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Good News for All


Format: Paperback, Electronic
Author: Ric Machuga
Category: Theology
Published: March 28, 2023


Ric Machuga argues on biblical, historical, and theological grounds that universal salvation is necessary for a coherent proclamation of the Gospel. A creation in which some people suffer unending torment because God either can’t or won’t bring them to repentance is not good news. This last sentence is sure to provoke protest: “But what about free will?” Machuga responds by exposing modern assumptions.

Issac Newton described God as a divine Craftsman “very skilled in geometry and mechanics.” Though intended as praise, in fact, it’s belittling. The transcendent creator of space and time is reduced to its biggest and best member. God’s relation to creation is now zero-sum--as God’s power increased, human power decreased. The only way for humans to retain their freedom was for God to “reign in” his power, even if this tragically meant an unending hell for many.

But the ancient Church had already considered and rejected the metaphor of a divine Craftsman while responding to its first theological challenge--How is it possible to worship Jesus as God while remaining faithful to the claim that there is only one God? The answer was the doctrine of the Trinity. A direct corollary was that God created the universe with space and time, not as Newton implied, in space and time. The Church’s tag line became: God is non aliud. This translates into English as “God is not another person or thing.” God is no more in competition with us than Shakespeare with Hamlet.

It is this God--not the God of Enlightenment rationalism--who revealed himself in the man Jesus. And it is this Jesus who was raised by the Father. And it is this God’s Spirit who ensures the coming day when all will know the truth that makes us free indeed!


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“Ric Machuga is an exceptional communicator. He takes complicated ideas and makes them both understandable and relevant for ordinary people. In this engrossing little book he sketches with beautiful clarity and gentleness the big philosophical issues that underpin Christian hope for universal reconciliation. It may be short, but don’t be fooled—it is profound. Highly recommended.”

— Robin Parry