Universal Reconciliation & the Reductio Ad Hitlerum
Over at WorldNetDaily they seem to have a problem with the moderate evangelical best selling book “The Shack” because it’s too…moderate. As I noted in this post, George Washington didn’t seem to have a problem with Christian-Universalism. Indeed, I think GW probably believed like the other “key Founders” did — good people get into Heaven, bad people are temporarily punished, eventually saved. Though, his views on the afterlife are hard to pin down; they seemed as much “Greco-Roman” as “Judeo-Christian,” and that synthesis is certainly consistent with the notion that virtuous people get into Heaven, the bad temporarily punished.
Here is their reductio:
Universal reconciliation is the teaching that all people go to heaven. Even the wicked angels and wicked people will repent in hell and get to heaven. The most heinous evils committed by the Hitlers of history find forgiveness. Even the embodiment of evil, Satan, the devil himself, will finally repent and enter heaven. God’s love conquers all. Hell ceases to exist.
Unfortunately, this teaching overlooks the “little matter” of God’s justice and holiness. In my book, “Burning Down the Shack,” I expose the universalism still embedded in the novel.
Why even mention Hilter to prove the point. As far as I understand orthodox view of salvation, Hitler could have had a deathbed conversion to Christianity and be in Heaven, yet every Jew he had killed, if they didn’t have a similar conversion, ends up in Hell for eternity where, according to some orthodox notions of Hell, they experience something even worse than the Holocaust.
This, to me, is as nuts as the worst I’ve heard come from the Bin Ladens of the world.
But even if Hitler DIDN’T have a deathbed conversion, the orthodox version of eternal damnation relativizes his sin and teaches Hitler ends up in the same place with the Jews killed during the Holocaust, Ghandi and those who believe in soul damning heresies like Mormons (and perhaps even Roman Catholics).
At least with universal reconciliation there is room for punishing folks IN PROPORTION to the sin they committed on Earth so that, if everyone gets into Heaven, Hitler, Stalin, and Mao are at the END of the line (for humans). And Satan, at the end of the line for all beings.
That makes far more sense than the orthodox version of eternal damnation. Now, if one wants to stick with, “this is just what the Bible teaches,” fine. Don’t try to argue there is any rhyme or reason to it.