Jon's Reviews > That All Shall Be Saved: Heaven, Hell, and Universal Salvation

That All Shall Be Saved by David Bentley Hart
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Interested in studying a superbly, provocatively, logical book? Such is this latest rant by DBH. The four central meditations should become essential reading for students of philosophy and theology.

Admittedly, I actually do not agree with significant arguments proposed by DBH, and (ironically) for reasons that meet his own stated criteria for rational Christian thought (!). Alternatively, I have been convinced of conditional immortality for many years now, and adding to that my firm and unswerving hermeneutical convictions about eschatology from a fully and historically preterist lens (which DBH addresses and acknowledges in this book as being superior to other Christian arguments about eschatology and afterlife), I feel no need whatsoever to become a universalist in soteriology. At most, I’m a hopeful universalist (which DBH criticizes). However, if I was not already a preterist and advocate of conditional immortality, I would find DBH’s case to be the most thorough, clear, and persuasive.

I will even admit: DBH has even thrown a wrench into my hermeneutical gears favoring conditional immortality, which I plan on researching further to see where that leads; but his greatest weakness is not his ranting against eternal conscious torment (which, to me, seems obviously unjust and immoral to sincerely crave as sacred dogma). DBH’s greatest blind spot is his toying around with preterism while not taking it seriously enough. His eschatological hermeneutic oscillates between the impetuous remarks of an emotionally frenzied history Professor and a bedazzled connoisseur of literary and philosophical criticism. If he was a consistent preterist in his hermeneutical approach to ancient literature, he might have to quit his day job, because some of his hermeneutical (ie philosophical) mistakes are so elementary that they are the kinds which only cosmic intelligences like DBH’s are capable of making. From a historically preterist perspective, DBH overlooks very obvious alternatives to his polemics.

However, his arguments are still profound and reasonable. Because it is fair to imagine God according to classical metaphysical frameworks contained within systematic treatises of theology, according to such frameworks (especially those presupposing the essential immortality of personal human souls) the only logical conclusion should be to side with DBH, that all shall indeed be saved.
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Reading Progress

October 10, 2019 – Started Reading
October 10, 2019 – Shelved
October 26, 2019 – Finished Reading

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