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FrJohn says: Citations would be helpful!

Some fixes

I changed the definition to actually reflect what apokatastais is, in that the previous definition tried to define it indirectly by referring to hell (which is NOT defined in Holy Scripture) and misleadingly associating it with the Roman doctrine of purgatory. A good deal more needs to be done to this piece -- beyond all the misspellings, I think there are factual errors concerning St Gregory of Nyssa, etc. --Fr Lev 11:41, September 17, 2006 (CDT)

Kallistos Ware

I have deleted Bishop Ware from the list of modern advocates of this doctrine (albeit the intro did say "qualified" advocates). I think it's fairly clearly from his The Orthodox Church that he unequivocally rejects the salvation of all. See this online excerpt (look for the section titled "The Last Things" under the larger "Church of God" section): [1]. If anyone can find another place that he does seemingly argue for apocatastasis, post it here. Gabriela 23:24, September 17, 2006 (CDT)

Metropolitan Kalistos does not 'unequivocally reject' the salvation of all. This is what is quite obvious from his The Orthodox Church as well as from the final chapter of his vol. 1 of the collected works The Inner Kingdom "Dare we hope for the salvation of all". Metropolitan Kalistos answers the question with a very clear "yes" we may hope and must pray so:

"Hell exists as a possibility because free will exists. Yet, trusting in the inexhaustible attractiveness of God's love, we venture to express the hope - it is no more than a hope - that in the end, like Walter de la Mare's Traveler, we shall find that there is nobody there. Let us have the last word, then, with St. Silouan of Mount Athos: "Love could not bear that... We must pray for all (SVS Press, Crestwood NY, 2004, p. 215))."

Gregorios 22:59 (EST) August 25, 2007.

Hmm... I suppose he could be considered as an advocate of it to a limited qualified degree. But even from Gregorios' above quote, it seems that he advocates praying for the salvation of all not because hell is not a reality, but because to do otherwise would be condemnatory and ultimately anti-Christian. The phrase "it is no more than a hope" is a pretty definite statement. To say that something is no more than a dream or a hope only confirms its nonexistence—it is a dream, not a fact. For example, we can (and probably should) pray for everyone to find the True Faith, but we would be doing so because we knew that the opposite was the current state of the world. Gabriela 20:29, August 25, 2007 (PDT)
However Metropolitan Kalistos does not say that the salvation of all is "no more than a dream" nor does he use this qualifier in that context. He says that 'he ventures to express the hope' qualifying by the emphasis that is a hope and not a certainty in order that free-will be preserved. The definite statement he makes is that there is hope without certainty. His quote from St. Silouan does not merely refer to everyone finding the true Faith (this seems to limit the admonition to the living) but includes those in hell. The reality of hell is not denied (not even by Origen ! ) but it's ultimate reality as endless is believed to be uncertain. All may be saved not all will be saved. Metropolitan Kalistos is very close to Hans Urs von Balthasar's qualified universalism. The salvation of all is a real possibility for which he hopes and prays but whether or not this possibility will become a reality he remains uncertain: note that he says "hell exists as a possibility because of free will" - a possibility not a certainty. Gregorios 11:13 (EST) August 26, 2007.
Ok, I see your point. So basically, Metropolitan Kallistos believes that hell exists now, until the Final Judgment, but at that point it is a possibility (and one for which we should pray) that all may be saved, depending upon God's will. I can agree with that. I guess the question, then, is whether he should be readded to the list of qualified advocates. Gabriela 11:07, August 26, 2007 (PDT)


We really need to distinguish between those who hold a view identical to Origen's and those who more closely follow von Balthasar (Bp. Kallistos, etc.). Additionally, related articles on the salvation of those outside the Church may certainly be in order. Especially because the charge of heresy is such a serious one, we must be careful here to really establish what individual Orthodox writers have said, and provide citations. People have been falling on and off the list for awhile. I don't think a mere list is really sufficient here or does anyone much good without more detail and references. — FrJohn (talk)

Also, since there is mention of councils anathematizing, are we getting close to heresy? A good lead-in paragraph setting up the rest of the article would be nice.Wsk 18:47, August 25, 2008 (UTC)

There is a lack of clarity as to what exactly was anathematized. Origen had numerous views that were related, some of which have never been Orthodox. There should also be a stronger distinction made between Origen's view and that of a "qualified" universalism. The article also gives the false impression that contemporary Orthodox took their lead from a Roman Catholic theologian. --Fr Lev 19:02, August 25, 2008 (UTC)

One of the confusions operative above is thinking that the salvation of all, were it to occur, would somehow deny the existence of hell. But that doesn't follow. What does follow is that hell would be empty. Moreover, hell ought not to be thought of as a place. --Fr Lev 21:19, August 25, 2008 (UTC)