Chris Huff's Reviews > The Inescapable Love of God

The Inescapable Love of God by Thomas Talbott
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really liked it
Read 2 times. Last read July 5, 2019.

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 seeking to show how unbiblical and illogical Calvinism and Arminianism really are. He seeks to show, through biblically informed logic, that only Evangelical Universalism adequately makes sense of the doctrines we say we believe (that God is both sovereign and omnibenevolent).

I don't mean to imply that this is now my favorite book on the subject. I would say that it's certainly helpful, but not without its flaws. For example, using several illustrations, Talbot sought to show what God "can't" do. I'm always hesitant to say that God can't do something. Rather, I prefer to say that God chooses not to do certain things for His own reasons (because of His character, or His knowledge of a better outcome, etc). But perhaps I'm splitting hairs.

I also didn't understand why Talbot ended his book discussing Pascal's Wager. His view that Pascal was thoroughly positive regarding receiving God doesn't convince me that it isn't still, by its very naming, a wager. I don't see how this can be helpful at all when attempting to share the good news, no matter what one's eschatological views. Paul said that if we hope in vain, then we're most pitied. This flies in the face of Pascal's Wager.

Regardless of these occasional oddities, Talbot's book really is quite interesting. I wouldn't recommend it as one's first read regarding the Evangelical Universalist position, but it does bring several concepts together in such a way as to provide a compelling alternative viewpoint to the traditionalist's view of eternal conscious torment.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
January 19, 2019 – Shelved
January 19, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
Started Reading
July 5, 2019 – Finished Reading

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