During the last few months, I have been in conversation with a Calvinist through the comment pages on this blog. I had hoped we could maintain a certain grace towards one another, hoping to learn from each other, but alas, he seems to consider me an enemy, a false prophet, a lying teacher and blind to the gospel.
He has accused me of everything from not knowing God (which I readily admit I know Him not well enough!) to being blind and following Satan’s lies. A specific teaching he accused me of was that of being a universalist, which at the time I had not studied.
Since then, I have read a couple of short books on the topic of universal reconciliation (not universalism!) which have piqued my interest. (See Jesus Undefeated – a 10 part series, and The Inescapable Love of God, a single post.)
In oversimplified terms, universal reconciliation speaks of the eventual redemption of every soul ever created through the work of the Messiah and His sacrifice on the cross. This teaching does not remove the existence of hell, or the suffering associated with it, but it does speak to it’s never ending duration, and the purpose of the flames.
This series of posts, on the book mentioned above will be my last on the topic of universal reconciliation (not universalism). I am thankful to my Calvinist friend for directing me to this “heresy”. The teaching of universal reconciliation has more Scriptural support than I imagined and is worth considering if you are of an open mind and willing to consider alternate views to expand your understanding of the Word.
Of course if you are convinced you are completely right, without error, and doctrinally pure, this topic would be a waste of your time.
With that being said, let’s consider a few of George Sarris’ discussion points, particularly concerning common questions that arise when he teaches this topic to believers.
Some of the questions believers have asked him and that he addresses in the book include
- How can an unpardonable sin be pardoned?
- Isn’t forfeiting your soul forever?
- If you perish, how can there be eternal life?
- Universal reconciliation implies a wide door, not a narrow door
- Jacob I loved, Esau I hated – Someone has to be punished!
- Pharaoh’s hardened heart – Will he not burn?
- Eternal condemnation for preaching a false gospel
- Impossibility of repentance for some
- The Lake of Fire – Why have the lake if it is empty of sinners?
- The Book of Life – Some names are not in it?
- Judas’ existence – Better to not be born?
The following posts will provide some of the highlights of Mr. Sarris’ responses, with a few comments from myself. I have found most of his discussion worth considering, with one of them to be quite illuminating. I will leave it to you, dear reader, to let me know which one (or ones) illuminate your understanding. Or simply challenge a previous assumption!
With that said, look for the next post in this series. These posts will appear each week on Tuesdays. Hope to see you then!
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.
8 thoughts on “Book Look – Heaven’s Doors – Intro”
Carl, please stop calling me a “ Calvinist” you are mislabeling me, repeatedly, once again. Charles Spurgeon was a “ Calvinist” who did not believe in unconditional reprobation. I believe in unconditional reprobation and election based on Romans 9. Discuss what concepts you disagree with and think aren’t scriptural and use scripture to prove your point Stop using labels that mean different things to different people
Would you rather I call you a hyper-calvinist?
Just continue to attempt to prove that God was lying when He said to Moses in Exodus 4:21 that HE would be the one to harden Pharaoh’s heart.
YHWH said He would harden His heart and He said this prior to Mose’s visit in Exodus 4:21 with Pharoah and prior to any hardening of Pharaoh’s heart which means God told the truth that He was the cause of the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart. God doesn’t lie. So, please explain how you think God was lying when He said He would harden Pharaoh’s heart.
So from now on I shall refer to you as a “hyper-calvinist” Appreciate the clarification.
Please don’t, I heard an explanation of what a hyper calvinist was suppose to be and it doesn’t describe what I think the scripture is saying. I really don’t know what lHyper Calvinist” means exactly; because I’m no sure what “Calvinist” means. Ask me scriptural questions like. Do I believe the Bible teaches that the path to destruction is wide and many go in ? Yes, I believe what the verse says. Do I believe the scripture teaches God turns the King’s heart in whatever direction he chooses? Yes, I believe what the scripture says. Do I believe He hates and loves unconditionally before Jacob and Esau had done anything good or bad ( must be before creation since all are conceived in iniquity) in terms of election and reprobation ? Yes, I believe what the scripture says.
You should just prove the meaning of scripture instead of labeling people with labels that the person being labeled may not know what exactly is being attributed to them.
Do I believe God desired for the fall in the Garden of Eden to happen ? Yes, I believe God always accomplishes His decretive Will because, for instance, according to Job 23:13, He does.
Does God have mercy on whom He chooses? Yes, the scripture says so
Does He harden whom He chooses? Yes the scripture says so
Just ask a question and I will try and find a scripture to answer.
Since you don’t know what “calvinist” means let me inform you that you generally fit in that camp of theology.
Carl, you are very anxious and willing to label me; but you won’t answer the biblical question; asked above, that has no relevance to labeling; but only to biblical truth.
How do you explain away, biblically, the fact that you are calling God a liar when YHWH told Mose’s, He, YHWH would harden Pharoah’s heart when Mose’s comes into contact with Pharoah in the future.
That statement from YHWH means plainly that YHWH will cause the Pharaoh’s heart to be hardened. YHWH said this in Exodus 4:21 prior to all accounts of the interaction between Mose’s and Pharaoh.
Please explain, biblically, without labels, how YHWH was lying about Him turning the heart of the King in the direction He sovereignly desired?