The clarifying statement on hell that cost me a teaching job

For what it’s worth, here is article 10 of Trinity Western University’s statement of faith:

God’s gospel requires a response that has eternal consequences. We believe that God commands everyone everywhere to believe the gospel by turning to Him in repentance and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that God will raise the dead bodily and judge the world, assigning the unbeliever to condemnation and eternal conscious punishment and the believer to eternal blessedness and joy with the Lord in the new heaven and the new earth, to the praise of His glorious grace. Amen.

And here is my clarifying statement re: that article that got me disqualified from teaching:

Based on a number of theological arguments, as well as Bible passages, such as Romans 11:32, “For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all,” 1 Corinthians 15:22, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive,” Romans 5:18-19, “Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous,” and others, I hold out the hope that all people will ultimately be reconciled to God. This does not negate the notion of divine justice or accountability. However, it sees divine justice as a means to an end—reconciliation—rather than an end in itself. A fuller clarification of my position can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oY18Ba48RFc

About Kevin Miller

Kevin Miller is an award-winning screenwriter, director and producer who has applied his craft to numerous documentaries, feature films and shorts. Recent projects include "The Chicken Manure Incident," "Hellbound?," "Drop Gun," "No Saints for Sinners," "spOILed," "Sex+Money," "With God On Our Side," "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed," "After..." and the upcoming biopic "The Divine Comedy of Thomas Merton." In addition to his work in film, Kevin has written, co-written and edited over 45 books. He lives in Kimberley, BC, Canada with his wife and four children.

  • scotmcknight

    Had I been at TWU … I would have said “Kevin Miller appears to be a universalist and does not believe in ECP.”

    • Kevin Miller

      Right. There was no doubt of that when I was first brought on board, and the people who recruited me had no problem with my position. I was told that virtually every faculty member took issue with one or more of the university’s articles of faith, so all I needed to do was write a clarifying comment, as other faculty had done, and everything would be fine. Turns out things have changed under the new president, who was brought on in June.

      • Eric

        It seems that the new president is holding the University’s statement of faith above the Bible. How does he reconcile the Bible passages you brought up with his belief in ECP?

        • Kevin Miller

          The President actually called me last night to “express his regrets” at how this situation was handled. When I tried to bring up such issues, he kept backing off saying “he didn’t want to be controversial.” So I have no idea how he reconciles those and other passages with his view. In fact, I’d love to debate him on this topic. For the good of the school of course. :)

          • KentonS

            How about instead of a “debate”, you propose a “discussion”? Debates are about conquering your opponent and winning, while discussion is about hashing out a difference in a way that is less confrontational.

          • Kevin Miller

            Well, yes and no. Debate can be about establishing two (or more) sides to an issue and then critiquing those positions. I think debate can be quite helpful in exposing the weaknesses and revealing the strengths of different ideas. Just as long as we realize it’s actually ideas–not people–who either win or lose.

          • KentonS

            Agreed.

            But when in debate, everyone loses sight of the fact that it’s the ideas winning or losing, and it always becomes about people winning and losing.

            Well not “always”. If the parties have a relationship that transcends the opposing positions, it need not get nasty.

            But then it’s not really a good debate. :)

  • Matriarch

    I was born and raised in fundamentalism. I have grown — slowly at time — through the years in my understanding of the Gospel and in my knowledge of God. I can comfortably call myself a universalist now. I also believe all will be reconciled. Justice has many facets.

  • Cubist

    So you were expelled for disagreeing with an entrenched orthodox position, were you? Interesting. Do you suppose there could be a movie in that sort of thing?

  • Cubist

    Expelled for failing to adhere to a dogmatic orthodoxy? Interesting. Do you think there might be a movie in that, Kevin?

  • Cubist

    I apologize for leaving two substantially-identical comments. In my defense, all I can say is that the vast bulk of my blog-commenting experience is restricted to blogs that are largely unmoderated. If you wish to delete one of the two near-duplicates, and this comment as well, I’m okay with that, Kevin.

  • Yowie

    I think your response was very good, Kevin.

    • Kevin Miller

      Thanks!


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