Monday, August 2, 2010

Consistency, Hope, Scripture

(1) I generally hope, and I take this hope to be an action of the will, for the salvation of all; I find some encouragement in knowing that there is some sense in which God desires all to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.

(2) I doubt that this will actually happen, based on the weight of the Biblical evidence and a couple of rather conclusive-sounding things Jesus said about the narrow way and the wide gate, and the knowledge of some sort of predestination inextricable from the Christian tradition.

Is (1) consistent with (2)? (2), judging by the Christian tradition, certainly has more weight for our intellectual lives. Are they both consistent with the Scriptures?


M.A. Schmitz said...

If I remember correctly, this was the exact topic of von Balthasar's "Dare We Hope That All Men Be Saved?", which is, in my opinion, an excellent book.

There's a limited preview of it on Google Books.

But basically, the strong possibility of someone, out of everyone, going to hell, does not mean there is certainty, and thus, one can not argue saying that it is certainly going to happen. It is a possibility. Just like the fact that God presented two ways to Israel did not necessitate Israel's taking the way to death.

What I like most is that he holds out the real and strong possibility of damnation (unlike the many who would throw the idea out), while saying that according to the Scriptures, we have to hold out hope for all.

Dan Lower / KKairos said...

Apologies on my very late response here: is he saying we should hold out hope for the event of every single person being saved, or that in the individual case of a given person we must hope for their salvation? Realizing that the second may imply the first, I do recognize a technical distinction between them; do you recall which von Balthasar meant?

M.A. Schmitz said...

Noting that he was working from trying to find the scriptural point of view, it would have been the second, I think, and thus implying the first, albeit indirectly.

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