Archive for the ‘universalism’ Category

Mother Theresa – a false teacher

January 4, 2012

All is God—Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, etc., all have access to the same God.

‘Mother’ Theresa, 12/4/89 Time Magazine Interview with Edward Desmond, pp. 11, 13

 

Her universalism was taught on many occasions:

“If in coming face to face with God we accept Him in our lives, then we are converting. We become a better Hindu, a better Muslim, a better Catholic, a better whatever we are …. What God is in your mind you must accept” (from Mother Teresa: Her People and Her Work, by Desmond Doig, [Harper & Row, 1976, p.156]).

“I convert you to be a better Hindu or a better Muslim or a better Protestant. Once you’ve found God, it’s up to you to decide how to worship him.” (“Mother Teresa Touched Other Faiths,” AP, Sept. 7, 1997).

“I’ve always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic” (A Simple Path, p. 31).

“If the individual thinks and believes that his or her way is the only way to God, then that is their way of salvation” (pp. 74-75). (Mark Michael Zima, Mother Teresa: The Case for the Cause)

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Universalism is not taught in Scripture

May 11, 2011

As even universalists have to admit:

It is best in fact to admit quite frankly that any view of the future destiny of [unbelievers] which is to be tolerable to us today must go beyond the explicit teaching of the New Testament….[This] does not really give us what we want, and it only leads to insincerity if we try to satisfy ourselves by artificial explanations of its language. And we are in the end on surer ground when as Christians we claim the right to go beyond the letter, since we do so under the irresistible leading of the moral principles of the New Testament and of Christ Himself.

C. W. Emmet’s, ‘The Bible and Hell’ (1917) quoted by Richard Bauckham

Of course, like modern universalists such as Rob Bell, Emmet had to impose a paradigm on the NT and ignore/downplay texts that did not ‘fit’. This reminds me of what Sherlock Holmes might say:

I have no data yet. It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.

source

The universalist twists the data to suit the universalist theory rather than adopt a theology that suits the facts of the NT texts.

Rob Bell’s god is a small god

April 29, 2011

Bell’s god is a small god, so bound by notions of radical free will that I wonder how Bell can be so confident God’s love will melt the hardest heart. If God’s grace is always, essentially, fundamentally, resistible (72, 103–4, 118–19), how do we know some sinners won’t suffer in their own hell for a million years?

Bell’s god may be all love, but it is a love rooted in our modern Western sensibilities more than careful biblical reflection. It is a love that threatens to swallow up God’s glory and holiness. But, you may reply, the Bible says God is love (1 John 4:16). True, but if you want to weigh divine attributes by sentence construction, you have to mention God is spirit (John 4:24), God is light (1 John 1:5), and God is a consuming fire (Heb. 12:29). The verb “is” does not establish a priority of attributes. If anything, one might mention that the only thrice-repeated attribute is “holy, holy, holy.” And yet this is the one thing Bell’s god is not.

Kevin DeYoung, God Is Still Holy and What You Learned in Sunday School Is Still True: A Review of “Love Wins”

The Liberal Jesus of Rob Bell

April 29, 2011

…Christ (says Bell) is (not) whatever you want him to be. Some Jesuses should be rejected, Bell says, like the ones that are “anti-science” and “anti-gay” and use bullhorns on the street (8). But wherever we find “grace, peace, love, acceptance, healing, forgiveness” we’ve found the creative life source that we call Jesus (156, 159).

Elsewhere, after describing a false Jesus “who waves the flag and promotes whatever values they have decided their nation needs to return to,” Bell offers the promising alternative: “the very life source of the universe who has walked among us and continues to sustain everything with his love and power and grace and energy” (156).

These [Eucharist] rituals are true for us, because they’re true for everybody. They unite us, because they unite everybody. These are signs and glimpses and tastes of what is true for all people in all places at all times—we simply name the mystery present in all the world, the gospel already announced to every creature under heaven. (157)

This is classic liberalism pure and simple, a souped-up version of Schleiermacher’s feeling of absolute dependence. This is all immanence and no transcendence. This is not the objective gospel-message of Christ’s work in history that we must announce. This is an existential message announcing a rival version of the good news, the announcement that you already know Christ and can feel him in your heart if you pay attention.

