Wednesday, June 08, 2011

A Key Problem For Universalism

If all people are recipients of the justification that Christ's death merits (as Rom. 5:18-19 is used by universalists to suggest), then where are the current fruits of that salvation in the lives of all? Is salvation simply something to be experienced or received in the future?

I hear universalists say things like, "all people are saved, they just don't know it yet". But that would imply that being "saved" has no implications, benefits, or tangible results in the present lives of those who are saved (but don't know it). This makes what happens in salvation very transactional and lifeless. Essentially, we've got a ticket to heaven, we're on the list, even though we don't know or understand why we're on the list, and as a result, it means relatively nothing in the here and now.

Further, how does one enter God's realm when ones whole life has been lived in rebellion toward God coupled with the lack of the heart transformation that Jesus suggests is crucial to truly experience the Kingdom of God (both presently and post-mortem)?

To me the proponents of universalism (even of the evangelical flavor) have a one-dimensional gospel that is about getting into heaven when or after you die. Ironically, I thought we've (the church) started to understand that the gospel is much more holistic than that. It at least appears to me that universalism is taking a step backwards into an outdated, transactional soteriology that really doesn't change anything until we enter the realm of eternity. Bummer.