It all began with a conversation between Spencer Burke and his five-year-old son about a floatie, specifically, how far Spencer would go to rescue the boy if he were drowning. It got Spencer to thinking: how far would God go to save and redeem human beings? He reveals his quest for answers to that big question in A Heretic's Guide to Eternity.
The general orthodox Christian view of who gets to heaven and who is doomed to hell is based on the notion that we humans have to choose to "opt in" to God's plan for our salvation by baptism, repentance, prayer, and a righteous life. But what if it's the opposite-we are all in, from the moment we are born, no matter when or where we live, and we have to choose to "opt out" in order to be excluded from God's universal grace?
Not some abstract theological matter, the question of who gets saved and how has preoccupied Christians of every stripe for centuries, beginning with the earliest apostles. Will God damn us to hell? What is hell? What about God's universal love? Is it really universal-or is it limited? Is there only one way to be saved? In A Heretic's Guide to Eternity, Spencer Burke wrestles with all these questions and comes up with some surprising answers, answers that are heretical but grounded in sound theological thinking.
Spencer Burke (Newport, CA) is a former pastor and creator of TheOoze.com, one of the original emergent Web sites, and instigator of Soulerize, an annual gathering of traditional and nontraditional theologians, church planters, artists, and musicians. Spencer is a popular retreat leader, keynote speaker, and Webmeister recognized as a thought leader and prime mover in the postmodern emerging faith movement.