# Appendix 1, 2, 3



Readers of this exposé of Lies will probably be surprised that in spite of all that I’ve written about Young’s aberrant theology, Paul Young himself says that his beliefs are orthodox, or biblical. In an interview recorded on the website of C. Baxter Kruger, Kruger puts several questions to Young which concern Young’s orthodoxy.[1]

# Young’s Answers about His Orthodoxy

Kruger asks Young six questions:

  1. When asked if he is a heretic, Paul Young answers, “Of course not.” He says that orthodoxy is defined by “Athanasius and the Nicene Creed. I stand with the Creed.”

    Earlier in the interview, Kruger had said that The Shack reminded him of Athanasius, who said, “The God of all is good, and supremely noble by nature. Therefore, He is the lover of the human race.” Kruger expresses his opinion that Paul Young is “a lover of the Nicene Creed”; that “Paul Young is as orthodox as St. Athanasius, whose work in the early church set the definition of orthodoxy and thus of heresy as well.” In this appendix and another we’ll examine whether or not Kruger’s assessment is true. We’ll find that it is not.

    Young goes on to elaborate on the answer to the first question. He notes that he understands how the Nicene Creed came to be, and he “definitely agrees with its heart.” I’m not sure what this statement means; it appears to be a qualification or limitation. He acknowledges that he is not sure about the phrase “one baptism for the remission of sins.” He agrees that “heresy is defined by allegiance to the Nicene Creed,” and he would add to this, he said, “to its vision of Jesus Christ. . . .” I respond to these statements below.

    Kruger asks whether The Shack was written out of a background of perceiving God as harsh and absent. Young replies that love is the “deepest dimension of God’s very being” and asks, “How can God be love . . . in essence, and do anything that does not flow from that love?” Young seems to avoid a direct answer to Kruger’s question, but in chapter 28 of Lies (“God is One alone”), he concurs with Kruger’s words.

  2. Kruger’s question is whether Young agrees that “The wrath of God is God’s love in action, passionately and personally opposing our destruction.” Young agrees and says that God’s wrath “is real, and may even be everlasting, but it belongs to His love. His wrath serves His love, His relentless affection . . . that is determined to bring us to His heart, which is our true home.” Kruger adds, citing George MacDonald, that this is a “destroying affection.” “The Lord’s affection destroys our sin and darkness that we may be free to live in His embrace.” Young answers that he wholeheartedly agrees.

  3. In light of Young’s statement in The Shack that Jesus will travel down any road to find people, Kruger asks whether that means that “all, without exception, will be in heaven.”

    Young replies that he hopes so, but says that “hope is not a conclusion or a doctrine.” He adds that the New Testament “leaves us with this hope,” but all may not come to believe “that Jesus has embraced us all;” all may not come “to believe or to know that this is the truth.” At least four times Young expresses this as his “hope.”

    Kruger pushes the issue further. He asks Young if all will come to the experience of knowing Jesus’s embrace, so that all “without exception will . . . make their way to heaven.”

    Young answers that what he believes is just what he wrote in The Shack: “Everyone is included” in the embrace of Jesus. While he doesn’t answer Kruger directly, it seems that Young is validating that all will go to heaven.

  4. Kruger proceeds to his next question. He asks Young whether he believes that “a personal relationship with Jesus is necessary to salvation.”

    Young responds with “Of course.” He cites his own experience in which he met the persons of the Trinity. He adds, “I am not sure what people mean by a personal relationship with Jesus,” but he says that he would be dead without his encounter with Jesus. Then he adds, “Without such an encounter, we are certainly loved forever, but lost in our own darkness and pain.”

  5. Kruger’s fifth question is whether Young believes in hell. He notes that Young has “been there personally” in his suffering, but asks if he believes in “Eternal Conscious Torment” (ECT).

    Young replies that he most definitely does not believe in this “horrendous” idea, but he thinks that hell is real, both in this life and in the next. Hell is real but “has to be understood in relationship with Jesus.” Hell was created “in Jesus,” and it is not “outside of Jesus.” Jesus has met people in their hell and “intends to deliver us from our own evil.” Young can’t say how it all turns out, but he’s “hopeful” in light of the reality of God’s promise never to abandon his people. He trusts “Papa.”

  6. Kruger’s last question concerns whether Young set out to mislead or deceive people and whether he is “the antichrist.”

