Universalism

CircleoftheWay

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Although I am a non-theistic Buddhist, I have become quite an expert on Christian Universalism (technical word apokatastasis) this being the teaching that eventually all will be saved and all things will be reconciled "in Christ". Beware of experts? Yes, well, as I say, I'm a bit of an expert.......

My expertise (!) has developed in part from my interest in Interfaith dialogue, an interest now on the wane as most Christians I tend to engage with on various forums have just one starting point i.e. There can be no dialogue between truth (theirs) and error (i.e. anything else) So debate and discussion tends to stall at the first hurdle.

Anyway, I tend to ramble and waffle, finding that expressing myself therapeutic. I'm not really seeking to advance the Universalist cause, more at the moment to say what I find problematic about it. This derives from the old comedy show of the late great Spike Milligan, Q6. Many of his sketches ended with some sort of punch line and then dear old Spike would stand ramrod stiff in the middle of the room and start muttering "What do we do now, what do we do now?"

So Universalism. All are saved, all things are reconciled. But what do we do then? It's a very good question, and our questions can hold greater gold than many an "answer", at least I think so.

In my own rather stumbling Pure Land Buddhist way of "no-calculation" the "journey itself is home", as the Japanese poet Basho has said. There is no final destination. The road goes on forever. And one of my mentors in zen, Dogen, speaks of the present moment being the only moment, "yet there is a movement toward Buddha", an ever opening intimacy with Reality.

Another aspect is the guy (I can't remember who) who said that he would rather constantly pursue Truth rather than actually find it or have it "revealed" to him. What do you do with it when you have found it? Could any final "truth" even be of words?

Well, that's it. A bit on name dropping. But I'm basically harmless.

Thank you if you have read this far.
 
Welcome aboard, @CircleoftheWay !

... an interest now on the wane as most Christians I tend to engage with on various forums have just one starting point i.e. There can be no dialogue between truth (theirs) and error (i.e. anything else) So debate and discussion tends to stall at the first hurdle.
A tragedy of the narrow mind. Forgive them ...

I'm not really seeking to advance the Universalist cause, more at the moment to say what I find problematic about it.
OK ... as one who embraces the hope of apokatastasis, I'm intrigued.

... the late great Spike Milligan, Q6.
Oh, you're scoring points here. Huge fan.

So Universalism. All are saved, all things are reconciled. But what do we do then? It's a very good question, and our questions can hold greater gold than many an "answer", at least I think so.
Indeed ... is there a 'then' in the eschaton?

Good points ... and welcome again.
 
Thanks.

Glad that another embraces the hope. Just to display my expertise (!) I think of Hans Urs von Balthasar.

From my point of view, Universalism is a very demanding "hope". Not wishy washy or a simple "feel good" thing. It demands reconciliation with all others now, or at least the attempt. Trying it for a day can tire me out! Often beyond me.

But thanks again for the welcome.
 
From my point of view, Universalism is a very demanding "hope". Not wishy washy or a simple "feel good" thing. It demands reconciliation with all others now, or at least the attempt. Trying it for a day can tire me out! Often beyond me.
And that applies to all of us, I think.

Wherever we stand on our 'Path', and whatever the degree of engagement with our 'Way', there is always the demand. Religion requires effort.

A test of the efficacy or otherwise of 'boutique religion', of 'custom-fitted spiritualities' as the Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart defines it, is the measure by which "their principal office is to provide symbolic representations of the dreamier sides of their votaries’ personalities."

Too often modern-day pseudo-spiritual practice are no revision to a golden age of pre-Christian belief, "they are thoroughly modern religion, whose burlesque gods command neither reverence, nor dread, nor love, nor belief; they are no more than the masks worn by that same spontaneity of will that is the one unrivalled demiurge who rules this age and alone bids its spirits come and go."
From FirstThings

DBH, by the way, is a fierce proponent of apokatastasis.
 
