by David Burnfield
Restore? Annihilate? Eternal suffering?
This book takes great lengths to show through the entirety of scripture that God's love is far-reaching. His love is for everyone and his patience and mercy endure forever. His pattern of grace and mercy even in the face of rebellion was well documented in both the OT and NT. He would pursue an individual or people group-->chasten those who are rebellious-->wait for repentance-->accept back into His fold. This is the pattern that was highlighted over and over again in this book. Once you see how God deals with the human race, you will then begin to acknowledge that His "punishments" are corrective in nature with the goal of leading us to repentance-- not to cast us off into everlasting darkness!
When reading this book, I began to question my own heart as to why would I NOT want everyone to be eventually saved? I realized my heart was previously satisfied in dividing people into the "have's" and the "have not's." This is really an unloving way to view those who are created in God's image! Reading this book uncovered my attitude that was similar to the brother of the Prodigal Son! Why is it that I should disdain the salvation of someone whom I thought was otherwise undeserving? Did I forget that I too am undeserving in and of myself?
This book is a MUST READ for anyone who has an internal objection to the standard theological principles of eternal punishment and "predestination" that don't seem to comport with your image of God's plan for His people. You will feel a sense of relief in answering the question of "what about those who have never heard of Jesus?"
Finally, the author does a great job of defining what Patristic Universalism is and drawing a clear contrast between this and the more generic definition in which the existence of hell is denied.
A Reviewer on Amazon