It has been one year since Taliban boarded a school bus in the Swat Valley and shot then fifteen year old Malala Yousafzai in the head. Her crime, as the world now knows, was daring to stand up to the Taliban in defense of education for all children and a plea to end the cycles […]
Big Questions … No Easy Answers: A Discussion Series
In May/June 2013 I delivered a series of talks at Urban Bridge Church in Edmonton, AB. Urban Bridge is a special place where they welcome questions and open-ended discussions and so it was the perfect venue for these kinds of talks. The three-part series, which I’ve called “Big Questions … No Easy Answers,” is available […]
Is universalism compatible with human freedom?
Is the proposition that all will ultimately be reconciled to God in Christ compatible with human free will? This is the question that Bilbo asked in response to my interview with universalist Eric Reitan. Hopefully Eric will be able to drop in and offer his perspective on this important question, but in the interim I’ll […]
When it comes to the question of universal salvation: An interview with Eric Reitan
Two months ago I invited philosopher Eric Reitan to participate in an emailed interview on the occasion of his book God’s Final Victory: A Comparative Philosophical Case for Universalism (co-authored with John Kronen) being offered in soft cover. Eric graciously agreed and the fascinating exchange that resulted is recorded below. If you’d like to hear more from […]
Why inclusivism makes sense
This is a repost of an article I wrote in 2010 for The Christian Post. * * * A couple weeks ago I was arguing for inclusivism, the possibility of being saved by Christ without having heard of Christ. The question has important apologetic purchase, not least because people worry about the fate of those […]
Can a person be 100% Christian if they’re only 50% sure it is true?
Christians are typically understood to be, among other things, people who believe certain propositions about God. For example, Jesus is Lord and God raised him from the dead. (Romans 10:9) However, as is so often the case, what initially seems simple becomes much more complicated upon closer inspection. In the past I’ve explored the complexities […]
Hopeful universalism and the love of neighbor
I have defended hopeful universalism often in the past where hopeful universalism is defined (not surprisingly) as the hope that all people may one day be saved. Needless to say, this is very different from the belief that all people will be saved. One can believe an indeterminate number of people will be lost. But […]
Are Christian serial killers saved?
Some years ago I was at a coffee shop with a friend when we got into a heated discussion over the question of whether a Christian could be a serial killer. (He said yes, I said no. ) The dispute was not whether there might be self-identified Christians who moonlight as serial killers. That there […]
My Experience with Street Witnessing Part 2: The Painful Execution
As we piled out of the van and on to the sidewalk I was driven on by the shame, guilt and fear that I would end up a goat on Judgment Day if I hesitated for a moment to proclaim the Gospel fearlessly to every passerby. After a quick prayer from the youth pastor for safety and […]
My Experience with Street Witnessing Part 1: The Guilt-ridden Set-Up
The summer of 1988. Mike Dukakis won the democratic nomination to run for president. Stefan Edberg and Steffi Graf had both triumphed at Wimbledon. George Michael and Def Leppard were dominating the charts. And I went on my first (and last) foray into street witnessing. It was an idyllic summer evening. The sun had begun its […]
Seeking assurance that you won’t die in the fire: A tale of two buildings
In my article “Are Arminians better off when it comes to assurance? Why I’m not so sure” I was being coy. In fact, I’m quite sure that Arminians aren’t any better off. Adam Omelianchuk countered that “things might go differently if the object of faith is God and his intentions towards humanity.” He then explained […]
“He said he would prefer to go to Hell…”
Here’s another golden oldie. This little number shot to the top of the charts in the summer of 09′. Now back digitally remastered and better than ever, here is “He said he would prefer to go to Hell…” *** Belief and disbelief are often more complicated than we would like to admit. Consequently, drawing a […]
Revelation 5:9 and Inclusive Salvation
Today I want to look at an oft-overlooked text in favor of inclusivism, the doctrine that hearing the gospel and making a cognitive confession of it (as described in Romans 10:9) is not necessary for salvation. Let’s begin with the text. In Revelation 5:9 the Lamb (Jesus) is depicted opening a scroll as the saints […]
How exclusive should Christianity be?
Many Christians are exclusivists by which I don’t mean that they are social snobs or against racial integration. Rather, an “exclusivist” is one who believes that certain things are essential to being saved by Jesus. Catholic Community Exclusivism Historic Catholicism (i.e. prior to Vatican II) tended to be exclusivist about membership in its own institution. That is, […]