can roll with haughty, acerbic and bombastic. I find his vocabulary quite impressive and laud his fearless use of it. I also find him entirely unpersuasive. I’m afraid to read too much of him lest he should agree with me on something and launch me into a tailspin of doubt.

Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2019, 01:32:01 AM »
I can roll with haughty, acerbic and bombastic. I find his vocabulary quite impressive and laud his fearless use of it. I also find him entirely unpersuasive. I’m afraid to read too much of him lest he should agree with me on something and launch me into a tailspin of doubt.

LOL! Good stuff!  ;D

Selam
"Whether it’s the guillotine, the hangman’s noose, or reciprocal endeavors of militaristic horror, radical evil will never be recompensed with radical punishment. The only answer, the only remedy, and the only truly effective response to radical evil is radical love."
+ Gebre Menfes Kidus +
http://bookstore.authorhouse.com/Products/SKU-000984270/Rebel-Song.aspx

Offline Eamonomae

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2019, 08:10:30 AM »
If I had a choice of following some convert academic who, being completely severed from Monasticism, thinks he can say how the Church is mistaken and he is right, or the Liturgy / Service of Judgment Vespers, I’m going to side with Judgment Vespers.

“THE BOOKS WILL BE OPENED AND THE WORKS OF ALL MEN LAID BARE:
THE VALE OF TEARS WILL ECHO WITH GNASHING OF TEETH;
THE SINNERS WILL MOURN IN VAIN, AS THEY DEPART TO ETERNAL DAMNATION.
YOUR JUDGMENTS ARE JUST, O LORD ALMIGHTY!
WE BEG YOU, MASTER, FULL OF GOODNESS AND COMPASSION://
TAKE PITY ON US WHO SING TO YOU, MOST MERCIFUL ONE!

THE TRUMPET SHALL SOUND AND THE GRAVES BE OPENED:
ALL MANKIND WILL ARISE IN TREMBLING;
THE RIGHTEOUS WILL REJOICE, AS THEY RECEIVE THEIR REWARD,
BUT THE WICKED WILL DEPART TO ETERNAL FIRE WITH WAILING AND HORROR.
LORD OF GLORY, HAVE MERCY ON US!
NUMBER US WITH THOSE WHO LOVE YOU, MASTER,//
FOR YOU ALONE ARE GOOD!

I SHUDDER IN TERROR WHEN I THINK OF THAT DREADFUL DAY;
I WEEP AS I CONSIDER THE DARKNESS THAT WILL NEVER SEE LIGHT:
THERE THE WORM SHALL NOT CEASE, OR THE FIRE BE QUENCHED;
THE PAIN OF THOSE WHO REJECT YOU WILL NEVER END.
SAVE ME, YOUR MOST WORTHLESS SERVANT, RIGHTEOUS JUDGE,//
FOR YOUR MERCY AND COMPASSION ARE MY ONLY HOPE!”


I also think that at a pragmatic level, such an opinion defeats the whole point of religion in general. A religion should have some end goal which takes work to reach through detachment, fasting, and praxis; when religion becomes nothing more than a social club, it loses its meaning and subsequently loses its followers when large burdens are suddenly placed on their followers.
"I haven't any right to criticise books, and I don't do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticise Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can't conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Everytime I read 'Pride and Prejudice' I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone."
- Mark Twain, Letter to Joseph Twichell, 13 September 1898

Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2019, 08:15:13 AM »
David Bentley Hart argues for universalism with the same unapologetic, inflexible, militant conviction with which I argue for Christian pacifism. Like me, DBH is thoroughly convinced that his opinion is the only opinion that can be held if one truly understands the words and teachings and message of the Gospel (although he does so with much greater scholarship and rhetorical flourish.) And in this day and age where intellectual prowess is erroneously associated with equivocation, compromise, and that damnable word “nuance,” I find his bold declarations and unwavering assertions quite refreshing (even if I don’t completely agree with him, yet.)

One thing is certain: when it comes to the Gospel, there aren’t many grey areas. From the Old Testament prophets to John the Baptist to Jesus Christ and the apostolic epistles, the divine message has always been perspicuously lucid. Throughout the hundreds of pages from Genesis to Revelation, one will not find God’s servants and messengers issuing optional suggestions. We do not see the prophets saying: “This is simply my own personal opinion, but I think it might be sort of a good idea if we believed, acted, and lived in thus and such a manner.” Instead of vapid philosophical sophistries, the Bible is replete with rigid doctrinal declaratives and unambiguous moral imperatives.

So God bless David Bentley Hart for throwing down the gauntlet and forcing us to choose what gospel we will trust and what deity we will serve. I confess that right now I am in the midst of wrestling with universalism, having for a long time adopted the safe and “nuanced” position of hopeful universalism. But David Bentley Hart has no sympathy for such equivocation, just as I have no sympathy for the damnable rationalizations of the so-called “Just War” theorists.

