For the small cadre of “followers” who actually read my (infrequent) posts – I want to share two “Christmas gifts” I’ve recently stumbled upon:
First – this excellent interview of Dr. Bonner (of Cambridge) whose ground-breaking work on Pelagius is helping further expose the Calvinistic/Reformed misrepresentations of their “whipping boy”, Pelagius. But even more generally the evangelical assumptions about what is the true “nature” of humanity: basically (by created nature) “good” or “bad”?
And – related to that – I sort of stumbled (providentially) on this book by Peter Sterry.
Sterry (in case you are unfamiliar) is of special interest to me (as an ex-Presbyterian) because (and I was so shocked to find this out from Robin Parry) he was one of the small group of the “Westminster Divines” (as well as a chaplain to Cromwell) who produced the “Westminster Confession” – AND he was a Universalist!
(You can download the book free from here:)
Here’s an excerpt that I found so moving and compelling (I’ve far from read it all though)
O! What wonderful words! What wonderful resonance! (pg. 333):
“Dear Soul, whoever, whatever thou art, thou art the Offspring
of God. St. Paul citeth this from a Poet, confirmeth it by a
Divine Testimony, applyeth it Universally to all, maketh it the
ground of Evangelical Truths, and Loves; Acts 17. 28. As some
of your own Poets have said; We are his Off-spring.
St. Paul hath something very like this, Ephes. 3. 9.
was hid in God from the Foundation of the World, who made
all things by Jesus Christ.
God had the love of the Gospel in his
Heart, and sowed it as a secret Seed in the Foundations of the
whole Creation, when he made all things by Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is the Seed of Nature, as well as of Grace, and so lieth hid in the Bosom of every Creature, as the true Pearl in the Field.
That Divine Image, of which we spake before, was the similitude only, the Mother of Pearl; This is the Substance, the Pearl itself. In the Off-spring of God is the Seed of God. Where the Seed of God is, there is God himself in the Vertue, Power, and fulness of his Divine Nature. For so the Seed
of every Plant hath that Plant Virtually, and Spiritually in it.
Be now no more unbelieving; but believe. Believe the love, which God hath to thee. Believe, that all the Inclinations of the Divine Will are to thee; that the Eye, and heart of God are turned toward thee in every place, fixt upon thee with all that intention, and force of Sweetness in the Divine Nature. For why?
He is drawn irresistibly to his own Seed, his own Son, his own self in thee. Thou art his Off-spring.”