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That All Shall Be Saved

Heaven, Hell, and Universal Salvation
Narrated by: Derek Perkins
Length: 7 hrs and 3 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (64 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A stunning reexamination of one of the essential tenets of Christian belief from one of the most provocative and admired writers on religion today. 

The great fourth-century church father Basil of Caesarea once observed that, in his time, most Christians believed that hell was not everlasting, and that all would eventually attain salvation. But today, this view is no longer prevalent within Christian communities. 

In this momentous book, David Bentley Hart makes the case that nearly two millennia of dogmatic tradition have misled readers on the crucial matter of universal salvation. On the basis of the earliest Christian writings, theological tradition, scripture, and logic, Hart argues that if God is the good creator of all, he is the savior of all, without fail. And if he is not the savior of all, the Kingdom is only a dream, and creation something considerably worse than a nightmare. But it is not so. There is no such thing as eternal damnation; all will be saved. 

With great rhetorical power, wit, and emotional range, Hart offers a new perspective on one of Christianity's most important themes.

©2019 David Bentley Hart (P)2019 Tantor

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  • Ed B
  • North Carolina
  • 10-07-19

Best Philosophical Case for Christian Universalism

Going back to the earliest sources of Christianity the author makes the best case for Christian universalism grounded in philosophy I have seen and I have read many a Christn universalist book. The dismissive air toward infernalist arguments is both succinct and charming.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Didnt Enjoy

Was hoping he would use bible verses to prove his theory. So seemed alot of empty words. Couldnt stand narration.

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Brilliant

Liberating, thought-provoking and erudite. A compelling presentation of universalism that cannot be dismissed. Please read this.

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Wind bag

Mr. Hart works hard to make his point, but all too often he tries to impress his readers with his command of the language. This leads to many passages with needlessly complicated words and phrases.

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Book: good, Narrator: not so much

I enjoyed the book - it was very well written, however the narrator makes so many mispronunciations (uh-GUS-tin is the Saint, aw-gus-TEEN is in Texas) and don’t even get me started on his Latin. Doesn’t someone check these things?

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A Hell of a Book

This is David Bentley Hart justifying his views on hell that he acquired in his childhood in the most intellectual manner possible. Yay? Now because it is Mr. Hart, there is much that is interesting. When Mr. Hart can actually stick to philosophy, it is interesting indeed. However, Mr. Hart has picked up the unpleasant habit of filling pages with invective against his critics. How can they be so stupid as to believe traditional Christian teachings? The problem with this is that while this fills up pages, it neither advances his argument nor unless you are an imbecile is it convincing.

My own impression is that his understanding is far too intellectual. For example if I have understood him correctly, he dispatches the standard Eastern Orthodox understanding of Hell by redefining freedom. The Eastern Orthodox would say simply that because we are endowed with freedom, we can indeed reject God for all eternity if we so choose. This is hell. Freedom for Mr. Hart is expressing one's true nature as a rational being and our true nature is expressed by union with God. Hence, because we are all rational beings, we must have this union with God. In fact, it makes God evil if God allows us to reject him. Hence, at some point this false will we have must be overcome and we will achieve union God with God. And we WILL like it. The problem with such thinking is that it does remove our choice in the matter. And if we have no choice, why is God waiting around to force this union? He can force it so why doesn't he get it over with. There need be no suffering at all. I want my union with God now! And worse, if I am a rational being, why do I choose evil in the first place? As any person with any self awareness knows, we often choose evil even though we know precisely that it is evil. If you have ever had an addiction, you know this in spades. Or if you have ever really tried to live your life to the ascetic rule of the Orthodox Church, this is pretty clear.

Anyway, this book brings up some very interesting questions about the nature of God. You may or may not find the answers satisfying. You will at least come away with the feeling you ought to read Gregory of Nyssa's writings. I know I did. So I would say this is rewarding reading but no where as good as either "Atheist Delusions" or "God Being, Consciousness, Bliss".

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Careful here

Didn’t like it at all, an old Origen heresy coming back around again in a modern face.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Serious thoughts, a bit snarky

I enjoyed the tone, but If you are super attached to the idea of hell, you will not.
If you are ready to think about the love of God being incompatible with eternal torment and want some thorough scholarly perspectives, this book is what you may need.

The narrator was lovely and relaxing but I found myself listening to his voice not his words, so I’ll have to start again at the beginning. It is hard to follow and requires concentration so his soothing voice may not be the best for that purpose. But a delight to listen to!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • MR J.
  • 11-14-19

Brilliant and persuasive

Not an easy subject to be tackling, but DBH’s arguments are compelling and seem irrefutable. I have considered myself a ‘hopeful universalist’ for some time, but this book gives me more confidence, with sound theological, philosophical and historical backing, to ‘come out’ as a universalist. If you’re intrigued, on the fence, set against or already on side, this is a book definitely worth reading. DBH writes with his usual exquisite selection of words-I’ve-never-heard, but also with a fresh level of humour I’ve not previously noticed in his work. Well read for the audio also.

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  • D. Matcham
  • 10-05-19

DBH's latest classic.

Witty, erudite and above all convincing. Even if it won't convince everyone, the logical force of his argument (that if God is good, and if goodness means what we think it means, then eternal conscious torment is not on the cards) will make many people sit up and listen.

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  • Graham
  • 10-02-19

Graham Roberts-- great stuff!

Morally obvious. Meta physically necessary. Like he says - it shouldn't even need writing a book about, but I am glad he took the trouble. Plus, he is hilarious, in only that way which an exasperated, dry humoured, grumpy old git can be.. Excellent stuff all round. One more 'shadow' hurried away by the light of love and reason.