    Young replies that such a question is a “sad” one, coming mostly from Young’s people. He acknowledges that The Shack “definitely challenges the way we in the West have been taught to believe about God.” He believes Kruger’s quote of Athanasius, and says that “God is good, all the time. The God I was taught was a no show in my crisis.” Young affirms that when “bizarre accusations” come his way, he returns to “trusting Papa all over again, and joy sustains me.”

    With this, Kruger brings the interview to a close.

# My Response to Young’s Answers

Frankly, Young’s answers hardly give any relief from the sense that Young is a consistent universalist. Also, what he doesn’t say is perhaps as important as what he does say. I take up each of Young’s answers to the six questions in turn.

  1. Regarding the first answer, Young and Kruger both assert that the test of orthodoxy is the Nicene Creed, and they both subscribe (almost) fully to it.

My response: The Nicene Creed (see below) is not the entire expression of orthodoxy, for additional church councils decided the crucial issues of the content of the Canon (the inspired books of the Bible), the relationship of the divine and human natures of Christ, the relationship of the persons to one another in the Trinity, and other crucial matters.

But what of the Nicene Creed? There are at least a dozen points where Young differs from its teaching. Here I cite the Creed and then show how Young differs from it.

# The Nicene Creed

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made. Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.[2]

# How the Creed Opposes the Beliefs of Young

  1. Several terms contradict Young’s idea of a “pure relationship” with God. As he describes it in The Shack and repeatedly in Lies, there is no subordination and no authority. There is mutual submission of all. In the Creed, note the uses of “Lord” (two times) and “Almighty” and “sits on the right hand of the Father” (a place of exaltation where no human could ever sit). Note also that the Spirit “proceeds” from the Father, indicating that the Spirit is subordinate to the Father. All of these phrases are opposed to Young’s idea of relationship.

  2. The use of “believe” (three to four times) contradicts Young’s belief that people are already God’s children whether or not they believe. Clearly, the word in this Creed suggests that some are not God’s children, for they are on the outside; they do not believe. Young opposes the categories of “believers” and “unbelievers.”

  3. The phrase “for us men for our salvation” is clearly intended to give the purpose of Jesus’s coming to save us. In his chapter 13, Young asserts that all, universally, are saved and that no one needs “to get saved.” The words of the Creed assume that people are lost prior to Jesus’s saving them. However, Young and UR assert that all people were created in Jesus, in God, and are never separated from him (chapters 2, 24, 27).

  4. The words “was crucified also for us” affirm substitutionary penal atonement, particularly in combination with the words “for our salvation.” Young has repeatedly rejected this view of the atonement. Why? Because such a view reveals God’s judgment on Jesus Christ for our sins.

  5. The words asserting that Jesus “shall come again, with glory, to judge both the quick [living] and the dead” no doubt refer to a judgment on people occurring after death. Romans 14:11-12 says, “As surely as I live,” says the Lord, “every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.” So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. Second Corinthians 5:10 tells us that we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” All of Revelation 20 relates to judgment. Universal reconciliation and Paul Young reject such a future judgment, since all are already in God and in Christ. This idea of coming judgment is one of the most glaring differences from what UR asserts.

    Note also what the Creed does not say. It does not offer an opportunity to believe after death, which contradicts what Young asserts in chapter 21, where he says that death does not end the opportunity to choose.

  6. The Creed asserts that the Christian also believes in the “holy catholic [universal] and apostolic Church.” These words point to both the invisible church, the Bride of Christ in which all believers are found, as well as the local institution of the church as seen in Ephesians chapters 3, 4, and 5. Young asserts that the church and other institutions are demonic and not created by God (chapter 12).

  7. Finally, the Creed asserts that there is “one baptism for the remission of sins.” Young says that he is not sure about this wording, but it is important to note that forgiveness of sins is something that probably offends Young. In chapter 27 of his book, Young redefines sin as violating a person’s being rather than violating the glory or holiness of God. He also asserts that sin cannot separate anyone from God. The Creed would certainly never accept such novelty in doctrine. Additionally, Young makes no mention of the ordinances of the church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

Both Kruger and Young say that they are willing to let the Nicene Creed be the determiner of whether they are orthodox. I’ve found them to be in violation of the Creed. Young doesn’t “stand with the Creed;” he does not give “allegiance” to this Creed.

