NT Wright on Second Chance Universalism

NT Wright:

1 Peter 3:18-22… has sometimes been interpreted as offering a ‘second chance’ to people who do not have faith in this life. But, as has been argued at length by commentators of various outlooks, the writer is most probably referring simply to Christ’s proclamation to evil spirits that their power had been broken. In any case, the next chapter (1 Peter 4, especially vv. 17-18) rules out any possibility that ‘those that do not obey God’s gospel’ will be saved. The ‘second chance’ theory must look outside the Bible for support; though there too, it is open to attack. We might note at this point that, though many profess to believe in a ‘second chance’ universalism, they do not usually enjoy ‘assurance’ in the old-fashioned sense. Hence the revival of interest in praying for the dead (which does not, except in rare cases, spring from a return to the classical doctrine of purgatory, but rather from a vague general uncertainty about the way of salvation itself). Universalism of this kind, therefore has the worst of both worlds: no clear doctrine of justification by faith, and hence no assurance of salvation. It neither has its cake, nor eats it.

Towards a Biblical View of Universalism by NT Wright

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