Friday 15 August 2008

Salvation for all

“If salvation is for any, it is for all…. The ‘return’ to the lost, the excluded, the failed or destroyed, is not an option for the saint, but the very heart of saintliness. And we might think not only of Jesus’s parable of the shepherd, but of the great theological myth of the Descent into Hell, in which God’s presence in the world in Jesus is seen as his journey into the furthest deserts of despair and alienation. It is the supreme image of his freedom, to go where he is denied and forgotten…. He comes to his new and risen life, his universal kingship, by searching out all the forgotten and failed members of the human family.”

—Rowan Williams, The Truce of God (2nd ed.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005), p. 30.


Anonymous said...

If "[t]he 'return' to the lost" is "not an option for the saint", then is it an option for the theologian or any other Christian?

Anonymous said...

He means its not an option--its an imperative!

Anonymous said...

Williams at his Balthasarian best...

Anonymous said...


I know that it is an imperative. What I'm wondering is if Williams is creating a divide between the 'normal' Christian, and 'the saint'. That is to say, is this imperative only for the saint-like elite, or are all Christians called to live as saints and live in response to this imperative?

Naturally, as Ben knows, I think that this imperative is directed at all Christians. I suspect that Williams also believes this to be true, but I could be wrong.

Ben, can you clarify the identity of 'the saint' in this quote? Is 'the saint' your everyday Christian, is is 'the saint' some sort of elite member?

Anonymous said...

An ingenuous defence when you're reluctant to exercise your office and discipline or expel those who won't be reformed. If he's arguing an universal salvation, then clearly God has radically changed in his character.

Anonymous said...

The vast majority of Christians pre-Augustine would disagree with you, anonymous.

Post a Comment


Contact us

Although we're not always able to reply, please feel free to email the authors of this blog.

Faith and Theology © 2008. Template by Dicas Blogger.