GoedBericht.nl logo

one God, one objective

21-02-2015 - Posted by Andre Piet

images_18 Last week I received an email from someone, of which, I suspect, the content for many other readers will be recognizable.

Dear Mr. Piet, For a year or two, already, I have regularly been reading articles on your website, goedbericht.nl. First, I want to thank you for the knowledge and the studies that you make available. I am one of many who can benefit from these. Personally, I was raised with both, the doctrine of personal election of some, as well as the doctrine of the trinity. I had questions about this for many years already, but through a lot of research, I’m now reasonably confident that both teachings are not biblical (although I must admit that it comes in fits and starts). Now I have a question. Not so much a theological question, but perhaps more a philosophical one, because it strikes me that a lot of people who profess to be ‘unitarian’, often times also are ‘universalist’. You, yourself, also have indicated to be both, unitarian, as well universalistic (in doing so quite rightly indicating that the UU’s from the USA are really, very different). Also on English-language websites and forums, I note that unitarianism often goes along with universalism. Or the other way around. Now I’m glad that I’m apparently not the only one, but I feel that both doctrines do not necessarily go together. Or am I mistaken in this? Do you have any idea why they often seem to be connected? Thank you in advance and best regards,

Earlier (in 2006), I have, a couple of times, written blogs dedicated to “unitarianism” (one God, viz. the Father) and ‘universalism’ (the salvation of all). But the question in the above email is, whether there is a connection between the two doctrines, and if so, which one? I do indeed believe that the truth of “one God, the Father” (1Cor. 8:6; John 17:3; Eph.4:6; 1Tim.2:5) is inextricably linked to one final destination of all mankind: “God all in all” (1 Cor.15:28). We immediately encounter a linguistic kinship. The word ‘universal’ means all-embracing, but begins with uni, which means one. From the elements of which it is constructed, universal means: ‘into one (uni) turned (versus)’. Everything is one. The contraction of the two words we also recognize in ‘alone’ (= all, whole – one). But more important than the above is that both ‘concepts’ are, also, logically linked with one another. If there is one God that means, per definition, that everything comes out of Him and everything, logically, also is through and to Him (Rom.11:36). One origin guarantees one destination. A dual outcome would be in conflict with this. From a similar thought, we know the saying: out together, home together: If you start together, you also should finish together. But the reason why a belief in one God also provides a sound basis of belief in one, final destination, is not just philosophical (logical), but also arises from specific Scriptures. Crucial passages namely, that teach the universal scope of salvation (vivification, justification and reconciliation), also emphasize that there is only one God. Or negatively formulated: the same Scriptures that give headaches to theologians who teach a dual outcome (heaven and hell), also give headaches to trinitarians (supporters of the trinity doctrine). A few examples. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 8:6,

nevertheless for us there is one God, the Father, out of Whom all is, and we for Him…

Plain language, indeed: there is only one God, namely, the Father. Let theologians feel free to call this ‘unitarinism’, as long as it is clear that it is an unambiguous statement of Paul, himself. Unitarians only need to quote Scripture. Trinitarians, on the other hand, are forced to use reasonings, which they themselves do not understand and that also admit (!), in order to justify their non-biblical terminology. I’m referring to terms like ‘God the Son’, ’trinity’, ‘one being, three persons’, etc., which do not come from the Bible and are even totally alien to Scripture. Anyway, coming back to 1Cor.8:6: the one God (the Father) is the origin and destination of all. Two concepts, one motif. Or what about 1Timothy 2:4-6, where the same apostle writes:

…our Saviour, God, Who wills that all mankind be saved and come into a realization of the truth. For there is one God, and one Mediator of God and mankind, a Man, Christ Jesus, Who is giving Himself a correspondent Ransom for all

God wills that all mankind be saved. Why? Because there is one God. One God has one objective for all mankind. And no one can stop Him to achieve this (1Tim.4:10)… for there is one God. Does Jesus Christ constitute a part of the one God? No. For there is one God and one Mediator, the Man Christ Jesus. Indeed, that is He who has given Himself a ransom for all. One and all are the two keywords of this passage. But the crown witness of all of Scripture is, undoubtedly, 1Corinthians 15:22-28. It explains by Whom, how and when God’s universal plan will be realized. As with a telescope, we see beyond the dominion of Christ, past the eons in which He will reign and how God will finally become all in all. Death will be no more, because all (who are dying in Adam) will be made alive. But the same passage shows no less, who Christ is with respect to God. He is subjected to Him and will therefore, eventually, give up the throne and a perfect Kingdom to his God and Father. 1Corinthians 15:24.28,

thereafter the consummation, whenever He may be giving up the kingdom to His God and Father (…) Now whenever all may be subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also shall be subjected to Him Who subjects all to Him, that God may be All in all.

He who knows the Good News Message of the universal triumph of Christ’s work of salvation, can neither escape the truth of truths: There is one God…

one God and Father of all, Who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:6