Original universalism

Let “Universalism” for the moment mean no one born will be damned. So taken, even the Augustine writing about the massa damnanta is universalist in believing that it was God’s original plan for the human race. The Fall of the human race is a fall from an original universalist dispensation, making universalism an essential part of the Christian story, even for the most infernalist of Christians. Any Christian theology that speaks to the permission of sin and reprobation is leaving something out unless it speaks to the permission of sin even to lose original Adamic universalism. 

So what do we non-universalists need to say? Salvation in Christ, or even that Christ exists at all, is a better good than salvation through Adam, notwithstanding latter’s universal salvation. In the face of the choice between, on the one hand, universal salvation, or even a world with no pain and loss in it and, on the other hand, the existence of the single man Christ, picking Christ is still the better part. All suffering and loss, and even one that was in some sense infinite, was for him. Two different responses to Christ at this point can be expected. 

 

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