I intend on reading David Bentley Hart’s book, “That All Shall Be Saved,” very soon. I hope that it will indeed persuade me to get off the fence and embrace universalism as the dogmatic doctrine of the Gospel and the most authentic Orthodox theological tenet. And since the Orthodox Church has consistently condemned universalism as a dogmatic certainty, then that will put me once again in the unenviable position of arguing from within the Church for a theological position that the Church tolerates as an individual conviction but has never decreed as a comprehensive, universal doctrine. In other words, most Orthodox Christians say: by all means avoid personal violence and strive for peace, but don’t dare condemn soldiers and police officers who are merely engaging in violence for the sole purpose of defending others. (Sorry, but Jesus doesn’t issue any such clause. His commands regarding nonviolence and enemy love apply equally to citizens and politicians and soldiers and rulers.) And most Orthodox Christians say: if you personally believe that all souls will eventually and ultimately be saved, then that’s cool. In fact, that makes you a compassionate and merciful person. But just make sure that you don’t ever lead anyone to believe that God might not actually condemn them to eternal conscious torment in a literal lake of fire.

Whether or not all will be ultimately saved, I do not know at this point. I have not yet become as fully persuaded by universalism as I have by pacifism. But I hope. And perhaps DBH’s books will turn my hope into a certainty of faith. I’ll let you know later on down the road.

In the meantime, let us all agree in our staple Orthodox prayer:
"Lord have mercy." +++

Selam
« Last Edit: September 29, 2019, 08:16:37 AM by Gebre Menfes Kidus »
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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2019, 01:47:14 PM »
If I had a choice of following some convert academic who, being completely severed from Monasticism, thinks he can say how the Church is mistaken and he is right, or the Liturgy / Service of Judgment Vespers, I’m going to side with Judgment Vespers.

Met. Hilarion Alfeyev wrote a book on the harrowing of hell, with much of the data from the Church Fathers and Hymns of the church compatible with--or outright supporting--the same position that Hart takes, so...

This is besides the many Fathers Hart and others like him would themselves call on (though I wish Hart did more of this in the book).
« Last Edit: September 29, 2019, 01:48:29 PM by Asteriktos »
Alexa, what religion should I be a part of?

Offline isxodnik

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #26 on: September 29, 2019, 04:42:52 PM »
Met. Hilarion Alfeyev wrote a book on the harrowing of hell, with much of the data from the Church Fathers and Hymns of the church compatible with--or outright supporting--the same position that Hart takes, so...
What's the name of this book?
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2019, 03:56:20 PM »
Met. Hilarion Alfeyev wrote a book on the harrowing of hell, with much of the data from the Church Fathers and Hymns of the church compatible with--or outright supporting--the same position that Hart takes, so...
What's the name of this book?

The English title is Christ the Conqueror of Hell.
“Steel isn't strong, boy, flesh is stronger! That is strength, boy! That is power! What is steel compared to the hand that wields it?  Contemplate this on the tree of woe.” - Elder Thulsa Doom of the Mountain of Power

Mencius said, “Instruction makes use of many techniques. When I do not deign to instruct someone, that too is a form of instruction.”

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Offline isxodnik

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #28 on: September 30, 2019, 07:24:52 PM »
Thank you.
"А чего мне бояться? Не в лесу живём, и не в Америке"

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #29 on: October 08, 2019, 11:04:16 AM »
---- Saved for later reading ----

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #30 on: October 09, 2019, 05:04:46 AM »
If the book had been twice as long, with the additional space spent on Scripture and the Fathers, that would have been awesome. I feel like he touches on so many things in passing that merited further exploration. Also, besides St. Gregory of Nyssa the references to other theologians/fathers were few and far between. Maybe this isn't a fair criticism of the book, and it isn't meant to be an investigation of the patristic and scriptural support for universalism; maybe it's just an attempt to "think through things" as he says in the introduction. I'm just saying I was left wanting more.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2019, 05:06:10 AM by Asteriktos »
Alexa, what religion should I be a part of?

Offline Iconodule

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #31 on: October 09, 2019, 05:10:08 AM »
It might be because the books by Ilaria Ramelli do a lot of the patristic-historical work already and he didn’t want to duplicate the research/ labor. Just a guess (I haven’t read the Ramelli books).
« Last Edit: October 09, 2019, 05:10:58 AM by Iconodule »
“Steel isn't strong, boy, flesh is stronger! That is strength, boy! That is power! What is steel compared to the hand that wields it?  Contemplate this on the tree of woe.” - Elder Thulsa Doom of the Mountain of Power

Mencius said, “Instruction makes use of many techniques. When I do not deign to instruct someone, that too is a form of instruction.”

Come look at my lame blog

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #32 on: October 11, 2019, 11:30:06 AM »
Yeah, could be. Next up for me is Universalism by Hanson, which I already own and which seems to cover the same material as Ramelli, though I'm not sure what the quality is. Tbh, while I plan on giving the DBH book another read next year, to give it a deeper think over, it didn't really move me out of my position straddling (or allowing for) both infernalist and universalist beliefs.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2019, 11:30:29 AM by Asteriktos »
Alexa, what religion should I be a part of?

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: That All Shall Be Saved
« Reply #33 on: October 14, 2019, 08:42:47 AM »
Next up for me is Universalism by Hanson, which I already own and which seems to cover the same material as Ramelli, though I'm not sure what the quality is.

As it turns out, the quality isn't nearly as high as you'd hope.
Alexa, what religion should I be a part of?