OBJECTION>> The Optimism Out of Control book is too long and difficult to read. Can you please summarize your essential observations?
ME>> Yes, I apologize for the length of the book. While defending the truth that Jesus Christ is your savior, my savior, and the savior of all mankind I may have spent too many words answering objections. I list my essential observations below.
- The salvation of mankind and the doom of Satan is the gospel. (Genesis 3:15)
- Why say God loves his enemies first, if it is merely an offer? (Romans 5:8-11)
- Grace by definition is unmerited unconditional blessing. (Romans 3:23-25)
- Faith is not a condition to, but trust in his unconditional love! (Romans 3:3-4)
- All mankind is atoned by Christ the God-man, the second Adam. (Romans 5:12-19)
- God bound all to sin so that he could give mercy to all. (Romans 11:32)
- Jesus, like Hosea, sometimes calls his lost sheep, "not my sheep." (John 10:26)
- Unbelieving humans are punished in Hades if unrepentant. (Luke 16:19-31)
- Hades is not the same place as the Lake of Fire. (Revelation 20:11-15)
- Hades is temporal and emptied at the final judgment. (Revelation 20:11-15)
- Why defeat Hades, if not to save the unbelieving dead? (Matthew 16:18)
- Christians, with Christ, are not judged at the final judgment. (1 Thessalonians 4:17)
- Unbelieving humans are at the final judgment. (Matthew 25:31-46, Revelation 20:13)
- Unbelieving humans are the sheep on Jesus' right. (Matthew 25:34-40, Rev 20:13)
- Some fallen angels are held for future judgment. (2 Peter 2:4, Jude 6)
- Fallen angels are at the final judgment. (Jude 6, Revelation 20:13)
- Jesus is not the helper of fallen angels. (Hebrews 2:16)
- Fallen angels are the goats on Jesus' left. (Matthew 25:41-46, Revelation 20:10-15)
- The Lake of Fire is prepared for Satan and his angels. (Matthew 25:41)
- Jesus allows unbelieving humans to fear the destiny of Satan. (Rev 21:8)
- Christ's purpose is to show off his grace in kindness toward his chosen. (Eph 2:7)
I hope these points inspire valuable reflection for all Christians.
Perhaps my additional Restorationist defense of the gospel was unneeded since there are so many already, some of which are reviewed in my article, Book Reviews. However, I was well into writing Optimism Out of Control before realizing the ample existing witness. Yet I do highlight two significant observations, which I have not seen elsewhere. First, I note the distinct intermediate punishments of humans and fallen angels in Hades and Tartarus, and concluding destinies in Heaven and the Lake of Fire, respectively. Second, I note that accurate hermeneutics must recognize that Jesus, like Hosea, sometimes calls his lost sheep, "not my sheep", and is willing to allow the rebellious elect to fear the destiny of Satan. I hope these contributions to the discussion help the body of Christ grow further toward maturity.