Paul's Universalism
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Paidion



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 6:44 am    Post subject: Paul's Universalism Reply with quote

The following URL points to Chapter 5 of Thomas Talbott's The Inescapable Love of God. The chapter is titled St. Paul's Universalism.

Several other chapters also are available for free download.

Paul's Universalism

Please comment freely.
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darin-houston



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks interesting -- I'll read it further later, but he doesn't appear to address annihilationist view at all -- he criticizes eternal torment et al., but I tend to think annihilation answers some of the issues he addresses.
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Michelle



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darin, this is probably totally inappropriate to interject here, but when I read your posts, sometimes I seem to imagine your son saying your words because of his darling picture in your avatar.
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darin-houston



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michelle wrote:
Darin, this is probably totally inappropriate to interject here, but when I read your posts, sometimes I seem to imagine your son saying your words because of his darling picture in your avatar.


Then my evil plan is a success! I think I need to change to a newer one, too - standby.
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Paidion



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In most of the chapter, Talbott quoted such passages as:

“And through him God was pleased to reconcile to
himself all things”


and went on to show that "all" meant "all" of the class of humans.

How could annihilation answer this "issue"? If over 99% of humanity is annihilated, then surely far from "all" will be reconciled to God.
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darin-houston



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paidion wrote:
How could annihilation answer this "issue"? If over 99% of humanity is annihilated, then surely far from "all" will be reconciled to God.


Perhaps all who "are" in the end will be reconciled and those who are annihilated will cease to be?
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TK



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

what does "reconcile" mean in the verse quoted?

I found this definition(s):

Quote:
1 a: to restore to friendship or harmony <reconciled> b: settle, resolve <reconcile>
2: to make consistent or congruous <reconcile>
3: to cause to submit to or accept something unpleasant <was>
4 a: to check (a financial account) against another for accuracy b: to account for
intransitive verb


Paidion- you seem to believe that definition 1 is what Paul is talking about; is it possible he is not?

TK
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STEVE7150



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

and went on to show that "all" meant "all" of the class of humans.

How could annihilation answer this "issue"? If over 99% of humanity is annihilated, then surely far from "all" will be reconciled to God.



But can't "all" be hyperbole for "many" or "majority"?
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Homer



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What are the "things" Paul speaks of in Colossians 1?

Colossians 1:9-23

9. For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10. that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11. strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12. giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14. in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
15. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
19. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20. and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
21. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22. in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— 23. if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.


It seems obvious from verses 16-17 that Paul has in mind all of creation that exists, visible and invisible: air, water vapor, rocks, trees, insects, animals, people, etc., etc. Are we to believe that every insect or bacterium that ever existed will be "resurrected"? By what manner of exegesis do you determine that Paul has in mind every person who has ever lived, and them alone? Or is Paul speaking of a different kind of reconciliation: the restoration of creation to the state that existed prior to the fall?

And doesn't verses 22-23 indicate that our reconciliation depends on our being in Him and remaining "faithful till death"?

Another thing to consider: if people are anihilated they do not exist - there is nothing to reconcile.
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darin-houston



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Homer wrote:
And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled


Also, why after dealing with "all things" would he say "and you...reconciled" unless things are different than the people themselves ? I suppose it could be a literary device for emphasis, but it does at least open the possibility that "all things" doesn't relate to the souls of people, but to something more esoteric like systems and the like.

Quote:
Another thing to consider: if people are anihilated they do not exist - there is nothing to reconcile.


Yes, I think that's the point I was "trying" to make.
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Paidion



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TK wrote:
Paidion- you seem to believe that definition 1 is what Paul is talking about; is it possible he is not?


I haven't said anything about what I believe. I have directed you to a chapter from a book by Tom Talbott, a former philosophy professor.

However, I will say that you can't extract a meaning from a Greek word by looking up its English translation in an English dictionary.

The Greek word "apokatalassō" is a compound word comprised of "apo" (from) and "katalassō", the latter also being a compound word comprised of "kata" (toward) and "alassō" (to change, exchange). Thus when one is reconciled to someone, he changes from (or "exchanges"his previous disposition toward that person for a new disposition toward him, or perhaps a former one, if he had turned against the person in question. Lexicons give the meaning as "to bring back a former state of harmony".

