If you have been following the conversation between grace teachers and their perceptive audiences you may have heard the question being asked, “What are you saying…are you teaching universalism?”

The reason that the word “universalism” is surfacing is because the inclusive nature of the gospel is being recovered today among the grace teachers. This is prompted by the revelation of Scripture which reveals salvation in very global terms:

“God so loved the world that He gave…”

“As in Adam all died; so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

“If one died for all, therefore all died.”

What does all this mean? First, the word clearly needs to be defined before we can have a coherent conversation. This is what Paul Young does for us so graciously in the following brief video:

3/26/17 Update: Does The Shack Book/Movie Teach That “All Roads Lead to God”?

What of the fear-based accusations of The Shack promoting “Universal Salvation” or what have called “Universalism”? It all depends on your definition. Check out this video.

Contrary to any form of pluralism (the belief that “all roads lead to God”) in The Shack Paul Young explains it this way:

They arrived at the door of the workshop. Again Jesus stopped. “Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslim, Democrats, Republicans, and many who don’t vote or are not part of any Sunday morning religious institutions. I have followers who were murderers and many who were self-righteous. Some were bankers and bookies, Americans and Iraquis, Jews and Palistinians. I have no desire to make them Christian, but I do want to join them in their transformation into sons and daughters of my Papa, into my brothers and sisters, into my Beloved.”
Does that mean,” asked Mack, “that all roads will lead to you?”
Not at all,” smiled Jesus as he reached for the door handle to the shop. “Most roads don’t lead anywhere. What it does mean is that I will travel any road to find you.”

Here is Athanasius, author of the Nicene Creed, on the universal atonement and rescue of mankind through Christ alone:

“Surely it would have been better never to have been created at all than, having been created, to be neglected and perish; and, besides that, such indifference to the ruin of His own work before His very eyes would argue not goodness in God but limitation, and that far more than if He had never created men at all. It was impossible, therefore, that God should leave man to be carried off by corruption, because it would be unfitting and unworthy of Himself.”
― Athanasius
“The King of all has come into our country and dwelt in one body amidst the many, and in consequence the designs of the enemy against mankind have been foiled and the corruption of death, which formerly held them in its power, has simply ceased to be. For the human race would have perished utterly had not the Lord and Savior of all the Son of God, come among us to put an end to death.”
― Athanasius
“The God of all is good, therefore He is the Lover of the human race.”
― Athanasius

 

Universal atonement is not a heresy but rather an historical and present day acceptable orthodox view. See Four Views on Hell by Zondervan Publishing.