Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The logic of Talbott's universalism

"Consider the following inconsistent set of propositions:

  1. God's redemptive love extends to all human sinners equally in the sense that he sincerely wills or desires the redemption of each one of them.
  2. Because no one can finally defeat God's redemptive love or resist it forever, God will triumph in the end and successfully a accomplish the redemption of everyone whose redemption he se sincerely wills or desires.
  3. Some human sinners will never be redeemed but will instead be separated from God forever
If the above set of propositions is logically inconsistent, and it surely is, then at least one of the above propositions is false. But which one?"

(Universal Salvation? The Current Debate, ed. Robin A. Parry & Christopher H. Partridge [Cambridge, Eerdmans, 2003], p. 7 - cf. www.universalsalvation.net).

Of course, Talbott, as a universalist, rejects the third proposition.

Though my thoughts in this area are only preliminary, I remain as yet unconvinced of the universalist position on exegetical grounds (i.e. how does one deal with such passages as Gal 5:21, Rom 10:1, Mt 25 etc.). Nevertheless, Talbott's reasoning above causes pause for thought.

Which proposition would you reject? Or would you try to affirm them all? If so, why? Or would you understand the issues in relation to an entirely different scheme?


At 12/13/2005 11:30 PM, Blogger Nate said...

Every now and then I keep pressing the "next blog" button to see if something interesting comes up.

You came up.

I have read a couple of Talbot's books, and about a dozen more on the idea of universal restoration.

My results are found here:

See what you think...

At 12/22/2005 8:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've read the book you mention. I like what Talbot tries to do, but I agree that his exegesis is often rather shakey. However, I think the exegesis of those who try to support a doctrine of eternal damnation is also just as shakey. That's just one reason why I think this topic belongs to the realm of hope and not certainty. That said I really do encourage you to read Balthasar's "Dare We Hope?".



At 12/27/2005 3:56 PM, Blogger Chris Tilling said...

Thans for these thoughts. I'll have a look at the book you recommend.

At 6/17/2006 2:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey there! have never posted a comment on the net before but just had to say that i really like Talbotts clear thinking on this issue, and for a more complete picture of his thought i recommend 'The Inescapable Love of God' where he talks also about many related problems such as theodicy etc.


At 6/17/2006 2:14 AM, Blogger Chris Tilling said...

Hi there, Lyall. I really do want to get that book - I remain unconvinced by the universalist position, but Talbot has helped me to be far more sympathetic towards it.

At 12/18/2006 3:36 AM, Anonymous Mike Bellsmith said...

Proposition #2 is not a proposition but is an argument within itself. It contains the conclusion that there is no free will involved (no one can resist God's love forever) and, therefore, is circular.

At 8/26/2007 10:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is the side of us as humans, that becomes convinced of things because our mind has been persuaded. THen there is the spirit side of us that experiences things that also persuade us. Things deep in us that just know GOD is LOVE and somehow the rest has to fit into that reality. That is much of my journey now. I have been so changed by experiencing HIS love and I know that all scripture will fit into that revelation of HIM. but right now, we see through a dark glass, and know only in part....


Post a Comment

<< Home