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I'm David. This fancy website software told me to introduce myself so that's what I'm doing now.
More specifically, it instructed me to give a little of my theological context, or the perspective I'm coming from. So let's get a few things out of the way.
I'm a Biblical Universalist. For those who don't know, this means I believe the Bible to clearly teach that God shall eventually save all human beings, that God's Justice and Mercy work together to ultimately ensure the outcome of the Will of God, which is precisely that all men be saved (1st Timothy 2:4-8). I do not believe in eternal hell or endless punishment for the wicked.
I'm vehemently against the modern church structure and the clergy-laity distinction. Jesus ordained everyone of us priests after the Order of Melchizedek: every member of the Body of Christ is able and responsible to perform the function of their Priesthood. For some, even, this merely entails resting in Him, for their time will come later. As a result, I call no man my pastor save the One Man that shepherds me from within--Jesus Christ, the Good Pastor (Shepherd).
Pretty much the two major categories into which most of my theological discussions and debates fall. Looking forward to speaking with you all!
Welcome, David! And that wasn't some fancy software that suggested you introduce yourself. It was me. :) Although I guess I did use software to post it.
As a universalist, what is your opinion of Rob Bell's book? Big fan?
I liked many of Bell's propositions, questions, and points. Particularly, I liked the little bit of debunking he did regarding the very black and white idea the church has about heaven and hell--namely, pointing out the variety of words the Bible uses for both. I also praise Bell for sticking to scriptural authority, something multiple other authors fail to do.
On the other hand, Bell can come off as a bit sarcastic sometimes. I think the negative attention the book has drawn--mostly, mind, from those who attacked Bell simply because he disagreed with them--has alerted the authorities, so to speak, the big names of theology today, to the fact that universalism is a rapidly growing point of view among the youth and in culture. The key for me, as someone who holds the Bible as valid, is balancing universalism and inclusivism (the idea that biblical truth is found in seed-form in non-Christian places and ideologies) with scriptural authority and promoting the basis of the former in the latter.
Sorry about that by the way, definitely thought it was computerized. Thanks for the comment, though!
David; Welcome to Theologica. Since you took the time to read Rob Bells book, may I suggest that you also take the time to read Francis Chan's book: "Erasing Hell".
You can call me Jack, or The Geezer.