Craig Carter is Professor of Theology, Theologian-in-Resident, and an author.
Jordan Franck is an educator and a professional photographer. We discuss his departure from Christianity, what led to that, and what he holds to now.
One of the greatest challenges of the spiritual life, the study of theology, and the work of philosophy is when the expected is absent or silent. Some have talked about the problems of evil as problems of absence – of the lack of health, or protection from harm, or even apparent meaning in the cascade of pain that we experience and witness. Another expectation is seen in the problem of divine hiddenness.
In the introduction to this course, I pointed out that ever since the emergence of the pro-Nicene consensus on the doctrine of God enshrined in the Niceno-Constantinapolitan Creed of 381 AD, all branches of the Church in the East and West and both Roman Catholic and Protestant have confessed that God is simple, immutable and perfect, as well as loving, gracious and merciful.
I am often asked why I defend the doctrine of universalism, the idea that all people will eventually be saved. As a philosophy student, I do not count myself as qualified to, engage with universalism as a strategy of biblical study or as the correct interpretation of the historic thought of certain theologians. Rather, this article will be successful in so far as I have provided you with reasons to believe that several problems in philosophy can be weakened – or even solved – by postulating universal salvation.
All doctrines and all biblical interpretations are traditions. The doctrine of the penal substitutionary atonement as the interpretation of Romans is a traditional interpretation. So tradition is not something imported from the outside without roots in the Bible or not subject to reform by biblical revelation. Tradition is not a rival to the Bible or an alternative to it.