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Featured Church Fathers & Universalism since Early Church times

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by ClementofA, Dec 25, 2017.

  1. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    "Augustine himself, after rejecting apokatastasis, and Basil attest that still late in the fourth and fifth centuries this doctrine was upheld by the vast majority of Christians (immo quam plurimi)."

    "Of course there were antiuniversalists also in the ancient church, but scholars must be careful not to list among them — as is the case with the list of “the 68” antiuniversalists repeatedly cited by McC on the basis of Brian Daley’s The Hope of the Early Church — an author just because he uses πῦρ αἰώνιον, κόλασις αἰώνιος, θάνατος αἰώνιος, or the like, since these biblical expressions do not necessarily refer to eternal damnation. Indeed all universalists, from Origen to Gregory Nyssen to Evagrius, used these phrases without problems, for universalists understood these expressions as “otherworldly,” or “long-lasting,” fire, educative punishment, and death. Thus, the mere presence of such phrases is not enough to conclude that a patristic thinker “affirmed the idea of everlasting punishment” (p. 822). Didache mentions the ways of life and death, but not eternal death or torment; Ignatius, as others among “the 68,” never mentions eternal punishment. Ephrem does not speak of eternal damnation, but has many hints of healing and restoration. For Theodore of Mopsuestia, another of “the 68,” if one takes into account also the Syriac and Latin evidence, given that the Greek is mostly lost, it becomes impossible to list him among the antiuniversalists. He explicitly ruled out unending retributive punishment, sine fine et sine correctione.

    I have shown, indeed, that a few of “the 68” were not antiuniversalist, and that the uncertain were in fact universalists, for example, Clement of Alexandria, Apocalypse of Peter, Sibylline Oracles (in one passage), Eusebius, Nazianzen, perhaps even Basil and Athanasius, Ambrose, Jerome before his change of mind, and Augustine in his anti-Manichaean years. Maximus too, another of “the 68,” speaks only of punishment aionios, not aidios and talks about restoration with circumspection after Justinian, also using a persona to express it. Torstein Tollefsen, Panayiotis Tzamalikos, and Maria Luisa Gatti, for instance, agree that he affirmed apokatastasis.

    It is not the case that “the support for universalism is paltry compared with opposition to it” (p. 823). Not only were “the 68” in fact fewer than 68, and not only did many “uncertain” in fact support apokatastasis, but the theologians who remain in the list of antiuniversalists tend to be much less important. Look at the theological weight of Origen, the Cappadocians, Athanasius, or Maximus, for instance, on all of whom much of Christian doctrine and dogmas depends. Or think of the cultural significance of Eusebius, the spiritual impact of Evagrius or Isaac of Nineveh, or the philosophico-theological importance of Eriugena, the only author of a comprehensive treatise of systematic theology and theoretical philosophy between Origen’s Peri Archon and Aquinas’s Summa theologiae. Then compare, for instance, Barsanuphius, Victorinus of Pettau, Gaudentius of Brescia, Maximus of Turin, Tyconius, Evodius of Uzala, or Orientius, listed among “the 68” (and mostly ignorant of Greek). McC’s statement, “there are no unambiguous cases of universalist teaching prior to Origen” (p. 823), should also be at least nuanced, in light of Bardaisan, Clement, the Apocalypse of Peter’s Rainer Fragment, parts of the Sibylline Oracles, and arguably of the NT, especially Paul’s letters.

    Certainly, “there was a diversity of views in the early church on the scope of final salvation.” Tertullian, for instance, did not embrace apokatastasis. But my monograph is not on patristic eschatology or soteriology in general, but specifically on the doctrine of apokatastasis. Thus, I treated the theologians who supported it, and not others."

    The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis: The Reviews Start Coming In
    SAGE Journals: Your gateway to world-class journal research

    Ilaria Ramelli, The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis: A Critical Assessment from the New Testament to Eriugena (Brill, 2013. 890 pp.)

    Scholars directory, with list of publications:

    Ilaria L.E. Ramelli - ISNS Scholars Directory


    Have you been decieved by your Bible translation?

