Blog Archives

Universalism: Scripture and Tradition

The last seven posts in my series on universalism (beginning here and going to here) were intended more or less as a coda to the series.  My idea was that they would in summary fashion deal with all the major objections to universalism–both those that in my judgement missed the point and those that at least legitimately took on the issues at hand–and show why they were unworkable or problematic.  So I thought, anyway.  Alas, nothing ever ends–nor, in a sense, would I expect it to.  Strong partisans of what I have called the traditional view of hell (or TVOH, as I abbreviate it) are not likely to be moved by any arguments.  Conversely, strong universalists will likely also remain unmoved.

This week I have participated in a combox discussion at Rod Dreher’s blog, and as sometimes happens, the issue of universalism arose.  There was a bit of back-and-forth between me and some supporters of the TVOH.  For those who are interested, the exchange is over here.  It’s actually much shorter and less detailed than previous blog discussions I’ve had on the issue, both there and at other blogs.  It does induce me to make more explicit some points that I have not, perhaps, elaborated on enough here.  Mostly, I’ve been looking at the philosophical underpinnings of the arguments for the TVOH, and trying to show why those underpinnings are problematic, as well as trying to make a philosophical argument in favor of universalism.  As often happens in combox discussions, though, the discussion in question brought back the issue of authority.  I have never really explicitly dealt with that issue in this series, though I’ve touched on it several times.  Therefore, I decided it would be a good idea to dedicate a post specifically to just those issues, which I will now deal with.

Read the rest of this entry