What is a Functional Universalist?


A functional universalist is one who talks like, lives like and hopes like all things are going to be made new but when pressed they deny their support of it. Some have even gone so far as to write lengthy blogs and even books to defend their belief in a limited redemption of God.

A functional universalist is someone who claims they believe most of humanity is headed for a hopeless eternity filled with unthinkable torture yet have passed up literally thousands of opportunities to warn others. It is rarely preached, hard to locate on church websites and found only in certain theological works. Otherwise it seems it isn't worth bringing up. Unless it is threatened.

A functional universalist is someone who says they believe in an eternal hell for the majority of the world yet often are heard saying conflicting statements. One is that which you often hear at a funeral of an unbeliever, "Well, we know that God is bigger". Or we often hear, "God's intention is to restore all of His creation" or sentiments and songs talking about how God is "making all things new". Some just put it out of their minds and avoid talking about it. But when they do, it is usually vague, evasive or softening the actual aspects of the doctrine.

We believe the reason for this is because they are subconsciously breathing this reality and hope as it seeps into the psych through every area of the human experience: their moral conscience, sense of justice, the cues of renewal found in creation, and the nature of love and fatherhood.

We love our functional universalist brothers and sisters because they often speak our language and we believe that in their hearts they are actually with us, One thing they often give us is their "wish that it is true" and the "hope that we are right". We believe it is indeed true while they unknowingly ride on the hope that it is.

We pray we can grow together in unity and grace as we continue the conversation Rob Bell only scratched the surface of. There is so much more to it and the implications go so far beyond merely determining the nature of hell. That is only a starting point for reaching a clearer understanding of the glorious all-encompassing Kingdom of God.