You say I’ve leveled an exceptionally serious charge againstYikes! Best not to think too hard about the hypothetical case study! Eeeek! I don't think I will sleep well tonight!!!!
you. But there are no exceptionally serious charges in universalism.
Universalism trivializes every evil. If universalism is true, I could flay you
alive with a penknife, say three Hail Marys after I die, or do 1000 hours of
postmortem community service, then head for heaven. In universalism, all is
forgiven since all are forgiven.
What is the charge here? That universalism trivializes every evil. But why on earth suppose that this is the case? Of course, in Steve's caricature of my view it is. There I commit my evil act and then just go through the motions to get my "Get out of Jail" card. That trivializes evil. But that is not my view.
My view is that there is no forgiveness except through the atoning death of Christ and heart-felt repentance and faith on the part of the sinner. This forgiveness comes at the cost of Christ's death on the cross. There is no trivializing of evil in that. The sinner is ashamed at what they have done and repudiates it. There is no sense in which their evil "doesn't really matter."
So unless Steve is prepared to say that if God forgives a repentant sinner then God has trivialized their evil I really do not see how his criticism can get off the ground.
I do not trivialize sin. I simply believe that where sin abounds grace abounds all the more.