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Hiddeness of God, Universalism, and Hell

Re: Hiddeness of God, Universalism, and Hell

Postby steve » Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:21 pm

I don't remember specific discussions of this problem, other than the refutation of the claim that seeing negates faith. But I myself, without being a universalist, just pointed out the fallacy in that charge (above). I believe that they would say something similar.

Since biblical "faith" (as you yourself pointed out) means more than merely believing in the existence of something, and has more to do with placing one's confidence and loyalty in someone, this remains a free choice for those who have seen God directly (like demons) as much as for those who have never seen Him. If I am understanding the challenge incorrectly, feel free to clarify.
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Re: Hiddeness of God, Universalism, and Hell

Postby Homer » Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:55 am

Steve,

You had asked:

I am not sure how the universalist response to the hiddenness of God would differ from that of any other Christian's response to it. Is there something about the hiddenness of God that poses a different kind or degree of challenge to universalists than it poses to the rest of us?


If I were a universalist I would respond that universalism is fair: those in hell will receive just punishment and correction and in the end wind up in the same place as the righteous.

I imagine the universalists are kept busy defending and advocating for their position; perhaps they do not have time for such things.
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Re: Hiddeness of God, Universalism, and Hell

Postby steve » Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:30 am

I am not surprised that I have never found a universalist's response to the hiddenness of God, since I wouldn't see any special reason for them to address the point—just as I have not encountered many writers of the traditional or annihilations camps specifically writing on that subject. It is not the most common topic discussed in Christian literature, and I would think most universalists would not find it to be a particular problem to their view, calling for explanation.
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Re: Hiddeness of God, Universalism, and Hell

Postby Homer » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:00 pm

Steve,

Agreed, but some Christian apologists feel a need to respond to the attacks of atheists/sceptics.
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Re: Hiddeness of God, Universaism, and Hell

Postby Singalphile » Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:24 pm

steve7150 wrote:My point is that even if God physically appeared and spoke to all the atheists - like Homer's former evangelical - I do not think it would necessarily make it more likely that any of them would put their faith in Him and do His will.




Any of them? Some don't believe because they don't want to but some don't believe because of a lack of evidence in their opinion. I don't know how many would change but changing from atheism to believing is a Paradigm shift. Paul although not an atheist did have a paradigm change in 30 seconds when he saw Christ & so did Thomas!


I'm sure it would make some of them admit that God exists and and that Jesus rose and so on, but "believing" those facts is not all of what it means to believe in God and Jesus, I think we'd all agree. I suppose that if God were always around, then we'd all be on our best behavior. But God knows the heart and He knows how they'd behave if He wasn't around, whether "hidden" or not. As mentioned, lots of people in the Bible disobeyed God even when they knew and saw His power a lot more than us (probably). So maybe it just doesn't make any difference.
... that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. John 5:23
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