Friday, March 11, 2011

Unversalism and evangelism

So if you do any reading of blogs at all, I'm sure you've heard about the Rob Bell/universalism controversy that's going on.  I understand that this conversation has to happen around something, though like others, I'm not sure that we need to be talking about a book that hasn't been released yet.  At any rate, the question of universalism is a theological one that the church probably has to address.

However, I fear that in the midst of this theological discussion, we're missing out on the opportunity and the urgency of inviting people into life with Jesus right now.  As I mentioned before, my study of John and people's encounters with Jesus has brought to the forefront of my mind the question of what eternal life is.  And I am convinced that it's life that's meant to be lived now, not just in the future.

We get so caught up in these ideas and these issues, and, while I think that conversation around them is necessary for the church, I actually don't think it's as important as helping people to see who Jesus is to them right now.  Whether I believe that everyone will be reconciled with God or not, I can walk with him now.  And because I do walk with him now, I am convinced that life with the Eternal One is worth living.  And I am convinced enough that it's worth living that I want others to know about it and see what it looks like.

So I guess what I'm saying is that my calling to walk with people in holistic friendship and spiritual conversation is not dependent at all on what I believe about what happens to people at the end of all time.  I am sure that it matters, but it doesn't affect the fact that we're invited into life with God now, not just in eternity.  And life with God now matters.  I am hoping that the church doesn't lose sight of this within the context of the universalism controversy.

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