About Providence, Divine Action and the Church

In this blog, Terry J. Wright posts thoughts and shares research on the Christian doctrine of providence. This doctrine testifies to God’s provision for all things through creation’s high priest, the man Christ Jesus. However, the precise meaning and manner of this provision is a perpetually open question, and this blog is a forum for discussion of the many issues relating to providence and the place of the Church within God’s action.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Is Universalism an Evangelical Option?

I'm organising a conference at Spurgeon's College in London: Is Universalism an Evangelical Option?

The conference is scheduled to run from 10.00 am until 4.30 pm on Thursday, 3 February 2011.

The speakers are Robin Parry (author of The Evangelical Universalist - under the pseudonym Gregory MacDonald, of course!), Derek Tidball (formerly Principal at London School of Theology), Nigel Wright (Principal at Spurgeon's College) and Graham Watts (Tutor in Christian Doctrine and Ethics at Spurgeon's College).

If you're interested, feel free to contact me for more details and a booking form by emailing me here.


  1. Hello!

    Sounds fascinating!

    If I'm allowed a shameless plug, I've been doing some restling with evangelical approaches to annihilationism and universalism at http://davidwilliamson.blogspot.com/2010/10/plea-for-hope-and-humility-when-talking.html

    All the best!

  2. Shameless plugs of this sort are welcome, David!

  3. That's good news indeed!
    Any chance you could video it for those of us further afield ???

  4. I doubt that, but it may be possible to get mp3s.

  5. mp3s would b gr8 !

    thank you !

  6. This is a fascinating doctrine and debate. My BA Diss was on this because I was intrigued as to how many other doctrines it had an impact on. It is certainly growing in evangelical circles. I don't agree with it but would like to. Thanks for highlighting this conference.

  7. Prof David Fergusson (not a universalist) says that ‘one of the more perplexing aspects of the current controversy is the way in which critics of the universalist case concede that it would be nice if it were true". He cites Stephen Davis and William Lane Craig as examples of those who would like to believe that ‘universalism were true, but it is not’. He then comments: ‘Such remarks are puzzling. Are we saying that God’s final scheme is undesirable? Are we even suggesting that our own moral preferences are somehow better than God’s. Can we claim to be evangelical if we hold that it would be good if universalism were true while also lamenting wistfully that it is not what God has on offer?

    Personally I believe it is what God has on offer as his wonderful "final solution". But before we get there, there is a pilgrimage for all of us to make. And as Robin Parry says, one way or another, we shall all be salted by fire -- or (I should say) as Mark 9:49 says: "For everyone will be salted with fire".

    My prayer is that the Church can see this more and more clearly.

  8. I so agree with 'anonymous'! May I suggest that the 'modus operandi' of universalism could be a form of reincarnation? In the light of this, the 'pilgrimage' we have to make can take many generations. In this way we do 'reap what we sow', not as punishment but as 'natural consequence', which is all part of the learning curve we have to follow.
    I would love to come to the conference and maybe will.

    Jacqui Poole


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