Living the Theme: Love on Fire (Soteriology)

Soteriology is the doctrine of salvation. In our theological house it is our roof.

We have all of us, whether rich or poor, whether high or low, of whatever nationality and religious conviction, the same supreme necessities and the same great problem and infinity of love. This old world has rolled on through countless stages and phases of physical progress until it is the home of humanity, and it has, through a process of evolution or growth reached an era of intellectual and spiritual development where there is ‘malice toward none and charity toward all,’ and when, without prejudice, without fear, and in perfect fidelity, we may clasp hands across the chasm of our differences and speed and cheer each other on in the ways of all that is good and true. ~ Augusta Jane Chapin

The spirit of Love will be intensified to Godly proportions when reciprocal love exists between the entire human race and each of its individual members. That love must be based upon mutual respect for the differences in color, language and worship, even as we appreciate and accept with gratitude the differences that tend to unite the male and female of all species. We do not find those differences obstacles to love. ~ George de Benneville

The mission of the Universalist church has been a double one, first to contravert the one-time prevalent idea of an endless hell. This part of the mission has practically been accomplished. . . But the second and more important one awaits fulfillment . . . a fight which shall continue until the real, actual hells, before our very eyes, are destroyed. ~ Henry Clay Ledyard

Hell is, in fact, a burning issue for it is the issue of separation, whether we can, with safety and impunity, set up little islands in the human experience and therefore protect ourselves against any relationship with the mainland. And Universalism says unequivocally, it cannot be done. ~ Gordon B. McKeeman

Your child has fallen into the mire, and its body and its garments are defiled. You cleanse it, and array it in clean robes. The query is, Do you love your child because you have washed it? Or, Did you wash it because you loved it? ~ Hosea Ballou

Goals

Become familiar with stories of Universalism

Explore Universalist theology of Love in relationship to salvation

Adult Conversations, Nov. 4

View this video to prepare ahead of time, or just drop in to Room 109 for the conversation.

Taking It Home

Do some theological reflection, considering these questions:

  • How would you define salvation?
  • What would salvation feel like or look like?
  • Is it available to everyone?
  • For you, is salvation contingent on faith? Goodworks?
  • Does your idea of salvation have anything to do with God? Do you have a non-deist idea of salvation? What is it?
  • What is the moral nature of humankind?
  • Are humans essentially good, bad, or a combination?
  • What is the basis of moral behavior?
  • What motivates ethical action?
  • What are the ultimate rewards and punishments of human existence?

This is the way that Rita Nakashima Brock and Rebecca Parker see paradise as described in the here and now:

This is what it means to say that paradise is in this world: the actual tastes, sights, fragrances, and textures of paradise touch our lives. They call us to resist the principalities and powers that deny the goodness of ordinary life, threaten to destroy it, or seek to secure its blessings for a few at the expense of many.

Our RE Stories for the Theme

“Nathaniel Takes A Ride,” from Love Surrounds Us, A Tapestry of Faith, UUA

“Muddy Children,” from Faithful Journeys, A Tapestry of Faith, UUA

“Judith Sargent Murray Turn Around,” from Windows and Mirrors, A Tapestry of Faith, UUA