Patristic Universalism 

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"So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men."

Romans 5:18 (NASB)

And just like that, the Good News has once again been stripped down to include only a few from every group. If Adam was powerful enough to condemn everyone on his own, shouldn’t Christ be powerful enough to save everyone on His own? A better understanding is to see this passage as teaching universal restoration.Christ captured over again the souls captured by the devil, for that he promised in saying, ‘I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me.’ - Athanasius 

1 Timothy 2:3-6

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time. 

Once again, Paul uses the word “all” in speaking of those God desires to be saved and those that Christ died for. It’s passages like this that render the Calvinistic view untenable in my opinion since Paul is clearly teaching God wants all to be saved. It will be interesting to read an Arminianist and Calvinist commentary on this passage to see how the model I described earlier plays itself out in the arena of theological ideas. 

Arminianist View

The word [desire] cannot be taken here in the absolute sense, denoting a decree like that by which he willed the creation of the world, for then it would certainly be done. But the word is often used to denote a desire, wish, or what is in accordance with the nature of any one... though it is not true that he wills it in the sense that he exerts his absolute power to produce it... So God wills that all men should be saved... and if they are not saved it will be their own fault.” - Albert Barnes

While I agree with Barnes that not every desire of God is one that is fulfilled, I disagree with him that salvation falls into this category. For example, in Mk 7:24 we read that it was Jesus' desire that nobody notice Him when he entered a house and yet this was not the case as He "could not escape notice." But desiring not to be noticed when you enter a house and desiring all men to be saved are not the same thing. In regards to small things, God might not always enforce His desire even though He can (as in Mk 7:24 He could have remained unnoticed if He wanted to) but when it comes to the big things such as salvation, God will carry out His desires. To think otherwise is to believe God desires to save a young child from eternal destruction but chooses not to. In other words, it's one thing to believe that Christ wanted to remain unnoticed when he entered a house but chose not to carry out this desire but it's quite another to say that God desired all men to be saved but chose not to enforce this desire and therefore sentence most people to an eternal torture chamber. What Barnes is saying is that while God does desire all to be saved, it is up to us to complete this salvation (...if they are not saved it will be their own fault). Yes, God would like to save everyone but He can’t because our freewill is too strong for Him. But we have a problem with Barnes’ – and all Arminianist's like him – interpretation of 1 Tim 2:4 because it forces us to believe God is weaker than Adam. This theological dilemma is the result of teaching that Adam's one sinful act brought death to everyone8 while at the same time arguing that Christ's one righteous act only brought salvation to some. So Adam was strong enough to overcome our freewill to our destruction but Christ was not able to overcome our freewill for our salvation. Let’s look at the Calvinist view of this passage, which teaches just the opposite from the Arminianist view that God is strong enough but he doesn’t desire all to be saved.

Calvinistic View

As an example, I’ll quote John Gill who believes God's will cannot be thwarted.

The salvation which God wills that all men should enjoy, is not a mere possibility of salvation…but a real, certain, and actual salvation, which he has determined they shall have...wherefore the will of God, that all men should be saved, is not a conditional will, or what depends on the will of man, or on anything to be performed by him...but it is an absolute and unconditional will respecting their salvation, and which infallibly secures it...but the will of God concerning man's salvation is entirely one, invariable, unalterable, and unchangeable...but it is his ordaining, purposing, and determining will, which is never resisted, so as to be frustrated  but is always accomplished: the will of God, the sovereign and unfrustrable will of God, has the governing sway and influence in the salvation of men; - John Gill

So John Gill and I would agree that God’s will cannot be thwarted. Man is not capable of deflecting the desires of God in any direction. But John Gill, like all Calvinist's, doesn’t believe God desires all men to be saved.

[N]or are any saved, but whom he wills they should be saved: hence by all men, whom God would have saved, cannot be meant every individual of mankind, since it is not his will that all men, in this large sense, should be saved, unless there are two contrary wills in God; for there are some who were before ordained by him unto condemnation, and are vessels of wrath fitted for destruction; and it is his will concerning some, that they should believe a lie, that they all might be damned; nor is it fact that all are saved, as they would be, if it was his will they should; for who hath resisted his will? but there is a world of ungodly men that will be condemned, and who will go into everlasting punishment.10 - John Gill

Notice that according to Gill, God desires some to “believe a lie; that they all might be damned.” I’m not sure what kind of comfort would come from this type of “Good News” or who could worship such a God. So how does Gill and the Calvinist view get around Paul’s statement that God desires the salvation of all men? By stating that “all” does not mean “all without exception” but rather it means “all without distinction”. In other words, Paul was not saying all men would be saved, he was saying all types of men would be saved. As Gill puts it, "all sorts of men" would be saved such as kings and peasants, rich and poor, etc. The problem with the Calvinist's line of reasoning that "all men" means "all without distinction", is that Adam ruined all men without exception. If Christ's work on the cross only helps a few people from each group (i.e. some kings and some peasants or some men and some women etc.), how can He claim victory if Adam destroyed all people from every group? As an example, suppose an evil king infected every person in the good king's country with a disease. In other words, the evil king infected all people without exception. Suppose the good king told his nation, "Today I stand before you with good news...I can claim victory over our enemy because my doctors have developed a vaccine that will remove this disease from all people." After a few weeks, many people are still dying. When asked why so many were still dying after taking the medicine, the king replied, "The medicine does not work for all people without exception, but for all people without distinction. It will cure some men, some women, and some children." The obvious moral of my story is that Christ cannot claim victory if He cannot save as many as Adam destroyed. And yet this is what Gill and others would have us believe. Not sure what kind of God they are serving, but the one I worship obtained total victory. And note that just like the Arminianist, Calvinists are inconsistent in how they interpret “all” for in Romans 3:23 (“for a all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” - NASB), Gill is quite clear that “all” refers to everyone in the entire world.

 In summary, both the Arminianist and the Calvinist interpret the word “all” to mean every single person that has ever lived when it refers to our condition in Adam but the word “all” does not mean every single person who has ever lived when it refers to our condition in Christ.

For more see chapter 4, Patristic Universalism, by David Burnfield.