The word is used to to other passages, Eph 1:26, which speaks of the reconciliation in Christ between Jews and Gentiles, and Col 1:22 which states that God reconciled us through Christ's death so that we might be presented to Him holy and blameless without reproach.

Homer you wrote:
It seems obvious from verses 16-17 that Paul has in mind all of creation that exists, visible and invisible: air, water vapor, rocks, trees, insects, animals, people, etc., etc. Are we to believe that every insect or bacterium that ever existed will be "resurrected"? By what manner of exegesis do you determine that Paul has in mind every person who has ever lived, and them alone?


Again, you'll have to take up that question with Tom Talbott. All I did was direct you to his chapter for discussion. I'm not going to defend him.

However, speaking as one who has an elementary understanding of Greek, I would say that it doesn't seem obvious at all. Relating "all things" to air, water vapour, rocks, trees, etc. would be a quite faulty exegesis.

First of all there is no word "things" in the text. It's simply "all". But because the word for "all" is "panta" (neuter in gender), "things" has been supplied by the translators. Indeed in the NT, the neuter form "panta" does usually refer to things rather than people. However consider the first words of the "Great Commission":

Go then and make disciples of all the Gentiles [or possibly "all the nations"]... Matthew 28:19

Guess what word is used for "all"? None other than "panta", neuter gender. Now one could understand this, if the word for "Gentiles" were neuter, since adjectives in Greek normally agree in gender with the noun they modify. However, in the case the word ethnā" (Gentiles or nations) is feminine. So why was the neuter adjective "panta" used? You make disciples of people, not things. So why couldn't "panta" in Colossians 1:17 also refer to "all people" rather than "all things"?
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Homer



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paidion,

Interestingly, the refutation of your position is contained in your reply.

Quote:
You wrote:

The Greek word "apokatalassō" is a compound word comprised of "apo" (from) and "katalassō", the latter also being a compound word comprised of "kata" (toward) and "alassō" (to change, exchange)............. Lexicons give the meaning as "to bring back a former state of harmony".


And you also wrote:

Quote:
First of all there is no word "things" in the text. It's simply "all". But because the word for "all" is "panta" (neuter in gender), "things" has been supplied by the translators. Indeed in the NT, the neuter form "panta" does usually refer to things rather than people.


Given the context, would it seem most probable that Paul had in mind the restoration of "all things" to the state that existed before the fall, or the state of things after Messiah returns:

Isaiah 11:4-9

4. But with righteousness He shall judge the poor,
And decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.
5. Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins,
And faithfulness the belt of His waist.
6. “ The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little child shall lead them.
7. The cow and the bear shall graze;
Their young ones shall lie down together;
And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole,
And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den.
9. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD
As the waters cover the sea.


And you wrote:

Quote:
So why couldn't "panta" in Colossians 1:17 also refer to "all people" rather than "all things"?


It would seem to be no more than a mere possibility given that in the context Paul's first mention of "all things" is in reference to the totality of all creation:

16. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.

If Paul meant to change his meaning of "all things" to only "all persons", why would he not simply say so? To do otherwise would be poor writing and I think Paul was more capable than that.
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STEVE7150



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

17. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence


Why would "all things" exclude the souls of "all men"? Particularly since Paul is addressing fellow humans who would be far more interested in humans then in the restoration of animals and rocks.
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STEVE7150



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to Hebrews 2.9 Christ tasted death "for every man" which is what is needed for the restoration of "all things" yet Paul did'nt say he tasted death for all things but for every man.
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Father_of_five



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whether Paul meant "all things" or "all people" seems to me a moot point; unless, one believes that "all things" includes only a sample of all things rather than the whole of His creation. All things would include all people.

The verses that indicate that we must "remain faithful until death" are not referring to our ultimate destination post resurrection, for Christ has secured that through the sacrifice of Himself, but instead, faithful living is required for those whose desire is to remain under the sheltering wing of the Lord during our lifetime. Else we are like the dog "returning to his vomit."

Todd
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