Faith, Works, and Paul



No, not as such. We believe that everyone can be saved up until the Final Judgement. Hart just takes it a step further and believes that everyone will, sooner or later, be saved. He recently published a New New Testament, a literal translation of New Testament, and I have to say, his belief (and my hope) is not unfounded.

(The Honest Skeptic) #42

@Djordje @Ashwin_s Great thread you two! It was fun to see how you both patiently worked through a challenging, and potentially divisive, issue.

(Ashwin S) #43

Can you point me to a short explanation for this belief with the reasons for the same?
I am curious to understand.

(George) #44


You actually tried to slip politics into the thread?

Jesus said “pay your taxes”… the money you have belongs to god or the gov… not to you.

And Peter and God had a few words to share when a married couple tried to lie about their admission into the commune (essene style). First the husband was slain, then later the wife.

(The Honest Skeptic) #45

That seems very close to the position that Rob Bell ended up supporting as well in Love Wins. @Djordje @Ashwin_s


Yes, I’ve read it, I liked the book. Felt really disgusted when a lot of Christians started asking for a witch hunt on him.


You can find the exact belief on Eastern Orthodox Christian wikipedia page, as for the belief itself, it comes from the Church Fathers. (Gregory of Nyssa mostly)

(The Honest Skeptic) #48

It’s a nice message, but most Protestants believe that salvation comes through a personal relationship fostered by a personal decision. This is made available because of the personal work (sacrifice) made by Jesus Christ on the cross, and his eventual defeat of death. As such, we recoil at at the thought that Jesus’ sacrifice could be applied universally and eventually, even after death, because there is no scriptural evidence and, further, it does not fit well with the scriptures that we do have. Rob Bell was quite a figure in mainstream Christianity, and this book represented a huge departure. I remember watching some of his videos prior to this book coming out, and I could hear in what he was saying some of his opinions changing. I stopped listening to him and using his resources, because they did not match with what scripture says. So, as I said, nice, encouraging message, but not defensible.


Jesus, Paul, and James preach the same gospel! And if they all got in a room and read their epistles and teachings to each other, James and Paul would fall down at the feet of our Lord. In fact, I’m fairly sure that’s what they’re doing right now.

We just need a consistent hermeneutic to interpret them through. I don’t think Protestantism has a consistent hermeneutic. Look at the many many different denominations. Some “branch theory” doesn’t save face. Catholics and Orthodox have a much more plausible hermeneutic to understand these issues, and that’s Holy Tradition. I choose the Orthodox hermeneutic over the Catholic one but I can understand both decisions.


Mark, maybe you can explain the idea of salvation even in hell better than me.


I would take what Rob Bell says with a grain of salt. If you really want to look at a better understanding of universalism, check out Gregory of Nyssa, or Isaac the Syrian. Or Kallistos Ware’s excellent article, “dare we hope that all be saved?” Or something like that.


The stuff on this site is thougtful. Readings in Universalism | Eclectic Orthodoxy


Oh, maybe you’ve noticed but I greatly prefer David Bentley Hart’s idea of universalism. Just stated my opinion about his book. I don’t find it great, or mind altering, I do find nice though.

One of the reasons, of course, is that Hart himself is an Eastern Orthodox Christian.

(Ashwin S) #54

Yes they do. That’s what I was arguing for.

I think the Bible is consistent in itself. It takes a little effort and lots of prayer to understand… but the basic message is clear.

As to holy tradition… Which one is Apostolic… the orthodox church or the Catholic one ? And why?


Both were for about the first 1000 yrs or so!! :slight_smile:


I would say the Orthodox one. The Catholic understaning of the scope and authority of the papacy doesn’t coincide with even a seed of this in the early church. No even inkling of papal infallibility.

(Ashwin S) #57

That’s not an answer is it… :slight_smile:

I see the Bible as Apostolic… and then there is the holy Spirit.
If you Go by the Catholic church, the orthodox church was anathema…wasn’t it? And vice versa? Until 1964.
I am sorry,I don’t see the fruit that the only true church on earth should have.
I am not saying it’s a bad church. Just that the claim made is very big.


Oh, I already read this, I found it to be pretty great with a lot of citation from the scripture, tradition and church fathers.



I’d rather not do this at the moment. Gotta work. But if you want to talk more about this, maybe private message me and I’ll get back when I can.


I think this is a discussion that is absolutely essential, and I think I’m right! Haha. But I want to give it my due dilligence and I can’t at the moment. Being Eastern Orthodox has changed my life. So yeah, send me a message if you want.