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The One Purpose of God: An Answer to the Doctrine of Eternal Punishment [Paperback]

By Jan Bonda (Author)
Our Price $ 25.93  
Retail Value $ 30.50  
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Item Number 143550  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   304
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.1" Width: 6.03" Height: 0.74"
Weight:   1.04 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 4, 1998
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  0802841864  
EAN  9780802841865  

Availability  50 units.
Availability accurate as of May 25, 2017 08:48.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Item Description...
Throughout the centuries the church has taught that the vast majority of humankind will suffer eternal punishment. But is this teaching truly biblical? In this provocative book Jan Bonda scrutinizes church tradition and Scripture -- especially Paul's letter to the Romans -- and concludes that neither Paul nor the prophets to whom he appeals show any trace of supporting the doctrine of eternal damnation. On the contrary, they tell us that God wants to save all people and that he will not rest until that goal has been achieved.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
The One Purpose Of God  Sep 27, 2006
I've read several books on Christian Universalism, and although they were emotionally satisfying (in other words, I agreed with their conclusions), they weren't scholarly enough to satisfy the nagging biblical questions still left over. Bonda's book is entirely different. First, he tackles this issue as a reformed Presybetarian pastor, which rachets up his credibility enormously. Second, he looks at this from a scriptural standpoint, starting with the Old Testament and going through the New Testament to put his argument in context. Finally, he wraps all this up with church history, where we come to see that never-ending punishment was NOT a prevailing view of the early church, nor was the theology of election, or predestination. Instead, Bonda argues rather elequently that the idea of "the restoration of all things" is very biblical, and that questioning the doctrines our current churches hold dear is not blasphemous, but rather is something the Reformation itself encouraged us to do.
Response to a Reviewer  Sep 26, 2005
Jason Usry writes "I'm sorry, but this book just doesn't cut it. It's barren of exegesis and full of emotionalism. Fact: the same word that describes the duration of the blessedness of the righteous is used to describe the duration of the torment of the damned. See Matthew 25:46."

My Response:
Matthew 25:46 "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."

Notice it says everlasting punishment, not everlasting punishING as he probably reads this into the text, as most who believe in eternal torment do. A punishment of which the consequences are everlasting. Next, to seek out the Greek word and define it by its usage. I would refer Jason to read what many scholars have wrote on eonian, aionion.

St. Gregory of Nyssa speaks of aionios diastêma, "an eonian interval." It would be absurd to call an interval "endless."

St. Chrysostum, in his homily on Eph. 2:1-3, says that "Satan's kingdom is æonian; that is, it will cease with the present world."

St. Justin Martyr repeatedly used the word aionios as in the Apol. (p. 57), aionion kolasin ...all ouchi chiliontaetê periodon, "eonian chastening ...but a period, not a thousand years." Or, as some translate the last clause: "but a period of a thousand years only." He limits the eonian chastening to a period of a thousand years, rather than to endlessness.

Josephus shows that aionios did not mean endlessness, for he uses it of the period between the giving of the law to Moses and that of his own writing; to the period of the imprisonment of the tyrant John by the Romans; and to the period during which Herod's temple stood. The temple had already been destroyed by the time Josephus was writing.

Dr. Mangey, a translator of the writings of Philo, says Philo did not use aionios to express endless duration.

At Isa. 60:15, the adjective is used: "I will make you an eonian (aionion) excellency." This is followed by, "a joy of many generations." Eonian cannot mean endlessness here, for when the eons close, generations cease for there will be no more procreation.

More important, use Strong's & Young's Concordance and look up all ocurrences of the word and see how the Bible uses it.

best theology book ever  Dec 27, 2002
Bonda does an incredible job re-discovering the true Biblical teaching on salvation and how the church has mis-interpreted it for centuries. A dense and fairly slow read, it is well worth the time!
Is God convinced?  Jul 29, 2001
I'm sorry, but this book just doesn't cut it. It's barren of exegesis and full of emotionalism. Fact: the same word that describes the duration of the blessedness of the righteous is used to describe the duration of the torment of the damned. See Matthew 25:46.
Does God Want All People To Be Saved?  Jul 27, 2000
In THE ONE PURPOSE OF GOD, Jan Bonda successfully argues that God has only one purpose and desire for mankind- their salvation. This point is presented with in-depth scriptural proofs. Bonda discusses relevant scriptures from throughout the Bible, yet the greater part of the book focuses on the Biblical book of Romans. Most of Romans is covered, and as is typical of this book, startling new interpretations are brought to light.

Bonda's book grew out of his personal struggle with the beliefs of his own Reformed Church tradition, which teaches that God predistines some people to be saved, and other people to be lost. This struggle led him to a deep study of the Bible and a subsequent new belief- hopeful universalism. As a "hopeful universalist" Bonda presents Biblical evidence for a sturdy hope that all people will some day be saved, though he does not believe there can be a 100% certainty of this. Bonda's universalism is strongly Biblically based and centered upon the work of Christ.

I appreciated both the depth and the accessibility of this work. It should be appreciated by theologian and layman alike.

On my initial reading of this book, I found it stimulating and at times shocking. At least one of the Bible passages he used I could have sworn was NOT in the Bible until I looked it up! Actually, the passage was there, and very clear in its meaning. Many of the other texts I was familiar with. Yet, upon reading Bonda's book, I found I had been skimming by these texts, never listening to what the words really said. Occasionally, I felt that Bonda's scriptural interpretations were forced- that there could be other ways of interpreting these texts. Nontheless he stimulated me to do my own Bible study of the texts he used. In the end, I have concluded he was right! But check it out for yourself- this is a stimulating subject, too often ignored or misunderstood- as well as an excellent book.


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