The Best Ending to the Christian Story: Radical Continuity

My response to Daniel Kirk's essay (published last week) is now up at Two Friars and a Fool.

The title of the essay--"Radical Continuity"--picks up on my attempt to address Dr. Kirk's worry, expressed in his essay, that universalism doesn't allow for our deeds on earth to "echo in eternity." In my response I also address Dr. Kirk's worries about how people like Rob Bell lean too heavily on free will.

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4 thoughts on “The Best Ending to the Christian Story: Radical Continuity”

  1. This is not related to the post above, but I didn't find a way to send an email.  Is there a schedule of anywhere of any speaking engagements you might be doing?  I enjoy your writing and would like to hear you in person if that is possible.  Thanks.

  2. I have enjoyed this series and would like to hear more about how your psychology research led to you to discard the idea of radical freewill.

  3. Hi Richard,
    I'm more college professor than speaker. I don't travel around doing speaking gigs. But I am doing a class at ACU's Summit in Sep. and I'm going to speak this spring at Streaming at Rochester College.

  4. Hi Brent,
    I don't think it was psychological research that led me to this conclusion. It was mainly my experiences as a therapist, watching people struggling to change. Strugging against their habits, their addictions, their family genetics (most mental health issues have a genetic component), their life experiences, their home environments. And on and on.

    That said, I'm not trying to defend determinism. In fact, I think the whole free will vs. determinism debate is essentially futile, useless, and unhelpful. I like to work with facts.

    And here's the fact I work with: Change is hard. That's the antropological truth I start with when I begin my theological reflections. Change is hard.

    Now that truth might seem obvious, but a lot of Christians haven't thought long and had about the soteriological implications of that empirical fact. Because if change is hard it means that people need time to come to Christ or change their lives. And lots of people just don't have the time or oppurtunity before death takes them. So how is that fair? That's the theological problem I've been wrestling with. If change is hard and death is the end of the game how is the game of getting to heaven or going to hell fair?

    To answer this question I've gravitated toward universalism as it is the only soteriological system that deals effectively with the issue of time and death.

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