    For the Lord will NOT cast off FOR EVER:

    Augustine's ignorance & error re Matthew 25:46
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2017
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  2. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    (A.) That's debatable. For example, both the RC & EO allow one to hope for universalism, though many don't just hope but believe it in spite of their church's position. Moreover many more would accept universalism if they weren't entirely ignorant of its positions, or were fully informed of the view. BTW, many others have rejected endless torments in favor of endless annihilation.

    (B.) It may have been true through the dark & middle ages when few people had bibles of their own & wouldn't have been able to read them if they did & to speak otherwise would have meant punishment or death. Not a point that is in favor of anti-universalism.

    (C.) In the early church, when they could read the Scriptures in their original languages, rather than English language KJV pro Endless Infernalism club mistranslated clones, there were, at times at least, many (or perhaps a majority) who rejected endless punishment:

    (1.) "Even Augustine, the champion of eternal torment said in his day, "There are very many (imo quam plurimi, which can be translated majority) who though not denying the Holy Scriptures, do not believe in endless torments" (Enchiria, ad Laurent. c. 29). St. Basil the Great (c. 329-379) in his De Asceticis wrote: "The mass of men (Christians) say that there is to be an end of punishment to those who are punished." " Appendix Five

    "It is in vain, then, that some, indeed very many, make moan over the eternal punishment, and perpetual, unintermitted torments of the lost, and say they do not believe it shall be so; not, indeed, that they directly oppose themselves to Holy Scripture..." Augustine's ENCHIRIDION, Chs. 97-122

    The context of the Augustine (c. 354-430 AD) quote in chapters 111 & 112 includes fallen angels & implies their ultimate salvation.

    (2.) "St. Basil the Great (c. 329-379) in his De Asceticis wrote: "The mass of men (Christians) say that there is to be an end of punishment to those who are punished." "(The Ascetic Works of St. Basil, pp.329-30...Conc. 14 De. fut judic)." Universalism and the Salvation of Satan

    "...many people...adhere to the conception of the end of punishment..." (Basil)

    (Basil’s short Regulae for his monks, 267 (PG 31,1264,30–1265,47) & by Symeon Metaphrastes, Or. 14 De iudicio 3,551–552. As quoted & cited in Ramelli, The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis, p.352).

    If there is an end of punishment to those punished, then what is left but universal salvation, even of devils?

    (3) John Chrysostom (c. 349-407 A.D.) "There are many men...thinking that hell is...temporary, not eternal..." (Homilies on Second Thessalonians 3 (NPNF 1 13:384)).


    (4.) "St. Jerome (c. 342-420 A.D.), the author of the Vulgate Latin Bible...writes: "I know that most persons understand by the story of Nineveh and its King, the ultimate forgiveness of the devil and all rational creatures." The Church Fathers on Universalism

    Jerome says:

    "I know that many people interpret the king of Nineveh as the devil, saying that he, at the end of the world (on the grounds that no rational creature made by God should perish), descending from his pride, would repent, and be restored to his former place." [Commentary on Jonah 3:6-9] https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/bitstream/handle/2142/46905/Amy_Oh.pdf?sequence=1

    Whether or not the reference to Ninevah is a misrepresentation by Jerome against his opponents, such as Origen, is unknown. What is known is that Origen (c. 184-254 AD) based his doctrine of universalism on the Scriptures, his favorite passage being 1 Cor.15:28:

    "This final phrase is a clear reference to 1Cor 15:28, Origen’s and Nyssen’s favourite passage in support of the apokatastasis doctrine.34" (page 15)

    "The eventual submission of humanity to God is a reference to Paul’s eschatological revelation in 1Cor 15:24–28, which is also a very universalistic passage, concluding with the presence of God as “all in all.” This will be one of the favourite passages of Origen in support of the doctrine of apokatastasis." (page 94)

    "Thus, at the end of all aeons, in the eventual apokatastasis, all will come to be, no longer in any aeon, but in God the Trinity, and in turn God will be “all in all.” The meaning of this Pauline sentence (1Cor 15:28, Origen’s favourite passage in defence of apokatastasis) is explained especially in Princ. 3,6,2–3. Here, Origen first deduces the definitive eviction of evil from the presence of God “all in all,” given that it is impossible to admit that God may be found in evil, as I have already pointed out; then, he examines:

