I have been reading the material on your site and some of your articles really resonated with me. I am coming round to the idea of universal salvation but there is something I cannot clear in my mind and was hoping you may have some insight to share.
Throughout church history universalism has been a minority position. Why would God hide such a comforting truth from the majority of his church since its inception? Where is the assurance of salvation for those living in the Middle ages for example? Also, may I ask who some of your theological influences are?
Thank you for writing in and I am glad that you have found some of our materials interesting. I tend to write more from Biblical exegesis explaining this position using more literal translations. Regarding church history, my knowledge is little. However, during my initial search into this aspect, I had similar questions like those that you have now too.
1) So, regarding church history, I found the following book quite insightful (which is available free on the website, link below):
2) Regarding Universalist thought in History
3) Though church history has its importance, but Scriptural evidence suffices for me. I tend to think of ‘why God didn’t intervene like this’:
There are literally tens of thousands of denominations of Christianity alone right now. These differ in many doctrinal positions. If God didn’t correct them, why should He change by correcting them directly now? I believe that God has given a freedom of choice for His Church to choose to believe as they do now. According to our faith and accuracy with His Word, we may be ‘rewarded’ for ‘our works’. Salvation however remains a free gift absent of any works.
I also believe that God can save across any denomination of Christianity despite our errors alluding to apostle Paul’s quoting of Moses too that ‘God has Mercy on whom He wills’. He may deny some & appoint a place with the unbelievers to those practicing lawlessness (e.g. Matthew 7:21 – 23) into the ‘age’. I also believe that God can save mid-way into the punishment of ‘Hell’ as He Wills when His Mercy triumphs over Judgment (James 2:13).
I cannot point to a doctrinal grid as to which can be considered as a threshold upon which we may ‘lose or keep’ our salvation but God decides that alone in His Wisdom. In order to be ‘safe’, I chose the path to follow the New Testament verses as it is written (delivered by apostle Paul to the earliest Gentile churches) and try to obey it. Despite being imperfect and falling in many ways, I believe that a ‘trying’ into the direction of obeying Scripture is what that matters.
Hope this helps