What Am I Reading? David Congdon’s “Varieties of Christian Universalism”

Wondering what to do with that gift card you received for Christmas? Wanting to start the year off right with a compelling read about rethinking everything you thought you knew about the doctrine of salvation? Have I got a book for you!

David Congdon’s (ed.) Varieties of Christian Universalism: Exploring Four Views (Baker, 2023) will not disappoint. David and his collaborators present a reliable and excellent roadmap to the primary varieties of Christian Universalism. Those who have never considered universalism before will benefit from the careful and ordered tour, and those who have long considered it will be delighted by the clarity and detail of the positions exhibited. This volume is well worth engaging.

I tweeted some quotes from this book as I read it, and I’m going to link those in below for your consideration. But I also must say that Congdon’s contributions to this volume are more than worth the cost of picking up a copy in and of themselves, and the chapters from Greggs, Ludlow, and Parry also do not disappoint. It’s a lot of great and accessible theology packed into a short and affordable volume.

David’s articulation of “Existential Universalism” is the most innovative material in the book. As the chapter builds toward it’s conclusion, he not only weaves a rigorous and compelling logical argument, but he also packages that argument in highly engaging rhetoric. You don’t want to miss out on his references to multilevel marketing schemes, cryptocurrency, and time-shares! But here is the real payoff for what existential universalism is all about (emphasis in the original):

Everyone is already saved, and this account aims to provide Christians with a way to understand why—not because this is something each person needs to understand about themselves (far from it!), but because Christians need to see each person as saved and not as an object of their conversion and ministry. It is Christians who need a doctrine of universal salation (159).
If you need further convincing, here are the tweets I promised:



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