Archive for May 2009

When Does His Love Turn to Hate?

May 31, 2009

Now if the doctrine of hellfire is true, when does His love turn to hate? and why? At what point does the Good Shepherd choose to beat the lost sheep to death with His staff, and then not dispose of the body, but raise it from the dead and give it a new body, so that He can more effectively torture it in the flames of hell forever, this one who is supposedly once the object of His love?

Allan Ernest Chevrier
Whatever Became of Melanie? (2005), p. 132

The “Many” of Romans 5:15

May 31, 2009

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When Paul uses the expression “many,” he is not intending to delimit the denotation. The scope of “many” must be the same as the “all men” of verses 12 and 18. He uses “many” here, as in verse 19, for the purpose of contrasting more effectively “one” and “many,” singularity and plurality – it was the trespass of one … but “many” died as a result.

John Murray (1741-1815)
Epistle of Paul to the Romans
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Contrasts Between Universal Statements

May 31, 2009

Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life (Romans 5:18).

For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all (Romans 11:32).

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive (I Corinthians 15:22).

In each of these texts, we encounter a contrast between two universal statements, and in each case the first “all” seems to determine the scope of the second. Accordingly, when Paul asserts in Romans 5:18 that Christ’s one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all, he evidently has in mind every descendant of Adam who stands under the judgment of condemnation; when he insists in Romans 11:32 that God is merciful to all, he has in mind every human being whom God has “shut up” to, or has “imprisoned” in, disobedience; and finally, when he asserts in I Corinthians 15:22 that “all shall be made alive” in Christ, he has in mind everyone who has died in Adam. The grammatical evidence here seems utterly decisive; you can reject it only if you are prepared to reject what is right before your eyes.

Thomas Talbott
The Inescapable Love of God, Pages 59, 60

Early American Universalist

May 1, 2009

Universalism began in America with the preaching of John Murray (1741-1815), an Englishman, a convert to Methodism, and, for a time, a Methodist preacher. He espoused the doctrine of the final salvation of all, which he preached along the Atlantic seaboard, but principally in New England, from 1770 until his death in 1815 … Walter Balfour (c. 1776-1852), a Presbyterian minister from Scotland, preached Universalism in America, and wrote in behalf of this tenet. But the most effective agent in promoting the cause of the Universalists, and in giving definite form to their creed, was Hosea Ballou (1771-1852).

George P. Fisher
History of the Christian Church (1904), p. 617

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