The Fire and the Rose: The Case for a Christocentric-Missional Universalism

This is of particular interest, more within the realm of hope and of early Christian thought, than anything else.

The form of Christian universalism offered here is certainly not pluralistic (“all religions lead to God”). It is rather strictly christocentric in nature: Jesus Christ alone is “the way, the truth, and the life.” No one may come to God except through him. The difference from traditional evangelicalism is that everyone will come to God through him, because everyone has come to God in him. At the same time, I am proposing a universalism that does not diminish the importance of the church’s mission of proclamation in the least. In fact, it seeks to make such activity truly meaningful within the Reformational emphasis on sola gratia. Here there is no compulsion to “get as many saved as possible,” as if we have the responsibility to “get people into heaven.” There is no need to scare people into salvation. Instead, when our reconciliation to God is our starting-point, we are able to go forth in joy and gratitude for what God has done for us already. We are able to preach truly “good news.” We are able to say with a straight-face, “God loves you precisely as you are”—not “God loves you” insofar as you repent of your sins or say this prayer or join this church. There is no soteriological instrumentalization, either of Jesus or of the church’s mission. Instead, we are able to proclaim the glorious news that sin and evil will not and cannot have the last word, because the powers and principalities have already been conquered by Jesus Christ. Death has been defeated, evil destroyed, and hell emptied. There is nothing left to do but acknowledge this fact with grateful hearts, giving thanks to God by going forth with this word on our lips as we proclaim what God has done.

The Fire and the Rose: The Case for a Christocentric-Missional Universalism



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8 Replies to “The Fire and the Rose: The Case for a Christocentric-Missional Universalism”

    1. I think that I will get in trouble for this, but universalism, on some level works well with Calvinism. Further, I think that any change for universalism is more of a hope – I hope that all will be saved in the end, but then it merits the questioned – saved from what? If there is indeed nothing for the wicked, and I hope that there is not, then to what are we saved from? Granted, I accept that this is more philosophical than doctrinal.

      I can understand their position, but does it come more from hope than reality?

    1. While it does highlight the Sacrifice for Christ, it fails to make mention of real sins, which we are called to leave behind and die daily too. No, it is a hope, and a rather fond one, but a hope nonetheless.

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