Posted on: April 9th, 2007 apocatastasis (doctrine of universal salvation)

I appreciated this post from Benjamin Myers’ Faith and Theology blog:

In Barth’s own words: “The proclamation of the Church must make allowance for this freedom of grace. Apokatastasis Panton? No, for a grace which automatically would ultimately have to embrace each and every one would certainly not be free grace. It surely would not be God’s grace. But would it be God’s free grace if we could absolutely deny that it could do that? Has Christ been sacrified only for our sins? Has he not … been sacrificed for the whole world? … [Thus] the freedom of grace is preserved on both these sides” (Barth, God Here and Now, pp. 41-42).

For Barth, then, we can neither affirm nor deny the possibility that all will be saved. So what can we do? Barth’s answer is clear: we can “hope” (see CD IV/3, pp. 477-78). And as Hans Urs von Balthasar has also shown, there is all the difference in the world between believing in universal salvation and hoping for it.

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