DBH, by the way, is a fierce proponent of apokatastasis.
Thanks, yes, I have his "That All Shall Be Saved" which comes across as pretty definitive! Early on I liked what he said about the Buddhist bodhisattvas.
 
Folks don't like all will be saved...

They demand penalties, retribution of some sort.

At a minimum they want you to say you believe what they believe, you are sorry you did what you did, said what you said and thought what you thought. Oh you do? OK as long as you are in my club...dance to my tune and use our gang signals and handshake you are saved as well...but not everyone!

The piece that goes beyond understanding is the peace that follows understanding...or for me the peace that allows not knowing, that can sit with and accept unknowns until they are known and not feel the need to make stuff up or convince others that what I read is unproveable but real...

Welcome aboard....but watch out on the rambling...that is my territory!
 
Welcome aboard....but watch out on the rambling...that is my territory!
We'll have to see about that! I am the master of the ramble! I tend to find myself in McDonald's with a white coffee and it all comes pouring out (the words that is, not the coffee!) I find it therapeutic and I often don't really know what I am going to say until I have said it.

As far as understanding is concerned, Dogen said that where we do not understand, there is our understanding. Don't really understand that myself....
 
Folks don't like all will be saved...

They demand penalties, retribution of some sort.
As I see it it is understandable to want some sort of "discipline" to be built into Reality - which issues in ethics as some sort of by-product. I tend to go for "we ARE our karma" rather than some "higher power" over-seeing the operation.

But surely any "penalty" should be remedial and of only finite duration?
 
As I see it it is understandable to want some sort of "discipline" to be built into Reality - which issues in ethics as some sort of by-product. I tend to go for "we ARE our karma" rather than some "higher power" over-seeing the operation.

But surely any "penalty" should be remedial and of only finite duration?
In American schools they would refer to it as the permanent record...where everything is written.

I think there is a permanent record and it is written within us. Unless one is a narcissist this affects us thruout our lives...

Herafter schmereafter for me, I have yet to develop a concern that that is anything other than the work of Shiva
 
I often don't really know what I am going to say until I have said it.
Ban him! We cannot have two of us on this ship!

But seriously sometimes I have zero clue who is operating my fingers... to the point where when I read it....I don't want to type anymore because I don't know what will come out.

Not that I have to delete or it is horrific, it is just sometimes words and conclusions I had not reached.
 
Jesus did not promise that everyone will be saved. He warned that those who are not prepared when death is coming will not enter the final Kingdom of God.
This warning is repeated in the Quran (I know you have asked for Christianity).
Almost every sin can be forgiven to those who try to do good and ask for forgiveness.
The wish to do good, and faith, stand in the foreground.
 
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In American schools they would refer to it as the permanent record...where everything is written.

I think there is a permanent record and it is written within us.
Obviously not much to do with Love (which "keeps no record of wrongs")
 
Jesus did not promise that everyone will be saved. He warned that those who are not prepared when death is coming will not enter the final Kingdom of God.
Given the various books I have read on Universalism, which deal in depth with the original Greek in which the Christian New Testament was originally written, such is deemed not to be so. Much of the "never ending" (in fact virtually all of it) stuff is mistranslation.of the Greek words which speak only of "an age".

It is any "torment" deemed perpetual and unending that is the main target of Universalism. Such being totally against the love "that never fails" (God IS Love) and the mercy that "endures forever" (Psalm 118)

But as I said before, I am a non-theistic Buddhist.
 
As I see it it is understandable to want some sort of "discipline" to be built into Reality - which issues in ethics as some sort of by-product. I tend to go for "we ARE our karma" rather than some "higher power" over-seeing the operation.

But surely any "penalty" should be remedial and of only finite duration?
For sure, some people (in this world) need penalty, some because they don't see their limits, some because they have suffered too much to forgive without penalty, some because they don't think about their deeds before, and some because they can't forgive themselves without it.

But the best is if everyone sees his or her faults, dare assume it openly and repent.

Even Putin, wouldn't it be the best if he said, "I was wrong, I stop this"?
 