    " "What is this “all” that God will be “in all”? […] It means that God will be “all” even in every individual creature. And God will be “all” in these creatures in the sense that whatever the rational intellect, freed from any dirtiness of sin and purified from any taint of evil, will be able to perceive, grasp and think, all this will be God […], and so God will be all for this intellect […], because evil will not exist any more: for such intellect, God, untouched by evil, is all. One who is always in the Good and for whom God is all, will no longer wish to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil […] After removing every sense of evil, only he who is the sole good God will become all for the creature returned to a state of soundness and purity […] and not only in few or in many, but in all God will be all, when at last there will be no more death, nor death’s sting, nor evil, most definitely: then God will truly be “all in all.” " " (page 168)

    Ilaria Ramelli, The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis: A Critical Assessment from the New Testament to Eriugena (Brill, 2013. 890 pp.)

    The Christian Doctrine of <i>Apokatastasis</i>

    Scholars directory, with list of publications:

    Ilaria L.E. Ramelli - ISNS Scholars Directory

    >Believers and Supporters of Christian Universalism
     
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  3. HereIStand

    HereIStand Regular Member Supporter

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    If universalism is true, then it's hard to see a point to Christ warnings about hell, Paul's missionary journeys, and the evangelistic efforts of any other Christians.
     
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  4. TheBibleIsTruth

    TheBibleIsTruth Well-Known Member

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    Universal Atonement is true. Universal salvation is most certainly not, as it fails to take into account the necessity of the sinner repenting of personal sins and turning to the Lord in faith and acceptance of what He has done on the cross. Jesus Himself says that the majority of humans will be lost and not be in heaven
     
  5. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Universalism doesn't deny "hell". See:

    7 Myths About Universalism

    Minimal Statement of Faith for Evangelical Universalists
    Statement of Faith -- Please Read

    The endless hell dogma, however, causes millions to leave the church & many millions more to refuse to even consider the claims of Christ, while slandering the character of Love Omnipotent.
     
  6. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Not true. Repentance, etc, is necessary.

    1. Jesus says "FEW" were finding it
    2. Paul says "MANY" will be saved (Rom.5:18-19)

    Actually both are right.

    Jesus was referring to the situation at His time in the first century, not final destiny.

    Paul was referring to final destiny (what SHALL be), with the "many" made sinners and made righteous in parallel.

    Rom 5:18 Consequently, then, as it was through one offense for all mankind for condemnation, thus also it is through one just act for all mankind for life's justifying."

    Rom 5:19 For even as, through the disobedience of the one man, the many were constituted sinners, thus also, through the obedience of the One, the many shall be constituted just."
     
  7. TheBibleIsTruth

    TheBibleIsTruth Well-Known Member

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    I said if you read my comments that repentance is a must to be saved. Jesus says broad is the way to destruction and many go there. Paul's language is not to be understood that he said anything different to Jesus
     
  8. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    When they start with sources and doctrines that were discredited in the first few centuries already,
    why fight it ? i.e. they won't change their mind due to facts, Scripture, or anything else here.
     
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  9. TheBibleIsTruth

    TheBibleIsTruth Well-Known Member

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    Yes it is very true and sad
     
  10. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    Visitors often do not realize,
    that this forum is open to all doctrines and teachings (almost)
    regardless of truth.
    We cannot stop the false teachings , ever, on the forum,
    all we can do
    is alert people, like a simple red flag warning put up to alert people to quicksand....
     
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  11. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Here is what you said:

    Wrong.

    What gave you idea that "Universal salvation is most certainly not, as it fails to take into account the necessity of the sinner repenting of personal sins and turning to the Lord in faith and acceptance of what He has done on the cross."?

    That is a misrepresentation. See:

    Minimal Statement of Faith for Evangelical Universalists
    Statement of Faith -- Please Read

    7 Myths About Universalism
    7 Myths About Universalism
     
  12. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    COOL! Myths about a myth ! (not worth reading again)
     
  13. TheBibleIsTruth

    TheBibleIsTruth Well-Known Member

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    What does it really matter what some "statement" or "creed" says, when it is very clear from the Word of Almighty God, that "unless you repent, you shall die in your sins" (Luke 13:3, 5, in context) Acts 17:30 also says, "The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent". It is a COMMAND not an option! Jesus Himself says in Luke 24:47, "and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem". So, you see that without true repentance no sinner can ever be saved. The idea of "universal salvation" is one of the biggest lies promoted by the devil himself, and has no place in the Holy Bible!
     
