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McClymond on Christian Universalism

newsroomadminFebruary 17, 2013

Michael McClymond will be speaking on “Christ Between the Thieves: the Theological and Pastoral Challenge of Christian Universalism,” as part of the Henry Center‘s Scripture & Ministry series. It will take place on February 20, in A.T.O. Chapel from 1–2:30 p.m. and will be live streamed.

Not long ago, Time magazine ran the cover story “What If There Is No Hell?” that centered on Rob Bell’s Love Wins. Bell’s book highlights a major trend that is affecting evangelical churches in the U.S. and around the world: a growing acceptance of universalism (that is, universal salvation) as an acceptable evangelical belief. From whence does this trend arise? How and why has it taken hold? In this lecture McClymond traces this theological idea through its ancient roots and modern revival, and illuminates the fundamental theological questions that it raises, including the nature of God, human free will, the gravity of sin, and the significance of Christ’s suffering.

An appropriate Christian response to this particular version of universalism, McClymond argues, must not settle with citing the relevant scriptures and reaffirming eternal punishment. It must include a deeper reflection on the meaning of Christ’s cross and the differences between a church that preaches and practices “costly grace” and a club that preaches and practices “cheap grace.”

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