I think universalism is a minor heresy SO LONG AS it does not interfere with evangelism. (See my earlier post here about why universalism should NOT interfere with evangelism.) I also evaluate the seriousness of universalism by its context–viz., why does the person affirm it? If universalism is evidence of a denial of God’s wrath and/or human sinfulness, then it is much more serious. Barth’s universalism (yes, I believe Karl Barth was a universalist and I’ll post a message here about why later) did not arise out of those denials which is why he didn’t like the appellation “universalist.” The term is usually associated with liberal theology. In that case, as part of an overall liberal/modernist theology, I consider it very serious indeed.
I’m against universalism. Universalism is, in my opinion, if there is such a thing as heresy, is the very definition of the word. Why? Because in universalism which teaches that all will be saved, the point of teaching, growing, and reaching people – the very point of the Cross becomes muted to a dangerously low level, empowering the myth that all religions, like all people, are created equal.
I cannot call it a minor heresy, really, because it, in my opinion, dismisses the Cross of Christ and forces God into an action which He has no control over.
But, I recommend the article.
- “theological liberalism” defined. (themeldingplace.wordpress.com)
- Roger Olson on Theological Liberalism (simuliustusetpeccator.com)
- The inner logic of Calvinist attacks on “Love Wins” (gentlewisdom.org.uk)