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Kierkegaard: “I Believe that We Will All Be Saved”

Kierkegaard: “I Believe that We Will All Be Saved” August 23, 2016

Following the death of Denmark’s bishop Jacob Mynster, in 1854, Kierkegaard wrote this brief reflection:

What the old bishop once said to me is not true–namely, that I spoke as if the others were going to hell. No, if I can be said to speak at all of going to hell then I say something like this: If the others are going to hell, then I am going along with them. But I do not believe that; on the contrary, I believe that we will all be saved and this awakens my deepest wonder.

Kierkegaard did not make a universalist view of salvation a cornerstone or major emphasis of his theology.

He was probably not a “dogmatic universalist” so much as a “hopeful universalist,” a precursor of the great Swiss Reformed theologian Karl Barth, in that respect.

His primary thrust, throughout much of his writings, was to re-emphasize the stringency of Christianity–the demands of discipleship.

Kierkegaard had a profound theology of sin, one which permeated his works, but it was–in good Lutheran fashion–blanketed by an even more grandiose view of God’s forgiving grace. And here in 1854, just one year from the end of his short life, he relishes the thought that God will finally welcome everyone.

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