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The Inescapable Love of God

4.36  ·  Rating Details ·  137 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
From the Preface: "This set of reflections is neither a textbook nor a piece of scholarly research. It neither summarizes a specific field of study for students nor advances scholarship in some area of research. It is instead (what I would call) a real book, by which I mean that in it I have tried to reach the most demanding audience of all: that of educated non-specialist ...more
Paperback, 236 pages
Published October 19th 1999 by Universal Publishers (first published October 1999)
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Alan Bradley
Jul 04, 2013 Alan Bradley rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Alan by:
The "Inescapable Love of God," by Christian philosopher and California university professor Thomas Talbott, is a solid treatment on the subject of 'ultimate reconciliation' or Christian universalism - the belief that in time, over the 'aions' (eons = ages) - whether on this side of death or the other - ALL people - past, present, and future - will eventually be saved or reconciled to God. After all, the Bible does say that in the end, "Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Ch ...more
Michael Camp
Jul 03, 2012 Michael Camp rated it it was amazing
I love this book! Talbott takes us on a journey to find the real heart of God and shows us how off many of the Western theologians throughout history (Augustine, Calvin, Edwards, Acquinas, and modern conservative scholars) are. He makes a overwhelmingly persuasive plea that traditional theology is one of fear--where each human is either pre-determined to be saved or damned OR must freely choose (even if they are cut off from a true Christian message), but as a depraved sinner capable of falling ...more
Ali M.
Aug 23, 2015 Ali M. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: soul-food
Universal reconciliation is something I've believed, on some level, since I was very young - though until lately, the exegetical argument for it hadn't ever been proposed to me in full (and I guess I'd never gone looking for it, being satisfied for awhile with the philosophical one). C.S. Lewis's The Great Divorce was my first exposure to the idea, and remains, IMO, one of the best depictions I've seen of not only human nature, but also the way a God of love must necessarily shatter our illusion ...more
In this book, Talbott makes a persuasive case for Biblical Christian Universalism. He not only goes into great lengths, biblically and logically, to explain why it is the viewpoint most consistent with Biblical teaching, but he also delves deeply into both the Augustianian/Calvinist and Arminian viewpoints and carefully deconstructs their teachings and philosophies; in this manner, he brings to light the numerous logical, philosophical and biblical contradictions and absurdities that make both v ...more
Dec 08, 2009 Robert rated it it was amazing
Good apologetic for Christian Universalism.
Feb 03, 2010 Billy rated it it was amazing
This book reminded me why I could have never become a Presbyterian pastor.
Tyler Tate
Nov 26, 2016 Tyler Tate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Make this the first book you read about Christian universalism

The author does a brilliant job of telling his personal journey, providing a historical context for universalism, providing a positive exegesis for a universalist interpretation (pulling primarily from Paul), defending the interpretation on more challenging passages, and then addressing the philosophical implications of universalism. The author is clearly a trained philosopher, and his argumentation is presented with logic and precisi
Mar 11, 2012 Brett rated it it was amazing
Profound. Moving. Revelatory. In a world dominated by (non-eastern) religions that teach 'God' who is said to be both absolute in power AND love MUST abdicate one of those traits and hence lose most of His creation; here comes a book that beautifully and inspiringly shows (teaching from the very same scriptures that *most 'Christians' use amazingly enough) that ultimately the OPPOSITE outcome will come to pass, NOT the fate they insist their tyrant hell-fire terrorist God demands.

A book that eve
Joel Adams
Aug 03, 2012 Joel Adams rated it liked it
Talbott wrote this book long before Love Wins and really did his research. I find it a bit technical and hard to follow sometimes, and don't agree with everything here, but still find it to be an excellent book.

Other great books on the topic are Hope Beyond Hell, Raising Hell and Christian Universalism: God's Good News for All People.

A. Wayne
Author of Hell and Eternity: It's all Greek to me
Stuart Dillon
May 20, 2013 Stuart Dillon rated it it was amazing
breathtaking logic from a great thinker, who dispels the traditional christianised myths that reflect the contradictory notion of a GOD of love and the concept of hell

Talbotts arguments are too strong and being a philosopher his logic painfully clear, he does away with the popular concepts that hell goes ''forever'' and the idea that GOD snuffs out the wicked and paints a picture of magnificence that logically encompasses all men. he shows that punishment against the wicked has a purpose, one in
Jan 27, 2012 Don rated it really liked it
Thomas Talbott shows the awesome breadth and length of God’s love for humanity. Humanity is God’s creation and in His ultimate plan of redemption and restoration Mr. Talbott shows, from a philosophical view point, how it all falls in line. This book addresses the theology of the doctrine of election, which was introduced through Augustine, and the theology of Armenianism and free will, and shows how Universalism is the only one that lines up with the true nature of God’s love for His creation. A ...more
Mar 01, 2011 Jeremy rated it really liked it
This isn't the definitive book on universalism I was hoping for. Nevertheless it was very good. Plenty of excellent arguments, though when it came to discussing the texts it began to feel like those old Calvinist-Arminian arguments. Necessary, of course, but not something I enjoy reading. The final section in which he discusses the failures of both Augustinianism and Arminianism and the superiority of universalism is the best part of the book. Essential reading for anyone considering universalis ...more
Apr 15, 2010 Tim rated it really liked it
Recommended to Tim by: Saw noted in another book
I found this a very helpful book as I try to clarify my theological beliefs after many years of wrestling with the calvinism/arminianism debate. Talbott's own Christian background and journey resonate deeply with my own and I appreciate the clear, scholarly and fair-minded way he strongly argues his case for universal salvation, both from a biblical and a philosophical viewpoint.
Mar 13, 2016 Chad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Talbott makes a good philosophical case for Christian Universalism. I was hoping to see a bit more Biblical support for his case, and his writing style can, at times, be very academic and dry. However, on the whole, I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in Universalism, what it is, what it means, and is it possible.
Mason Wren
May 07, 2013 Mason Wren rated it it was amazing
Excellent. Philosophical. Theological. Deep thought. The most honest book I have read thus far on universal reconciliation. Very thorough. Very helpful.