They should apologize for deceiving the Christian community. They are not orthodox.

  1. In regard to Kruger’s second question about the nature of God’s wrath, both Kruger and Young espouse UR. Typically, UR asserts that God’s love limits his wrath, and this is what these revisionists are asserting. Also, to say that love destroys wrath is erroneous. The Bible says that the death of Christ propitiated, or satisfied, the wrath of God (Romans 3:26). Wrath is not destroyed, but is satisfied. If God’s wrath toward sin is not satisfied, God is unjust and finally unworthy of our trust and love.

  2. In regard to the issue of whether all will go to heaven, Young’s answer embraces his “hope” that this will be so. Such a “hope” is typical speech of UR. It was first used by the church father Origen, in the third century. Young says that this hope arises in the New Testament, but the Bible gives no such hope and never uses this kind of speech. Since God has spoken clearly in the Bible about who is and who is not going to heaven, it is slanderous for anyone to suggest something that challenges what God has said. Jesus said, *No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again *(John 3:3). In 1 John 5:12 we read, *He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. *Young’s “hope” has no more basis than wishing for gravity to disappear! In fact, it is more evil, because it rejects God’s clear statements about the destiny of all.

It is interesting to note Young’s words here. For after talking about “hope,” he returns to his assertion that everyone is “in the embrace of Jesus” – pure UR. In Lies he asserts that everyone is already saved (chapter 13). See my further discussion of the vanity of such hope, above.

  1. It is surprising that Young should first answer Kruger’s question about a personal relationship by saying, “of course”; but then he states that he is not sure what people mean by “a personal relationship with Jesus.” Young seems to contradict himself. Either he is confused or he is subtly denying that there is such a thing. Growing up in a Christian home where his parents were missionaries, he could hardly be uncertain as to what this relationship means. He seems to be obfuscating here – obscuring what the issue is.

(Indeed, a couple hours after I wrote this paragraph, I happened to reread part of my book* Burning Down the Shack*, chapter 2, where I am citing The Shack, chapter 6. In my book, I say that Paul Young is correct “to affirm that a deeply personal relationship with God is essential.” Who is Paul trying to mislead? Could he have forgotten over the course of ten years what he wrote about this important matter dealing with what it means to be a Christian?)

  1. His answer to the fifth question is pure UR again. He wants to redefine hell as something far less than what the Bible says. Further, his rejection in abhorrence of the idea of “eternal conscious torment” pits him against Jesus and Christian faith from the beginning till now. Jesus uses such strong language twice. When teaching his disciples about judgment, Jesus said, *Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life *(Matthew 25:46). When Jesus told about the rich man and Lazarus, he said, *In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side *(Luke 16:23).

His apostles followed suit when they spoke of *torment *and being punished with everlasting destruction (Revelation 14:11; 2 Thessalonians 1:8). Contrary to Young, the Bible does tell us how the future unfolds, both in heaven and in hell. Note that the Nicene Creed uses similar language: Jesus “shall come again . . . to judge.” For Young to say that he “hopes” for something else is UR slander. For him to say that “hell was created in Jesus” is totally without the Bible’s support. Jesus said that hell was “prepared” for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). Were all these “in Jesus”?

  1. Finally, Young’s answer to the sixth question shows that he thinks his writing is challenging the way “we have been taught to believe about God.” Here Young is blazing the way for his book, Lies We Believe about God (note the similarity in wording). He is assuming that he is the trailblazer for a new Christianity. This seems quite arrogant! His words about God being a “no show” in his time of brokenness reflect what he wrote in chapter 28.

Young, referring to “God is good, all the time,” again invokes the name of Athanasius. Young expands on this phrase in Lies (chapter 16: “God is not good.”). Young cites this church father as though Athanasius is in agreement with him, but as I show in the next appendix, this is far from the truth.



# The Claims of Paul Young

Both Baxter Kruger and Paul Young cite Athanasius as supporting their view of relationship with God and the nature of God as “good all the time.” Indeed, Kruger has added to his website the document by Athanasius titled “The Incarnation of the Word of God.”

The implication is that Athanasius supports the basic tenets of what these two believe as believers in universal reconciliation (UR) – that God is good, God is love, God doesn’t judge anyone, all people are children of God, all are destined for heaven, and there is no everlasting judgment in hell.

