In light of backlash against Rob Bell’s forthcoming book I figured it would be good to share a Barth quote about preaching universalism. Barth is often accused of preaching universalism, however, he never explicitly taught it (I highly doubt that Rob Bell does either). He had a Christocentric understanding of salvation that did not give a clear understanding of the fate of those outside of the church. I stumbled upon this quote from Barth this week that I thought was interesting because of how strongly he speaks against preaching univeralism as a doctrine.
“To the man who persistently tries to change the truth to untruth, God does not owe eternal patience and therefore deliverance anymore than He does those provisional manifestations. We should be denying and disarming that evil attempt and our own participation in it if, in relation to ourself or others or all men, we were to permit ourselves to postulate a withdrawal of that threat an in this sense to expect or maintain an apokatastasis or universal reconciliation as a goal to all things.” (477) 4.3.1
in typical Barth fashion he says on the next pages that there is no good reason not to at least hope for it.