“Why I Am Not A Universalist?” (Baxter Kruger, Paul Young, THE SHACK, & other stuff, too)

I promised to post some thoughts addressing the topic:  “Why I am Not a Universalist!”

Unfortunately, I have been very busy and not yet had the chance to jump in.

I did find a brief statement on Baxter Kruger’s “Ongoing Thought” blog located that is a helpful addition to this topic.

By the way, Baxter’s new book:  “The Shack Revisited” will be released shortly.  I have already pre-ordered my copy from Amazon for my “kindle reader.”  It will be available in both print and kindle format in early October.  With the preface written by Baxter’s good friend and Shack author Paul Young – and with my familiarity with all Baxter’s books to date – I imagine this will be a breakout best seller.

After Baxter’s thoughts, you’ll find a link where you can place your order.



Here are two definitions of Universalism.  (1) “The theological doctrine that all souls will eventually find salvation in the grace of God.”  (2) “The doctrine…that hell is in essence purgative and therefore temporary and that all intelligent beings will therefore in the end be saved.”  Here is my position on universalism.

“That Jesus Christ loves us all and has included us everyone in his life with his Father and the Holy Spirit, I consider to be an absolute, eternal fact.  That every human being will come to experience this life fully, I consider to be a hope, but not a fact.  It is a hope grounded in the astounding love of the blessed Trinity—in the endless fidelity of the Father, the complete and finished work of Jesus, and the redeeming genius of the Holy Spirit.  I think we have every reason to hope for everyone to come to know the truth so as to experience salvation.  But to make such a hope an absolute fact, or a conclusion, or a doctrine is, to me, a mistake.  That would be to deny, theologically speaking, the authenticity of our personhood and our real freedom to participate.  We are real to the Father, Son and Spirit, distinct persons within the life of God, with our own minds, hearts and wills, which will never be violated by the blessed Trinity.  So there remains the possibility that in our distinctness, we will choose to live against our own beings. Such a violation of reality is as absurd as it is painful, but possible.  It is not possible for the Father, Son and Spirit to morph into another God, with another dream for humanity.  In this universe, and in all universes to come, the Father, Son and Spirit will never, ever give up their dream that we would all come to experience fully the trinitarian life together.”


see  Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language, David B. Guralnik, editor, (New York: Simon and Shuster, 1980.

see  The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, edited by F. L. Cross (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.

The Shack Revisited: There Is More Going On Here than You Ever Dared to Dream
by: C. Baxter Kruger
publisher: FaithWords, published: 2012-10-02
sales rank: 45872

Millions have found their spiritual hunger satisfied by William P. Young’s #1 New York Times bestseller, The Shack–the story of a man lifted from the depths of despair through his life-altering encounter with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Now C. Baxter Kruger’s THE SHACK REVISITED guides readers into a deeper understanding of these three persons to help readers have a more profound connection with the core message of The Shack–that God is love.

An early fan of The Shack and a close friend to its author, Kruger shows why the novel has been enthusiastically embraced by so many Christians worldwide. In the words of William P. Young from the foreword to THE SHACK REVISITED, “Baxter Kruger will stun readers with his unique cross of intellectual brilliance and creative genius as he takes them deeper into the wonder, worship, and possibility that is the world of The Shack.”


The Shack Revisited
by: C. Baxter Kruger
publisher: Hachette Audio, published: 2012-10-02
ASIN: 1619697726
EAN: 9781619697720
price: $64.99 (new)


The Shack
by: William P. Young
publisher: Windblown Media, published: 2008-06-20
ASIN: B001B8Z2S0
sales rank: 494

Mackenzie Allen Phillips’s youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later, in this midst of his great sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change his life forever.


Finding God in The Shack
by: Randal Rauser
publisher: InterVarsity Press, published: 2012-01-12
sales rank: 77860

What would it be like to lose your youngest child to a serial killer? And then to have God invite you out for a conversation at the very shack where the terrible deed took place? And then imagine that the door to that shack of horrors opened . . . and before you knew it you had been swept up in the motherly embrace of a large African American woman?

This most unlikely of stories, as told in William Young’s The Shack, has become a runaway bestseller and it is easy to see why. But even as lives have been transformed through this book, other readers have sternly denounced it as a hodgepodge of serious theological error, even heresy. With one pastor urging his congregation to read it and another forbidding his congregation to, many Christians have simply been left confused.

Aware both of the excitement and uncertainty generated by The Shack, theologian Randal Rauser takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the pages of the story. In successive chapters he explores many of the book’s complex and controversial issues. Thus he explains why God the Father is revealed as an African American woman, he defends the book’s theology of the Trinity against charges of heresy and he considers its provocative denial of a Trinitarian hierarchy.

But at its heart The Shack is a response to evil and so Rauser spends the final three chapters considering the book’s explanation for why God allows evil, how the atoning work of Christ offers new hope for a suffering world and ultimately how this hope extends to all of creation. Through these chapters Rauser offers an honest and illuminating discussion which opens up a new depth to the conversation while providing the reader with new opportunities for Finding God in The Shack.


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