  14. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Universal salvation says there is hell in the afterlife for those who die in their wickedness. But even they will eventually repent & obtain salvation from Love Almighty through Jesus Christ.

    The Scriptures you quoted don't address the subject of final destiny.

    BTW this thread is about church fathers beliefs, not what the Bible says, so why are you even posting in this thread?

    If you want to try to refute universalism with the Bible, try a thread that is actually about that topic, such as:

    Have you been decieved by your Bible translation?

    For the Lord will NOT cast off FOR EVER:

    Augustine's ignorance & error re Matthew 25:46
     
  15. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    All those sources were discredit already. Why do you keep re-posting them ? (I know, I know, rhetorical question)
    Go on keep on doing that.
    No one can stop you.

    Just keep alerting visitors to quicksand,.....
     
  16. TheBibleIsTruth

    TheBibleIsTruth Well-Known Member

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    First off, this is supposed to be a "christian" forum, which should represent the Teachings of the Holy Bible, and not the personal views of anyone. Secondly, Hebrews 9:27 very clearly says, "And just as it is appointed for man to die once and for all, and after that comes judgment". So, after death there is no chance to hear the Gospel Message again, and get saved. I quote Scripture, not my personal view. It would be the biggest mockery for people to live lives that are directly opposed to everything that God is and says in the Holy Bible, and then after death, and are told about the eternal punishment for those who reject this Gospel. Who will ever refuse this offer? This is a joke and reduces the Death of Jesus Christ to a complete farce, and diminishes the Justice and Judgement of Almighty God!
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2017
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  17. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Where? Post links to the alleged posts.
     
  18. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The reference to Hebrews 9:27 does not speak of "an expiration date" for salvation or God's love. After death comes judgement for all, sinners & saints. Judgement can be a good thing:

    "When your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness." (Isa.26:9)

    The Greek word for "chastening" here can mean correction:

    The Lord is acquainted with the rescue of the devout out of trial, yet is keeping the unjust for chastening in the day of judging. (2 Pet.2:9)

    Heb.9:27 says it is appointed to men once to die. Does that deny men can die twice? No. Does it say "only" once? No. If New England is appointed to play the Buffalo Bills twice, does that deny they won't meet again in the playoffs? No. How many times did those raised before the general resurrections die?

    I think, in light of the Rapture theory, many Christians would disagree with the statement that 100% of mankind will die and face judgment. Not only that, but Hebrews 9:27 does not say men are "only" going to die once. Lazarus, for one, is a Biblical example of one who died twice & the book of Revelation speaks of the "second death"."

    I already provided examples proving Heb.9:27 does not mean death occurs "once & only once". If it did there would be a Bible contradiction & the Bible would be lying.

    Paul says "once was i stoned" (2 Cor.11:25). Does that mean he could never be stoned again or stoned twice? Obviously not.

    Scripture reveals there are those who will not die even once & implies there are those who will die at least a second time. There are those who will never die, not even once:

    1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 says: “For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”

    We can agree that "it says what it says". But your words do not equate to the "meaning" of the verse, nor have you provided any reason why it should be understood according to - your - opinion - that it establishes a doctrine of "no hope for repentance after death".

    Let's be clear. The passage nowhere uses your words "no hope", "hope" or "repentance".

    The passage does not rule out repentance "after...judgement".

    Neither does it rule out the possibility of repentance after death & before judgement.

    It simply doesn't address such issues.

    Have you been decieved by your Bible translation?

    For the Lord will NOT cast off FOR EVER:
     
  19. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    Think about this.
    Where did they all come from?
    Not one of them is reliable, so far.
     
  20. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You said:

    They were never discredited, so i'm calling your bluff on that erroneous claim. Post links to the posts where you allege they were discredited. I think they must be - imaginary - in your head only.
     
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