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Neal Punt's Almost Universalism
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TOPIC: Neal Punt's Almost Universalism

Neal Punt's Almost Universalism 1 year, 9 months ago #4247

  • noctuary
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Is anyone here familiar with Neal Punt? I'm pretty sure he believes in conditional immortality since he included a chapter by Edward Fudge defending such in his book. I downloaded Punt's book Evangelical Inclusion but I haven't read much of it. From what I understand, Punt believes that the work of Christ is such that all are saved except for those who opt out, those who give a firm "no", in contrast to the usual understanding that only those who say "yes" are saved.

Any thoughts on this?

Re: Neal Punt's Almost Universalism 1 year, 9 months ago #4255

noctuary wrote:
Is anyone here familiar with Neal Punt? I'm pretty sure he believes in conditional immortality since he included a chapter by Edward Fudge defending such in his book. I downloaded Punt's book Evangelical Inclusion but I haven't read much of it. From what I understand, Punt believes that the work of Christ is such that all are saved except for those who opt out, those who give a firm "no", in contrast to the usual understanding that only those who say "yes" are saved.

Any thoughts on this?


That's actually kind of how I see it.

Re: Neal Punt's Almost Universalism 1 year, 9 months ago #4286

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I read a different book by Punt, but you have it essentially right. He points out that Scripture indicates that those who accept Christ will be saved and those who reject him will be lost, but doesn't actually say what happens to those who do neither. He then lays out:

Statement A: Everyone will be lost, except those whom Scripture explicitly says will be saved. (This is what he says most people believe by default, and I agree with him on that.)

But then he offers:

Statement B: Everyone will be saved, except those whom Scripture explicitly says will be lost.

He points out, correctly, that both statements are assumptions and neither can be proved or disproved by Scripture. He seems to prefer B. But the difficulty I have with B this is that it argues strongly against evangelism. If I find a group of people who have never heard of Christ, and proclaim the gospel to them, it's likely that at least some will reject it and be lost. But all would have been saved by default if I'd kept my mouth shut.

Personally, I believe in:

Statement C: Everyone whom Scripture explicitly says will be saved, will be saved. Everyone whom Scripture explicitly says will be lost, will be lost. And we have no business speculating about anyone else, so let's get them into the first group if we can.

Re: Neal Punt's Almost Universalism 1 year, 9 months ago #4287

DTM wrote:
I read a different book by Punt, but you have it essentially right. He points out that Scripture indicates that those who accept Christ will be saved and those who reject him will be lost, but doesn't actually say what happens to those who do neither. He then lays out:

Statement A: Everyone will be lost, except those whom Scripture explicitly says will be saved. (This is what he says most people believe by default, and I agree with him on that.)

But then he offers:

Statement B: Everyone will be saved, except those whom Scripture explicitly says will be lost.

He points out, correctly, that both statements are assumptions and neither can be proved or disproved by Scripture. He seems to prefer B. But the difficulty I have with B this is that it argues strongly against evangelism. If I find a group of people who have never heard of Christ, and proclaim the gospel to them, it's likely that at least some will reject it and be lost. But all would have been saved by default if I'd kept my mouth shut.

Personally, I believe in:

Statement C: Everyone whom Scripture explicitly says will be saved, will be saved. Everyone whom Scripture explicitly says will be lost, will be lost. And we have no business speculating about anyone else, so let's get them into the first group if we can.

I've been debating with some "anti-Christians" on a musicians site recently. Interestingly, most of them have attended comparative religion classes in college and know just enough to be dangerous - to themselves. Because THE main part of their sheer hatred of Christianity is the ECT message, it is interesting to see them fight to support that position. And as I study the issue more and more, I find myself having more compassion on them than my normal MO.

I've gotten to the point were, regarding SDA, LDS, Catholics, JW and all the other groups I used to consider "Christian cults" I now look at through the lens of the end of Romans 12.

i.e. of late I'm REALLY lightening up on people that disagree with me.

Why all the blah, blah, blah above? Just to say I see evangelizing as the equivalent of a stock broker trying to sell Microsoft stock when it first went public. People can come on board, or they can decline. Their choice. And regarding those that never hear His word? Well, I'll leave that to God. However, I suspect there is some truth in Ecclesiastes in that we all have been given the gift of life for a brief time in this biological machine called the human body. Those that never accept Christ can eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor and then they die. Or many will hear His word, refuse, and suffer the same fate. But others will hear His word and accept His free gift. They will become immortal with Him.

I pull a lot of this from Romans 9. I get the feeling that either what I said above is accurate or universalism is accurate. And there are scripture to support both, but Paul and Jesus are pretty hard on those that don't accept His free gift. So I really do have a hard time with Universalism.

That being said, because of what I said in my first paragraph and reference to Romans 9, I'm good with either CI or U, but believe CI is more well supported. And then I can move on to focusing on the fate of the saved and trying to bring in as many as I can through His grace.

It's ECT that I am hostile to .I believe it seriously damages the message. The fact that anti-Christians preach it so strongly that is one of the proofs of this.

Re: Neal Punt's Almost Universalism 1 year, 8 months ago #4340

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That being said, because of what I said in my first paragraph and reference to Romans 9, I'm good with either CI or U, but believe CI is more well supported. And then I can move on to focusing on the fate of the saved and trying to bring in as many as I can through His grace.

It's ECT that I am hostile to .I believe it seriously damages the message. The fact that anti-Christians preach it so strongly that is one of the proofs of this.


Yes, this is how I think. I believe that at worst people are annihilated, to God's great sorrow; at best all will be healed and saved.

ECT is so horrifying. As a child, I would look at ads for local churches and see pictures of the pastor and others smiling. I was befuddled by this; how could they smile believing what they believe?
Last Edit: 1 year, 8 months ago by noctuary.
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