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Product Details

  • Paperback: 319 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (March 25, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802827640
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802827647
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #968,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


'Taking its cue from Thomas Talbott's project, this volume of essays engages in intelligent discussion of the various universalisms to which evangelicals might be attracted. Whichever way readers decide, it is good to have the subject placed firmly and creatively on the agenda.' Dr Nigel G Wright, Principal of Spurgeon's College, London. 'In this work evangelicals are talking to one another about the controverted question of universalism. It's a conversation worth overhearing by the wider theological world.... On matters of authority, the primacy of Scripture is given its due, tradition is taken seriously and reason is honoured in the development of points of view, pro or con... This...is a land-mark discussion among evangelicals, with ecumenical constituencies--academic and ecclesial--having much to learn from the give-and-take.' From the foreword by Gabriel Fackre, Abbot Professor of Christian Theology Emeritus, Andover Newton Theological School. 'This book contains a tightly focused, well-argued debate on the important issue of whether all persons will finally share in the joy of God's salvation. The book sets a high mark for both quality of argument and civility of the arguers, and is unusual in looking at the issue from biblical, theological, and philosophical perspectives. Both those who favor universalism, and those, such as myself, who must in the end reject this view will benefit from careful study of this work.' C. Stephen Evans, Professor of Philosophy and Humanities, Baylor University --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Robin A. Parry is Acquisitions Editor at Wipf and Stock. His books include


, and

. For the latest thoughts from Parry, visit his blog,


Professor of contemporary religion at Chester College, Chester, England.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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It is balanced, and well written.
The thing that struck me most about the book is the gracious approach that all of the individuals took in examining Talbott's arguments.
D. Dean
A solid resource, highly recommended.
Israel Galindo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Israel Galindo on March 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
Ambiguity is the devil's volleyball, said former President of Yale, Kingman Brewster, Jr. Robin A. Parry and Christopher H. Partridge's book, Universal Salvation? gives us a well matched game of back and forth with the theological hot potato that is at the heart of the book's "debate." While the writers in this volume are articulate and responsible in handling this (again) current hot topic among evangelicals, if there is one null theme the critical reader may pick up is that the debate is fueled, in part, by the inherent ambiguity of the concept in the biblical text that all sides claim for their points of view. Biblical ambiguity is the one reality few seem ready to confess when conceding an opponent's point on the issue.

The volume's "debate" opens with three chapters (Part I) by Thomas Talbott, a professor of philosophy at Willamette University and an advocate of the universalist position (in effect, Talbott argues that Scripture teaches the ultimate salvation of all people, including those in Hell). His treatment and defense for this position is thorough, reasoned, and responsible. Though Talbott's case for universalism includes arguments from theology and a Pauline interpretation of relevant texts, the strength of his argument is philosophical. His logical treatment of theological thoughts on the subject is exemplary and rigorous. Neither Talbott nor the writers who respond adversarial to his views shy away from claiming the authority of the Bible, or the primacy of Scripture to inform theology, tradition, and reason to put forth their arguments.

The remaining part of the book (parts II to V) consists of rebuttals to Talbott's arguments by other evangelical scholars. The issue at hand receives treatment from biblical responses (I.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Chad Zoller on November 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am coming from this as one who first began considering Universal Salvation 4 years ago, shortly after graduating from a fundamental Bible College. In my circle of pastors and friends you didn't even debate that God's love stopped at death for 90% of humanity, so it took me sometime to find the rescources to frame the argument. I wish I'd had this book in my hand then! While it doesn't endorse one view over another I think the arguments speak for themselves. It will also provide the reader with further theological rescources to extend the study.

Here are a few quotes from the book both Pro & Con:

"For even as many Augustinians are utterly convinced that God's salvific will cannot be defeated forever and many Arminians are utterly convinced that God at least wills the salvation of all human sinners, so I am equally convinced that both claims are true." - Thomas Talbot

"As Reymond notes: 'God loves himself with a holy love and with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength, that he himself is at the centre of his affections, and that the impulse that drives him and the thing he pursues in everthing he does is his own glory.' - Daniel Strange quoting Reymond

"Talbott is indeed correct that if Christ died for everyone then everyone will be saved." - Daniel Strange

"I am convinced of the doctrine of particular redemption!" - Daniel Strange

"In this era of intense ecclesiastical scrutiny of Christian belief -- particularly through instruments such as Inquisition -- it is perhaps not surprising that an unorthodox idea like universalism appeared only in extremist and sectarian groups who rejected the authority of such ecclesiastical powers.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By llewdis on January 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book was my follow up read to "If Grace is True," and I couldn't have chosen a better read. While I enjoyed "If Grace Is True," by page 124 I was searching for something else. My review is under the name "llewdis" and it expresses my views very well.[http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/customer-reviews/0062517058/ref=cm_cr_dp_2_1/104-7881007-0259964?%5Fencoding=UTF8&customer-reviews.sort%5Fby=-SubmissionDate&n=507846]

This book on the other hand has been as exercise in logic. I hate to admit that I was a philosophy major. Many Christians seem to dismiss this pursuit as frivilous or unecessary, but this book enabled me to center myself once again. It is balanced, and well written. I would encourage all people of the Christian faith to read this book. It is a teatise that shoud be read by all those who are interested in this debate. Secondly, this book reenforced a core belief of mine that was fostered by an author Wendell Barry. I also enjoyed and was persuaded by a book by the author of "Better Off" that espouse a vision of the world centered around personal interaction and intimate community that I feel is so lacking in the world around me.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has struggled with this topic, even though we may ultimately disagree. I have no interest in persuading you the reader (that is the authors job!), I would simply encourage you to seek!

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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Robert G. Leroe VINE VOICE on January 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
After studying theology for over thirty years, I was blindsided by what I'd always dismissed as a liberal perspective, namely Christian Universalism (which I considered an oxymoron), presented in this book as a theology of hope in the ultimate victory of God and the death of death through the atonement of Christ. The congenial dialogue/debate among the scholars assembled is an intellectual banquet that will stretch anyone's thinking. For someone like myself, who hasn't been exposed to the arguments, this seems an excellent place to start.
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