Originally published over 100 years ago, this book attempts to answer the question of questions: Can Evil triumph finally over Good? If we answer affirmatively with the popular creed, we are practically falling into Dualism. But if we reply in the negative, we are teaching Universalism. Such are the issues involved. Men strive to save the popular creed by various modifications: by diminishing the number of the lost, by softening their torments, or by asserting their annihilation. What are all these but so many tacit confessions that men everywhere feel it impossible to maintain the creed still generally professed? This early work on universal reconciliation deals with these things, and more, including much interesting church history.
Every Knee Shall Bow
Reviewed in the United States on August 11, 2016
Does the idea of hell trouble you?
I don’t mean, does it scare you. I mean, having had your moral ideas formed by Jesus’ commands to love, does the idea of hell—of God torturing people for all eternity for things they did over a few years—seem morally wrong?
Have you ever held out the hope that God will save everyone in the end…because that’s what you would do if you were an all-good, all-loving God?
If so, read this book.
In the last few years some popular authors have defended the idea of universalism, i.e., that God will save everyone. I’m thinking especially of Rob Bell’s book, Love Wins, and Philip Gulley’s book, If Grace Is True. The problem with both of those books is that they’re based more on philosophy and moral convictions, and are very light on Scripture. In fact, Gulley has an extremely low view of Scripture.
Not Allin. He shows that universalism is more than a hope. It has solid Scriptural basis, not just in the character of God, but in verses that explicitly say God will reconcile all things to Himself, and that, in the end, every knee shall bow and confess that Jesus is Lord. It’s not just three or four verses. To my utter surprise, Allin marshals dozens of verses I hadn’t thought about very much before, in support of the idea that no one will be lost forever, but that everyone will be saved in the end.
Allin goes over some historical evidence that the people in the Church have always had this hope. I wasn’t too concerned about that. What I loved was his Biblical exegesis. That’s what I care about. That’s my highest standard—does God’s Word teach it? Allin shows it does. At least, it very probably does. Allin changed my mind. I’m not a dogmatic universalist. But I’m more than just a hopeful one.
Allin’s book shows that Jesus’ “good news” is even better than we imagined.
If you can find a copy, get one. I think Robin Parry has issued an annotated reprint through Wipf & Stock.