A Guarantee of Universal Salvation?

Faith and Philosophy 24 (4):413-432 (2007)
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Recent defenders of the Christian doctrine of eternal damnation have appealed to what I call the “No Guarantee Doctrine” (NG)—the doctrine that not evenGod can ensure both (a) that every person who is saved freely chooses to be saved and (b) that all are saved. Thomas Talbott challenges NG on the groundsthat anyone who is truly free will have no motive to reject God and will infallibly choose salvation. In response to critics of Talbott, I argue that in order toavoid Talbott ’s critique of NG, its defenders must adopt a view of human freedom in which there is a random element in choice. And if free choice involvessuch an element, then it is within God’s power to achieve a mathematical guarantee of freely chosen salvation for all. Thus, NG must be rejected.



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Eric Reitan
Oklahoma State University

References found in this work

A theodicy of heaven and hell.Richard Swinburne - 1983 - In A. J. Freddoso (ed.), The Existence and Nature of God. Univ Notre Dame Pr. pp. 37-54.
The Doctrine of Everlasting Punishment.Thomas Talbott - 1990 - Faith and Philosophy 7 (1):19-42.
Three Versions of Universalism.Michael J. Murray - 1999 - Faith and Philosophy 16 (1):55-68.

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