We can all be grateful for Kruger’s making known the work of Athanasius, the defender of orthodoxy. For in the search for truth, I discovered that Athanasius ends up expressing views that are totally opposed to what the basic tenets of UR and the beliefs of Kruger and Young are.

As Kruger and Young acknowledge, Athanasius of Alexandria was the premier champion of orthodoxy. Additional details about him are important. At the Council of Nicea (325), called by Constantine, the Christian emperor of Rome, Athanasius led the way to defend the eternal deity of Jesus Christ in opposition to the view of Arius, who argued that Jesus Christ had a beginning. According to Arius, Jesus was not co-eternal with the Father, nor was the Holy Spirit. Hence, there is no Trinity. Athanasius showed that the truth of the Bible proves that the Trinity is actual and real. His view triumphed at the Council, when the vast majority of the bishops agreed with the Nicene Creed. It was later validated at another Council and has been the convinced view of the church to this day.

# My Review of Athanasius’s “The Incarnation of the Word of God”[3]

In the following discussion, I show that on countless doctrinal issues, Athanasius deserves the position of champion of orthodoxy and chief opponent of universalism in the past. For the present controversy over UR, Athanasius still speaks powerfully. Here is a list of the particular doctrines as I’ve recovered them from his “The Incarnation of the Word of God.”

In this writing of Athanasius, I do not find the exact words about the goodness of God that Kruger finds. The numbers refer to the paragraphs of Athanasius’s work.

  • Athanasius writes of the love of God (3, 15)
  • the goodness of God (3, 43)
  • and the love and goodness of God (1, 12).
  • He mentions the penalty of God (5).
  • God is not a magician (48, 50, 51, 53).
  • Christ is holy (14)
  • and distinct from the creation (17, 43).
  • Christ is “essential righteousness” (40).
  • He fully took on human nature to recreate man after the image of God (13).
  • He is fully God and fully human (17, 18, 19).
  • He pursued death (22).
  • The cross becomes a monument to Christ’s work (24, 32).
  • Jesus Christ came for the purpose of dying (31)
  • to save humanity (43).
  • Athanasius mentions the “sign of the cross” (47, 50, 53, 55).
  • Christ will come again (56)
  • with “eternal fire” (56, 57).
  • There will be the recompense of judgment (38).
  • Christ already reigns (40).
  • Athanasius writes that Christ “assumed humanity that we might become God” (54). The context explains this as our being able to “perceive our unseen Father’s mind” that we “might inherit immortality.”
  • Athanasius states that the “achievements of Christ” are so numerous that they are like trying to count the waves on the open sea; they are innumerable (54).
  • People bear God’s image and likeness (3, 4, 5, 11, 12, 13, 21, 43)
  • but because of the fall of Adam and Eve, the nature of all is corrupt (4, 7, 9, 41, 43, 46, 49).
  • People need to experience the new birth (14).
  • They need to be converted (27).
  • People would have perished under the penalty of spiritual death if Christ had not come (5, 6 [twice], 7, 8).
  • He writes that a man’s personality penetrates his whole being (42).
  • All are enlightened (40).
  • The reality of the devil is acknowledged (25 and others);
  • he brought death (5).
  • Evil spirits are mentioned frequently (32 [four times], 45, 46, 47, 48 [often], 49, 50, 51, 52, 55 [three times]).
  • Athanasius places a great emphasis on the necessity to believe Christ and the gospel (15, 18, 21, 23, 24, 27, 28 [four times], 29 [three times], 30, 31 [four times], 32 [twice], 33 [the faithfulness of Jesus, twice], 35, 38, 40, 41, 50, 53, 55, 56).
  • Faith and obedience go together (30).
  • Athanasius places an even greater emphasis on the substitutionary death of Christ on behalf of all people (8, 9, 10, 16, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26, 31, 34, 37 [eight times], 38 [three times], 54).
  • He came to pay the debt owed for sin (20).
  • Christ is the Savior of all (1 [three times], 15, 25, 26, 32, 37 [three times], 38, 40 [Jesus is the ransom for all], 44, 46, 47, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55)
  • and Lord of all (34).
  • Athanasius cites Isaiah 53 (34 [contrasting Paul Young on child sacrifice, Lies, chapter 19]).
  • Christ fulfilled prophecy (33, 34 [about his death], 35 [about the cross]).
  • In light of the preceding paragraphs, it is clear that Athanasius does not support UR. Christ is the Savior of all – of all who believe.
  • Athanasius warns of “subordinate imposters” who mislead believers (55).
  • He identifies Christianity as a “religion” (1, 28, 31, 48).
  • He addresses how Christians are to interpret Scripture – namely, by being in fellowship with the saints (57).
  • He encourages the study of nature (49).


