Independent universalist church in Arkansas

I got an email from a universal salvation Facebook group that included some links, including the Indian Hills Church, North Little Rock, Arkansas.

It was founded — and was until 2004 affiliated — Southern Baptist, but its universalism, or more accurately restorationism — is pretty obvious in its still-Baptist-formatted statement of faith and who they quote. It’s a good example — if you need one — of how you can believe in total, eventual salvation without theological pluralism. (And I bet they do a mean church dinner.)

Can this be plainer?

Few are those that will be restored to God by believing in Jesus during their lifetimes. They come through the baptism of the refining fire of God’s judgment, his remedial pruning and corrective discipline before they die. These people are called the church and will be a part of the first resurrection with Christ. The purifying fire of God at work in the church is not literal but spiritual. Accordingly, the purifying fires of God at work in the remainder of humanity after they die are spiritual as well. The rest of humanity will come through this process of refining until the consuming fire of God’s love has reached its purpose in their lives and has removed everything that is not of God.

Death, therefore, is not the end. There are, of course, other ways to come to universalism. This approach is more Elhanan Winchester — another former Baptist — than, say, John Murray or Hosea Ballou. It is also none of these men’s theology, and I find it a comfort to know that the belief will spring up even where name-brand Universalists didn’t plant it. Which, I believe, is a witness to God’s goodness, but also a relief given Universalist institutional failure.

One Reply to “Independent universalist church in Arkansas”

  1. It is good to know about this restorationist church. I like their eschatology, which is very close to my dear Origen. Nevertheless I dislike their language of war and confrontation, referring to “enemies” that need to be “defeated”. (And, regretfully for me, they are not theologically Unitarians.)

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