Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Gregory MacDonald book in 2010/11

OK, I know it is a long time off but there will be a second Gregory MacDonald book in late 2010 or early 2011. In fact, I am not writing this one but merely editing it.

The book is provisionally entitled

"All Will be Well"
Universalism and Systematic Theology

The publisher will be Cascade Books.

Essentially there will be a range of chapters on various Christian theologians who happened to be either (a) dogmatic universalists, (b) hopeful universalists, or (c) almost universalists. (By 'almost universalists' I mean theologians whose systematic theology pointed to a clear universalist conclusion but they pulled away from the implications of it and denied being universalists. I have in mind people like P.T Forsyth and Karl Barth.)

The idea is to get scholars who know the work of the selected theologians well and to invite them to reflect on the way in which universalism was integrated into their theological 'system' (for want of a better word). The goal is to see different ways in which universalism has found a home within Christian theology and to offer some kind of assessment of these ways.

The kinds of people we shall be looking at include, amongst others, Origen, St Gregory of Nyssa, Schliermacher, Thomas Erskine, P.T. Forsyth, Sergius Bulgakov, Karl Barth, H. H. Farmer, Jaques Ellul, J.A.T. Robinson, Hand Urs von Balthasar, Karl Rahner, John Hick, Jurgen Moltmann.

We have a great line up of authors (to be revealed once the line up is complete).

This is, as far as I am aware, the first book of its kind and we hope that it will be of service to both the academy and the Church.

I am very much looking forward to the editing process. I think that there will be a lot I will learn from the team of scholars we have.


Ken Brown said...

So the question is, will the contributors know your real name? ;)

Anyway, it sounds like a very interesting book!

caroline1008 said...

That sounds like a great project. How about the Presbyterian/Church of Scotland theologians whose work knocked the L out of TULIP paving the way for people like me who are 4 point Calvinists and Universalists?

On the CDs Lance sent you, Andrew Purves quoted H.R. McIntosh: "We must come as close to universalism as possible without crossing the line." I did email Purves and asked, "Why not?".

ded2synn said...

I'm hoping to possibly see Robert Capon in that line-up.

BTW, thanks for the book and the blog. I am a SBC Assoc. Pastor in the South. I'm not able to share with anyone my views of universal salvation. When I have alluded to them I've been strictly warned of its heresy and the "slippery slope" I may be treading. It helps to be able to read intelligent, thoughtful and sound discussions about US.

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

We discussed your book and Talbot's at a GCTS clergy roundtable today, and had a "fair and balanced" discussion. For most of us it was a new topic. Some wondered if there was any connection to the "new perspective" or "emergent" movement. It was clear to all that your views have little to do with Unitarian-Universalism. And a few admitted to being "hopevist".

MikeB said...

I don't know exactly where to post this, but I'm a Christian Universalist who has a question regarding the Athanasian Creed. I have no problem with the Trinitarian formular, or even with the damnitory clauses--if "everlasting" and "everlastingly" are taken to mean "age-enduring" (which I believe is at least one meaning of the word underlying this translation), but my Church has an affirmation concerning the three historic creeds to the effect that we "receive and believe them in the sense they have always had in the Catholic (universal, not Roman) Church." I'm asking myself what "in the sense they have always had in the Catholic Church" means, and whether I can (as a Christian Universalist) really agree with that afirmation. I would appreciate any thoughts, insights, or comments anyone might have to offer.

Gregory MacDonald said...



Gregory MacDonald said...


Thanks - I appreciate that

Gregory MacDonald said...


GCTS - what a beautiful location for such a discussion. Glad it is seen as an issue worthy of discussion. That is a step.


Gregory MacDonald said...

If I am not mistaken the Athanasian Creed is not one accepted by the catholic (small 'c') church. It is a Western Creed written much later than Athanasias. It is not accepted by the Eastern Churches (certainly not in the way thatthe Niceen Creed is). That said - it is honored by the Western Churches (so the big C Catholic Church would accept it). Personally I like it a lot (it crosses its 't's and dots its 'i's) but I do not feel bound to accept its anathemas on those who take issue with it.

Is that a start? It is quite a while since I last looked at it.

Gregory MacDonald said...

I meant 'that the Nicene' not 'thatthe Niceen'

Jason Pratt said...


I saw your parallel question today in the "Trinity and why it's a big issue" thread, but since that one is off the radar this is a better place to ask.

A very much better place to ask, however, would be at the forum, though; where Gregory is one of the guest authors along with Thomas Talbott.

In fact, I strongly encourage you to start up a thread there on this topic. {s!} I'd be curious to see the discussion on it.


MikeB said...

A great start.

Thank you Gregory.

MikeB said...

I started a topic heading on the forum before I read this, and I thank you (both for your comment here, and your post there.)

MikeB said...

I'm not use to blogging, and that last post should be addressed to Jason.

Thank you Jason.

Anonymous said...

I'm thrilled about the new book. I am currently rereading The Evangelical Universalist. The pastor at our last EPC church was booted for trying to share some EU ideas. Sad. I wish you could come out of the closet! :)

Michael William Smith said...

I read your book and thoroughly enjoyed it! After reading Hope Beyond Hell and your book I now consider myself a Christian who believes in Universal Reconciliation by God's grace. Thank you brother for allowing the Lord Jesus Christ to work through you for our benefit! Blessings!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, GM, for staying with the apokatastasis! We're all looking forward to ALL WILL BE WELL.

caroline 1008, could you please say a little more about the Scottish thing you mentioned -- maybe where I could follow it up.


AerodynamicPenguin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AerodynamicPenguin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason Pratt said...

I guess you didn't notice "Gregory" saying that he would be using his real name for the anthology of essays. (Not necessarily your fault; it isn't a detail in the post, and Gregory answers Ken briefly "yes" without direct reference to topic in the comments.)

Meanwhile, Thomas Talbott and I do use our real names. Although, on the other hand, I don't have a career to lose by using my real name, either, with dependents depending on me. So the fact that I use my own name doesn't amount to much. (God does sometime defend people but sometimes there are scourgings and crucifixions instead; count the cost, etc.)


Anonymous said...

When Gregory briefly answers Ken "yes", Gregory is saying yes to the question: "will the CONTRIBUTORS know your real name?"

Jason Pratt said...


you appear to have accidentally erased the question you asked by the way.

(I mention this in case readers think I was replying to the Anon from March 9. I wasn't. Anon on June 24 was challenging Gregory by innuendo, that he must not really believe what he's writing about if he isn't willing to let God defend him from the consequences of other people really knowing who's saying it.

It may be noticed that Anon did not sign his or her own name, even as an unverifiable pseudonym, to his correction. Neither did he do so to his challenge to Gregory about not having the courage of his convictions, to tell people who he really is. Insert irony as applicable...)

And true, Ken was asking about contributors not readers. I stand corrected. {s}

That being said, I'll be surprised if Gregory continues using his pseudonym for publication at that point. If I was a contributing author using my real name, I'd have to be convinced pretty hard about some kind of major threat to the editor for the editor to use a pseudonym in the same work. The other authors are sticking their necks out (or have done so already). It'll look unprofessional for Gregory not to do the same as lead for the book--meaning the other contributors would be much less likely to sign up to begin with.

But that's an educated guess on my part, not a confirmation from Gregory. (Which I admit I misunderstood his "yes" to be.)


Tom said...

I noticed that there was no mention of William Barclay. I am about to get his entire NT commentary series on the basis of the fact that I thought he was a universalist. Was he?

Gregory MacDonald said...


Barclay was a universalist but I don't think it is prominent in his commentaries (not that I've read much of them)