Given the various books I have read on Universalism, which deal in depth with the original Greek in which the Christian New Testament was originally written, such is deemed not to be so. Much of the "never ending" (in fact virtually all of it) stuff is mistranslation.of the Greek words which speak only of "an age".

It is any "torment" deemed perpetual and unending that is the main target of Universalism. Such being totally against the love "that never fails" (God IS Love) and the mercy that "endures forever" (Psalm 118)

But as I said before, I am a non-theistic Buddhist.
I don't refer to the entire New Testament but only to Jesus according to the Gospel accounts.
He doesn't speak about time after the Last day. Will time still exist? He announced a new aeon to have arrived in preparation for the aeon to come.
And that not everyone will be able to enter.

Much about this is written in Mt 13:1-53
 
I don't refer to the entire New Testament but only to Jesus according to the Gospel accounts.
He doesn't speak about time after the Last day. Will time still exist? He announced a new aeon to have arrived in preparation for the aeon to come.
And that not everyone will be able to enter.

Much about this is written in Mt 13:1-53
Hi again, I think that we do need to consider each and every mention of "eternal" in the entire NT, of every mention of "hell" or punishment.

It then becomes obvious that poor/questionable translation from the original Greek is an issue.

According to respected Bible Concordances there is only one Greek word that actually means "eternal" in the full sense of the word ie. Perpetual. The word is Aidios. It appears just twice in the NT. And yet the words "eternal", "for ever and ever" and suchlike words indicating "eternal/perpetual" appear 52 times in the NT! All these are translations of the Greek word "aion" which means, once again according to respected Bible Concordances, only "an age".

The very same happens with the Hebrew "olam" of the OT. Once again this word means simply "of long duration" yet again has been translated as "everlasting".

Again, all the various words for hell (gehenna, hades, sheol) become all confused and virtually interchangeable yet point to totally different "fates" than that of any threat of perpetual torment.

All this is readily available in a many books now dedicated to the Universalist teaching.

Really, that is all for now. I could go on.
 
Again, all the various words for hell (gehenna, hades, sheol) become all confused and virtually interchangeable yet point to totally different "fates" than that of any threat of perpetual torment..
Hi .. and welcome to the forum :)

Is it "a threat", or is it a warning? i.e. a consequence of bad deeds

Yes .. "forever" is a long time .. a very long time .. and the dweller in "hell" would hope
to be delivered from it.
..yet, without repentance, how can it be so?
 
Hi .. and welcome to the forum :)

Is it "a threat", or is it a warning? i.e. a consequence of bad deeds

Yes .. "forever" is a long time .. a very long time .. and the dweller in "hell" would hope
to be delivered from it.
..yet, without repentance, how can it be so?
Thanks for the welcome.

We can keep going around in circles.

Does a moment ever come when repentance becomes an impossibility?

If the causal basis of "salvation" is the very nature of God (Grace) who IS Love, and whose mercy "endures forever", and we are made in the image of God - therefore with leanings toward the Good - then surely no such moment can ever come?

But really, as I sought to say originally, I am a non-theistic Buddhist. If others here which to defend the doctrine of perpetual conscious torment for any human being, then so be it.
 
But really, as I sought to say originally, I am a non-theistic Buddhist. If others here which to defend the doctrine of perpetual conscious torment for any human being, then so be it.
I, for one, cannot. Perpetual suffering can never be proportionate to temporal sin, and the idea of inflicting suffering with no chance of learning, correction, forgiveness or redemption cannot in any way be defined as a 'good'.
 
I, for one, cannot. Perpetual suffering can never be proportionate to temporal sin, and the idea of inflicting suffering with no chance of learning, correction, forgiveness or redemption cannot in any way be defined as a 'good'.
No .. it can't (be defined as a good)

..but many things in reality are FAR from good.
It is the word "perpetual" or eternal that causes us to question the concept of hell, imo.

It is enough to accept that as we might suffer in this life, the next is not guaranteed "nirvana" for all,
and so we move on to the concept of purgatory.
 
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