The preceding review of many doctrines from the work of Athanasius reveals that contemporary evangelicals believe what Athanasius believed and taught. None of these points support UR. Not one of the points that distinguishes UR, such as “the love of God limits God’s justice,” “there is no future judgment and no lasting hell,” “all people are by nature good,” and “all people are already God’s children,” is found in the above review.

Like Young and Kruger, those who champion UR are those who are the heretics, the “imposters” whom Athanasius identifies. They state that they want to be considered orthodox based upon their agreement with the Nicene Creed and with Athanasius, but as the above discussion of both of these sources shows, Young and Kruger are heretics and their beliefs are not orthodox.

The preceding should settle this matter!



While the preceding appendices take up a discussion of the Nicene Creed and Athanasius and the claim of Young and Kruger that they are orthodox by these two standards, there is one more important matter. What does the Athanasian Creed say and what does it contribute to our understanding of UR? Thus, I first present the Athanasian Creed, and then I evaluate its statements in light of UR.

The Athanasian Creed is named after Athanasius, of course, but for all of its substance, it cannot be traced back to him in the fourth century. The final form copied here probably arises from the seventh century. As readers will notice, it is substantially longer than the Nicene or Apostles’ Creeds.

# The Athanasian Creed [4]

Whosoever will be saved, shall above all else, hold the catholic faith. Which faith, except it be kept whole and undefiled, without doubt one shall perish eternally. And the true Christian faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, neither confusing the Persons nor dividing the substance.

For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.

Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit: The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated; The Father infinite, the Son infinite, and the Holy Spirit infinite; The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet there are not three eternals, but one eternal; just as there are not three uncreated nor three infinites, but one uncreated and one infinite.

Likewise the Father is almighty, the Son is almighty, and the Holy Spirit is almighty. And yet there are not three almighties, but one almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. And yet there are not three gods, but one God. Likewise the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, and the Holy Spirit is Lord. And yet not three lords, but one Lord.

For as we are compelled by the Christian truth to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be both God and Lord, so we are forbidden by the true Christian faith to say that there are three gods or three lords.

The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone, not made nor created, but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son, neither made nor created nor begotten, but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.

And in this Trinity none is before or after another; none is greater or less than another; but all three Persons are coeternal together and coequal, so that in all things, as said before, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshiped. Whoever will be saved is compelled thus to think of the Holy Trinity.

Furthermore, it is necessary for everlasting salvation that one also believe faithfully the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man of the substance of His mother, born in the world; perfect God and perfect Man, of a rational soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood. Who, although He is God and Man, yet He is not two, but one Christ; One, not by changing of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking the manhood into God; One indeed, not by confusion of substance, but by oneness of Person. For just as the rational soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ; Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into heaven; He is seated at the right hand of the Father, God Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead; at whose coming all will rise again with their bodies and will give an account of their own works. And they that have done good will enter into life everlasting; and they that have done evil into everlasting fire. This is the catholic faith; whoever does not faithfully and firmly believe this cannot be saved.

# My Evaluation of How UR Violates this Creed

These are the chief points of the Athanasian Creed that universal reconciliation (UR) violates. There are eight paragraphs.

The Creed begins with the statement that one must hold or believe the “catholic [universal] faith” in order to be saved. This statement sets up the importance of what follows. It means that whoever rejects this Creed is heretical and will “perish eternally.” What follows is the content of this faith.

So how does UR hold up in light of this standard? It fails on several counts; it is heresy.

To begin with, UR rejects creedal statements, as shown in a review of its history, especially its history in America. My larger book on universalism contains a whole chapter that exposes UR’s rejection of creeds.

In its opening words, this Creed makes reference to “whosoever will be saved.” In the seventh paragraph, these words are repeated. The final words of the Creed are that whoever doesn’t believe this Creed “cannot be saved.” These words, reflecting such texts as Romans 10:13 (whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved, NASB) are rejected by UR. The latter asserts that all people are already saved; no one needs “to get saved” (Lies, chapter 13).

