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The Inescapable Love of God

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  216 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Will the love of God save us all? In this book Thomas Talbott seeks to expose the extent to which the Western theological tradition has managed to twist the New Testament message of love, forgiveness, and hope into a message of fear and guilt. According to the New Testament proclamation, he argues, God's love is both unconditional in its nature and unlimited in its scope; ...more
Paperback, 2nd Edition, 254 pages
Published November 17th 2014 by Cascade Books (first published October 1999)
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4.38  · 
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Alan Bradley
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good apologetic for Christian Universalism.
Feb 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book reminded me why I could have never become a Presbyterian pastor.
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read Thomas Allin's book, Christ Triumphant, back in 2015. It focuses on the theology of Universalism, and shows how it was a common way of thinking back in the days of the early Church Fathers, and beyond. But it was quite hard going because of its style of language.
Talbott's book is much more accessible, though that doesn't mean to say it's always easy reading. For me it's an even more hopeful book than Allin's, partly because it uses Scripture as its base far more than Allin tends to do, a
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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A decent introduction to Christian Universalism.
W Tyler
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was the first book that I read on the topic of Christian Universalism, and so far it remains the best. I first read it after undertaking a detailed study of the Calvinism/Arminianism debate, in which I became convinced that key passages (especially Romans 1-11) made the most sense when read as supporting the idea that God will eventually save all people. I couldn't reconcile this idea with the biblical passages about hell, or with my own notion of free will (following C.S. Lewis), so I turn ...more
Chris Huff
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've read several Evangelical Universalist books now. Most of them say pretty much the same thing, using pretty much the same arguments, and pretty much the same Bible verses. That's not to discount them; some of them are quite good and have helped me to think through the relevant texts. But they have been basically the same book told from different voices.

But Talbot's book is different. Rather than hashing out the same arguments in favor of Evangelical Universalism, he spends much more time see
Kathleen Schwab
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I originally found this book while reading a blog by a young man who suffered from scrupulosity, a type of OCD where the person develops intense fear around the concept of hell. He credited this book with restoring normalcy to his life, and I thought it must be a powerful read.

It is powerful, and information packed. I previously read Love Wins by Robb Bell, and was disappointed with that book because it seemed to skim over ideas and issues, and was light on the history behind Christian thought.
tyler pellow
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Modern Classic

Great biblical and philosophical arguments that God necessarily loves all his creatures and ultimately will reconcile all to himself. He also spends a good deal of time detailing how historically the church came to embrace the concept of unending conscious torment in Hell. The logical arguments are so convincing that you will be shocked that you ever thought of God any other way. Christians also might go into denial that the church could be so wrong about such a big topic. But al
Tyler Tate
Nov 26, 2016 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
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you want to read something other than a characterization of the Christian view of Universal Salvation in Jesus then this is the book you want to read. Amazing philosophical arguments. Pretty good biblical arguments. This book didn't bring me fully over the line into believing in Universal Salvation, but it did build my respect for that position. I am definitely going to read this book several more times. There is so much to chew on!
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well written and challenging but not as exegetical as I'd hoped. Where is the old testament in this? I disagree with eternal conscious torment as I do universalism because the overview of scripture is life vs death not life vs torment or life vs death of behaviours/attitudes.
Erin Burnett
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I am a conditionalist, but I approached this book with an open mind. The author makes good arguments for universalism based on exegesis and philosophy. Although I am not yet 100% convinced, I have much more respect for this view now.
Food for thought.
Ross H
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Tablott's arguments are much more persuasive and thorough than I had expected, even as someone who agrees with him on a lot of his major points. This book is absolutely essential reading for anyone interested in Christian universalism.
Josh Deming
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Probably the definitive book on Christian universalism. An eschatological earthquake for anybody who was taught to fear the possibility of eternal torment.
Chad Lynch
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book

Third (or maybe it’s fourth) time reading it, love it more each and every time.

A more philosophical approach to Apokatastasis.
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
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
George Miles
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mason Wren
May 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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."
Apr 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it
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.
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 :)
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Goodreads Librari...: Combine Two Books 3 20 Dec 09, 2014 09:28PM  

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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
“if you reject universalism, then you must also reject at least one of these assumptions; that is, you must either deny that God wills (or sincerely desires) the redemption of all sinners or deny that he will in fact satisfy his own will or desire in this matter.” 2 likes
“One cannot believe that God has divided humanity into the elect, whom he loves, and the non-elect, whom he despises and believe that God is nonetheless worthy of worship and, at the same time, love one’s neighbor as oneself.” 2 likes
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