Kevin DeYoung, God Is Still Holy and What You Learned in Sunday School Is Still True: A Review of “Love Wins”.

NB Bell has a ‘Jesus’ who just happens to espouse the same (left-wing) causes he does. Quelle Coincidence!

Bell’s Hell

April 29, 2011

So why do I say Bell is a universalist if he believes in hell? Because he does not believe hell lasts forever. It is a temporary “period of pruning” and “an intense experience of correction” (91). Bell’s hell is like purgatory except his “period of pruning” is for anyone, not just for Christians who die in a state of grace as Catholicism teaches. For Bell, this life is about getting ourselves fitted for the good life to come. Some of us die ready to experience God’s love. Others need more time to sort things out. Luckily, in Bell’s scheme, there is always more time. “No one can resist God’s pursuit forever because God’s love will eventually melt even the hardest hearts” (108).

Kevin DeYoung, God Is Still Holy and What You Learned in Sunday School Is Still True: A Review of “Love Wins”

Rob Bell’s theological blunders

April 29, 2011

Bell seems unaware that theologians of various traditions have talked about the two sides of God’s will (or two lenses through which God views the world). To be sure, there is mystery here, but it’s common to distinguish between God’s will of decree, whereby everything that he wills comes to pass (Eph. 1:11), and his will of desire which can be rejected (Matt. 7:21). And yet one of Bell’s main planks in support of universal reconciliation is that if God wants all people to be saved, then all people must eventually be saved. “How great is God?” Bell asks. “Great enough to achieve what God sets out to do, or kind of great, great most of the time, but in this, the fate of billions of people, not totally great. Sort of great. A little great” (97–99). The strong insinuation is that a God who does not save everyone is not totally great.

Kevin DeYoung, God Is Still Holy and What You Learned in Sunday School Is Still True: A Review of “Love Wins

At times, Bell ounds like a consistent Arminian who so values libertarian free will that man gets want he wants – even after death. The failure to observe two senses of the ‘will of God’ is of a piece with this tendency.

Bell wants freedom where Christians are bound

April 29, 2011

Will everybody be saved, or will some perish apart from God forever because of their choices? Those are questions, or more accurately, those are tensions we are free to leave fully intact. We don’t need to resolve them or answer them because we can’t, and so we simply respect them, creating space for the freedom that love requires.

Rob Bell, Love Wins (115)

However God has revealed that not all will be saved (Mt.25.46 etc.). Bell grants himself ‘freedom’ where Christians should be bound by God’s self-revelation. ‘Love’ does not ‘require’ the Christian to ignore the plain meaning of the Spirit’s inspired writing.

Rob Bell and humility where God has spoken

March 31, 2011
Will everybody be saved, or will some perish apart from God forever because of

their choices? Those are questions, or more accurately, those are tensions we are

free to leave fully intact. We don’t need to resolve them or answer them because

we can’t, and so we simply respect them, creating space for the freedom that love

requires.

Rob Bell, Love Wins, (115)

Here’s the problem: Scripture answers the question and the only humble thing to do is to believe what the omniscient God has revealed. Not to believe the omniscient God’s revelation (to say, we ‘can’t’ answer these questions) is astonishing hubris on the part of a finite and fallen creature.

 

Rob Bell’s Universalism

March 21, 2011

Will everybody be saved, or will some perish apart from God forever because of their choices? Those are questions, or more accurately, those are tensions we are free to leave fully intact. We don’t need to resolve them or answer them because we can’t, and so we simply respect them, creating space for the freedom that love requires.

Rob Bell, Love Wins, 115

But Scripture answers the question. Leaving open a question Gid has answered is unbelief in His revelation. We can answer and we must where God has revealed His mind.

I thing God saves everybody whether they want to be saved or not. So when we die, we’re all going home

December 18, 2010

I thing God saves everybody whether they want to be saved or not. So when we die, we’re all going home.

Sinead O’Connor