Note that this Creed begins and ends with references to the everlasting judgment (“perish eternally” and “everlasting fire”) that will come on those who reject the “catholic faith.” Universal reconciliation rejects the idea of an everlasting hell or judgment.

The Creed emphasizes the nature of the Trinity – that all three Persons have the same undivided substance or essence or nature. This is the “true Christian faith,” but UR rejects creeds.

In the fourth and eighth paragraphs, the Persons in the Godhead are described as “Almighty.” In the fifth paragraph, the title “Lord” is used of all three Persons. Note also how paragraph 2 refers to “glory” and “majesty.” This type of designation is rejected in The Shack: “The first aspect of God is never that of the absolute Master, the Almighty. It is that of the God who puts himself on our human level and limits himself” (*The Shack, *88). Young plays down this aspect of God’s nature in all his novels.

In his books, Young writes about a “circle of relationship” involving God and people in which there is no authority and no subordination (Lies, chapters 7, 24, 27; The Shack, 122-124). Such thoughts violate this Creed.

This Creed doesn’t get to the incarnation until later, and it makes a distinction regarding Jesus – that he is “begotten,” and regarding the Holy Spirit – that he “proceeds” from both the Father and the Son. Thus, there are different roles within the Godhead. This suggests authority and subordination – ideas that Young rejects when he writes and talks about relationship within the Godhead.

In the eighth paragraph there is much to address. There is reference to the necessity to believe in order to have “everlasting salvation.” Belief is mentioned three times, but UR asserts that people are already saved; belief is not the condition (Lies, chapters 13, 24). The substance of what to believe is identified as the “right faith”: believing in the deity and humanity of Christ. But UR lays down no conditions of belief.

The words that Christ “suffered for our salvation” suggest penal substitution, that Christ took our place on the cross to pay the penalty that our sins demanded. Again, Young rejects penal substitution and asserts that the cross was not God’s idea, but man’s (Lies, chapters 3, 17, 19).

Finally, the Creed affirms that Jesus Christ is coming again to “judge the living and the dead.” Then all “will give an account of their own works.” Two destinies are given: “life everlasting” and “everlasting fire.” But UR opposes all such statements. Young rejects a future judgment for anyone on the basis of their beliefs or works (Lies, 15, 21, 27). He asserts (erroneously citing James 2:13), that “God’s mercy triumphs over God’s justice because of love” (The Shack, 164). Because he redefines hell, there is no lasting hell or suffering. Thus, Young rejects Jesus’s words recorded in Matthew 25:46 about everlasting punishment for some and everlasting life for others.

# Conclusion

The Athanasian Creed is more complete and detailed than either the Apostles’ Creed or the Nicene Creed. It is consistent with all the great truths found in Athanasius’s “The Incarnation of the Son of God.”

Another point needs to be made about what the creeds do not say. They are totally absent on such ideas that there is a chance to be saved, indeed a necessity that all will be saved, after death. They are silent on God’s love limiting God’s justice; that the final destiny of all people is heaven; that God loves all people the same; that all people are already God’s children; that we should “hope” that all will be saved; and other UR assertions. Why is it important to recognize this absence? Because Origen, the church father, and a couple others had already begun to propound UR in the third century. Thus, Athanasius and the church in the fourth century refused to depart from the Bible and give place to any tenets of UR.

What the creeds and Athanasius do not say is as equally important as what they do say!

It is virtually beyond dispute that UR, embraced by Paul Young and Baxter Kruger, violates all of these great creeds and writings of the early church going back to the fourth century. These modern men insisted that their orthodoxy should be judged by what these creeds say and what Athanasius wrote.

By their own standard, Young and Kruger have failed! They are not orthodox. They are heterodox – heretics.

Again, the above discussion should finally settle the matter!

[1] “William Paul Young: Orthodox Novelist,” Perichoresis: www.perichoresis.org (opens new window) (Feb. 28, 2017).

[2] http://www.trinityorc.org/creeds/

[3] Athanasius, “The Incarnation of the Word of God,” http://www.worldinvisible.com/library/athanasius/incarnation/incarnation.c.htm.

[4] http://havasulutherans.org/catechism-explanation/creeds-confessions/.