In this book, Talbott sought to "work out, with some degree of consistency, the idea that the universe really is an expression of love, as some of the mystics from many traditions have always insisted."
George Miles
Jan 05, 2014 George Miles rated it it was amazing
A book that help solidify a major shift in my thinking about how vast and powerful God's love really is. Philosophical, historical and biblical support for God's love bring powerful enough to actually accomplish what God wants - for everyone, yes, everyone, to be in a loving relationship with him by choice.
Connie Hintz
Sep 04, 2014 Connie Hintz rated it it was amazing
This is the best, most theologically and scripturally grounded book I have read on the hope for universal reconciliation. It goes against everything I have been taught but I find the book intelligent, gracious and hopeful. Is he onto something?
Hans Bronkhorst Bronkhorst
Mar 02, 2015 Hans Bronkhorst Bronkhorst rated it it was amazing
In one word: great! This book is an eye opener on the tremendous love God and His firstborn Son Jesus Christ have for humanity. It combines philosophy with theology to paint a convincing picture that in Christ all humanity will eventually be saved.
Cory Shumate
Oct 03, 2011 Cory Shumate rated it really liked it
Cory Shumate Although I ultimately disagree with Talbott, he presents the best case for universalism I have come in contact with. Though a philosopher by trade, he is committed to careful exegetical reasoning, and makes a profound case for universal reconciliation.
Oct 27, 2015 Jack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Challenges Doctrine of Salvation and Hell

Is the character and nature of God, his very essence love? Can this God truly send his children to a hell of eternal conscious torment?

I highly recommend this thought provoking book.
Feb 11, 2016 Jed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite wordy and alil above my reading level, but made some wonderful scriptural points on proof of Christian Universalism being supported in the Bible, by Paul. This book was my first introduction to this doctrine. The movie Hellbound is a great concomitant to this book.
Jul 04, 2012 Raborn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
This book was the breaking point in my embracing Christian Universalism. A classic! Thomas Talbott comes at theology as a philosopher and offers a refreshing take on the Calvinist/Arminian debate. If you are studying Christian Universalism/Ultimate Reconciliation-don't miss this book :)
Nicholas Quient
Jun 30, 2012 Nicholas Quient rated it liked it
Philosophically compelling. It's a classic text for universalism. The exegetical work is relatively weak.
Dec 02, 2012 Caleb rated it it was amazing
One of those 'life-changing' Books....that's a high praise from someone who normally doesn't take the content of books into his personal life
Robert Mcmullen
Feb 21, 2013 Robert Mcmullen rated it it was amazing
A remarkable treatise on universal reconciliation. Insightful, philosophically approachable, consistently positive and joyful.
Jeremy Weathers
Jeremy Weathers rated it really liked it
Jan 25, 2016
Randy Baxter
Randy Baxter rated it it was amazing
Aug 18, 2015
Austin rated it it was amazing
Feb 06, 2016
Rodrigo Jungmann
Rodrigo Jungmann rated it it was amazing
Jul 24, 2012
David Nelmark
David Nelmark rated it really liked it
Jan 07, 2016
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Goodreads Librari...: Combine Two Books 3 19 Dec 09, 2014 09:28PM  
  • The Evangelical Universalist
  • Insurrection: To Believe Is Human To Doubt, Divine
  • Hope Beyond Hell
  • If the Church Were Christian: Rediscovering the Values of Jesus
  • I See Satan Fall Like Lightning
  • Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality, and Mortality
  • Naked Spirituality A Life With God in Twelve Simple Words
  • The Nonviolent Atonement
  • A More Christlike God: A More Beautiful Gospel
  • The Love Wins Companion: A Study Guide for Those Who Want to Go Deeper
  • Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament
  • The Bible Made Impossible: Why Biblicism Is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture
  • Unapologetic: Why, despite everything, Christianity can still make surprising emotional sense
  • Jesus and the Victory of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God, #2)
  • The Humanity of God
  • Guerrilla Radio: Rock 'N' Roll Radio and Serbia's Underground Resistance
  • The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami?
  • Unspoken Sermons: Series I, II, III
After 34 years of teaching philosophy at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, I retired from full-time teaching in 2006. My principal area of interest and the area in which I have done most of my own writing is philosophy of religion--which, of course, overlaps with metaphysics, epistemology, moral philosophy, philosophy of mind, and virtually every other area of philosophy.

See also my Willame
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“if we suppose that God, being supremely powerful, supremely wise, and supremely loving, can achieve, and will settle for nothing less than, perfect justice, then we must also suppose that he will settle for nothing less than a full atonement for sin—something that will actually make up for, or cancel out, sin; and as we have seen, punishment (in and of itself) has no power to do that.” 2 likes
“To say that God’s goodness may be different in kind from man’s goodness, what is it but saying, with a slight change of phraseology, that God may possibly not be good?” —John Stuart Mill” 1 likes
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