So, hot on the heels of reclaiming the univeralistchurch.net site, I backed up this blog in such a way that it was easier to sort the 3,800+ blog posts in order by title, and see if themes emerge.
Interestingly, after nearly twelve years of writing. I've said relatively little on what Universalist Christianity means, or how it may be embedded in a larger theological system like Free Christianity. I do need to catch up on the current literature, but I'm a miserably slow reader, and (to be plain) the current offerings usually fall into one of the following three forms:
- "Everybody going to heaven would be a great idea, and I just though of it." Thin treatments by thick writers.
- A variation, "Universalism really isn't a dastardly heresy" but the theological starting point is usually Evangelicalism of a Reformed variety. Sometimes it sounds good, but like French pop music, it takes a lot to understand it and that's not a culture I want to go back and learn. Evangelicalism, I mean.
- The "biggest word in the dictionary" crowd, who relish the bigness of Universalism, but recast as a warm, sensitive variety of Unitarianism, and rarely if ever deal with it in on its own terms.
So, I'm thinking about writing a book that deals with Universalist Christianity within its own mature self-conception, with a mind of how that might apply today. Not as a particular doctrine or controversy (which frontier Universalists before and after the Civil War did cultivate) but as a church and an internally-logical system.
But first that reading and planning a proper work flow. The want of a good workflow and access to documents scuttled my thesis twenty years ago. But this wouldn't be history or liturgy -- and so it will take some time to think of what it is.