Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Rejection of Universalism in the Triodion

Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick's post entitled "The Rejection of Universalism in the Triodion" remains a timely article I'm sad to say. Closed communion and universal salvation doesn't track, people.

(Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy) - One of the big problems with an Orthodox Christian embracing universalism is that he has to reject a large portion of the liturgical tradition of the Church in order to do so. The eternality of the punishment of the wicked is ubiquitous in the services of the Church. This may be less apparent if one does not have access to frequent church services, but it really becomes apparent the more time you spend in church listening to what is being sung.

The Church doesn’t spend all its time talking about the eternality of Hell, but mainly focuses on encouraging sinners to repentance and to embrace the resurrection of Christ. But even though we are definitely running toward something, we are also very much running from something. And the Church does sing about it often.

To give some sense of this, I wanted to give some samples that speak of this (admittedly, hard) teaching of the Church from the most beloved time of the Church year—the Triodion, which includes the periods of Great Lent and Holy Week. I’ve highlighted some relevant phrases (in some cases, it’s the whole hymn that mentions this, so I didn’t highlight any specific phrases).

You will notice that the biggest selection of this material comes from the Sunday of the Last Judgment, the Sunday that directly addresses the question of the eternal destiny of mankind...
Complete article here.


  1. It’s amazing how much outrage that article sparked.

  2. Where is the Universalist and Orthodox movement today? I perceive that it peaked with David B Hart's Creation nd Evil essay. However it is apparent now that David's hermeneutics and philosophy is idiosyncratic at best. Kimel has been in one long post Scholastic recovery program. Is there new leadership for this merry band I am not aware of?

  3. Universalism as I understand it says everybody will be saved no matter what.

    There is thr once saved always daved variant.

    There is the " nothing after death"

    Etc., Etc., Etc.

    Fr. Damick seems to insist that unless one proclaims God damns sinners forever one is a universalist and damned oneself.

    Three things I know: God's justice is not like our justice; God's mercy is not like our mercy and there will be a judgement.

    Many Scriptures and many Fathers hold out great hope for the salvation of many. My favorite is Cor 3:13.

    I suspect that the equation of salvation as only for those who achieve theosis in this life through grace and their own struggle is a bit draconian. If it is right, I am doomed. Lord have mercy.

    The mind of the world has rejected salvation and damnation both yet fears both.

    Damnation and torment forever seems to make evil forever. It seems to make God as Jonathan Edwards described Him. Why?