The Evangelical Universalist

Gregory MacDonald (Author Pseudonym)

Book Review by Gareth Duffty

The Evangelical Universalist

WOW! What a read! Get ready, hold on to your hats for a roller coaster ride, get ready to be shaken and challenged in your thinking. This is the one for you!

I am a firm believer that over the last 35 years or more the church has become more accustomed to teachings and understandings of the Kingdom of God and Covenant and Restoration to the point that today weighty writings influenced by this thinking are now emerging in our bookstores. These new books have been well thought through and considered theologically. We are in an era of establishing a thinking that is so different from our Historic Dispensational roots which has, and still is in some settings, so hindered the church in its advancement, understanding and purpose. This book is one that will deeply challenge your dispensational thoughts.

It is well argued and thought through and even addresses within itself the weaknesses of the author’s own argument. It’s not in any way an argumentative book, so don’t come to it to defend, but read its journey as it works its pathway through some real tough stuff.

Dealing with the Love of God, Justice, Punishment, Hell, the Nature of God, the devil and may other topics, I have found it a comprehensive read and an honest dealing with issues. Although the author admits to being a convinced Universalist, just as William Barclay has become a Universalist, the author does not present a defensive or siege stance and therefore it is a fresh appeal.

The author lists with in the books closure the catalogue of early fathers, Catholic thinkers and Evangelical theologians that have also become Universalist due to their exploration and experience of the Nature of God.

The writer, we are told, writes under a pseudonym as they wish us to “…focus on the debate, on the issues raised and not on him/her…” I believe this is commendable and helpful to all.

I would encourage you to read this book as a Restorationist and one who seeks to see the Kingdom of God in our world, read it with an open mind, it will help in our journey. I have found it a must to adopt the attitude of a learner in challenging our normal thinking, rather than being too ready to dismiss all.

Let me conclude with a paragraph to ask a question of you, taken from the book itself.

“...let me ask you to hold in your mind traditional Christian vision of the future, in which many, perhaps the majority of humanity, are excluded from salvation forever.  Alongside that hold the Universalist vision, in which God achieves his loving purpose of redeeming the whole of creation.
Which vision has the strongest view of divine love?
Which story has the most powerful narrative of God’s victory over evil?
Which picture lifts the atoning efficacy of the cross of Christ to greatest heights?
Which perspective best emphasizes the triumph of grace over sin?
Which view most inspires worship and love of God bringing him honour and glory?
Which has the most satisfactory understanding of divine wrath?
Which narrative inspires hope in the human spirit?
To my mind the answer to all these questions is clear, and that is why I am a Christian Universalist...”

My appeal to you is to read this book and be open to God as we explore the hour in which we live, with the ever unfolding progressive nature of God as he makes it known more and more.

Is this book one of the vessels adopted to unfold the scripture more perfectly?  I leave that to you to decide.

I do believe that this book will serve to open the debate on hell, universalism, annihilation and eternal damnation and in the years to come it will become one of the living discoveries of the age we now live in!

Read, be challenged, shout, enjoy, more that anything else see if you discover God in the authors’ journey – whoever the author may be.

You can purchase this book from Amazon by CLICKING HERE.