Paris in the Late Spring: Part I, A Publication

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on 13 August 2015 0 Comments
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I would like to know if you believe in universalism.


Dear Condol,

Thanks for your letter. I have chosen to respond to it, but with the caveat that no format like a question and answer column can possibly deal with this subject. A question regarding universalism is asking what is the nature of life. How are all things related? When did individualism arise in human history? How does universalism relate to religion? And many more.

Historically, the western Christian Church opposed universalism because in their judgment it undercut individual responsibility and it presumed to suggest that the motivating power found in the reality of hell and the threat of eternal punishment was not ultimate, but relative. In the East, universalism was encouraged because it seemed to unite all people into a particular understanding of humanity.

To respond to your question in the simplest terms, let me say that I believe all will be saved in that I believe that all lives are part of who or what God is. I have become convinced that individualism is more of a mirage than it is a reality. It would take a book to say more than that.

When I wrote my book, Eternal Life: A New Vision-Beyond Religion-Beyond Theism- Beyond Heaven and Hell, I tried to address this subject. It took more than 300 pages.

My best,
John Shelby Spong




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