Restorationism | Free Online Biblical Library

If you like our 14,000 Articles library, you'll love our Courses tailor-made for all stages of church life:

Courses cover a wide range of Bible, Theology and Ministry.


The doctrine of universal salvation, or universalism, also known as “Apocatastasis.” It claims that all free moral creatures-men, angels, devils-will ultimately be saved. If there is a hell, it is purgative only. Some have held that it is taught in the NT (e.g., C.H. Dodd on Romans 11). The doctrine seems present in Clement of Alexandria* and clearly appears in Origen,* who hoped that the devil would be finally redeemed, though even Origen's universalism needs to be qualified by his insistence on the eternity of man's freedom. Gregory of Nyssa* supported restorationism, but it was attacked by Augustine* and formally condemned in the first anathema against Origenism* at the Council of Constantinople (543). It was held by John Scotus Erigena (ninth century), by mystics like Eckhart and Tauler, by Johannes Denck and some Anabaptists, and by several Moravians and Pietists. In modern times exponents include Friedrich Schleiermacher, Erskine of Linlathen, F.D. Maurice, Ethelbert Stauffer, and many others in all sections of Christendom.