Perichoresis Monthly Meeting November 2009

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Stuart Johnson – Universalism: To be or not to be Pt 1 & 2

One of the biggest criticisms leveled against us is we are advocating universalism.  When this sort of mud is thrown at us, it sticks.  We clearly say we are not universalists but many are still suspicious.  However this judgment is an unfair one.  It is jumping to conclusions.  To properly understand the reasons we out rightly reject this accusation as unfounded, one has to closely explore the history of the gospel in its current form.  It requires peeling back the many layers to get to the core of what was delivered to us in Person by God Himself as Himself where the good news of the gospel is the fact that God is with us and for us.  This is a journey of humility where we allow God to speak for Himself.  Too often we forget that we should be good listeners and overlook such passages as Romans 11:34,

‘O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who first gave to Him, and it will be repaid to him? For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things; to Him be glory forever! Amen.’

In the end we have nothing to offer but our fullest attention and to listen to what He has to say through the One and only time in history where God has revealed Himself.  Jesus Christ is the measure of all things, especially the way we believe the gospel is to be understood. As we undertake this journey with Karl Barth and T F Torrance, one will find how far we have drifted from the biblical world view.  Once we are able to see in the clear light of day, we can revisit universalism fully equipped and armed with the gospel and truly see it as it is. Jesus Christ has often been shaped by doctrine when doctrine should be shaped by Jesus Christ.

Stuart Johnson has recently graduated from Tabor College in Adelaide with a Bachelor of Ministry. He is the manager for trinityinyou.com.  He is married to Judith and are foster parents with three children, one of them is a foster child in their care.  Stuart’s passion lies in evangelism and is keen to share with all people the utterly staggering good news of the gospel according to the ancient tradition.  He believes that understanding the gospel in the light of God as Father, Son and Spirit is central where it transforms our whole lives beginning with ourselves, each other, the wider community and all creation. Engaging with all people starts in union with Jesus Christ where ministry serves to participate in the Spirit’s work of revealing and strengthening through affirmation and assurance the reality of our new found existence in Him.